Originally posted: December 26, 2017
If you’re reading this your fantasy league runs until Week 17, or you just can’t get enough of TE streaming. It’s the final week of the NFL regular season so it is imperative to have the best possible roster at your disposal. Is the TE you drafted, starter-worthy this week or are you better off grabbing someone off the waiver wire to get the TE1 production your team needs to win it all?
The main focus of our research when looking at a TE’s matchup is 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric. As the season continues to progress and more data is available, aFPA becomes more and more reliable, using rolling 10-week data. Targets and efficiency metrics are also considered when coming up with weekly TE streamers.
Week 16 was perhaps my best of the season, as my three recommended TEs landed in the Top 12 in PPR points. Antonio Gates was the highest-scoring TE of the week with 20.1 PPR points, followed directly behind by Eric Ebron with 19.3. Ben Watson’s 9.0 was good enough for TE12, while Vernon Davis, who was in my other recommendations located at the end of the article, checked in as TE8 with 12.2 points. After 16 weeks of football, 4for4 streaming candidates are averaging 8.9 PPR fantasy points per game, which currently ranks as TE13. The optimal TE streamer has 268.7 PPR fantasy points, enough for TE1 on the season thus far. On to Week 17 and the players who’ll help you get that championship win if it’s still up for grabs.
In order to provide advice that you can actually implement, candidates for streaming must be available in at least 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
Antonio Gates (LAC) vs. OAK
With Hunter Henry on the shelf for the season, Gates gets the start for the second straight week. He nabbed six balls for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Jets in Week 16 and draws a favorable matchup against the Raiders for the final game of the regular season.
Oakland is ranked 21st in TE aFPA and is mathematically eliminated from the postseason, while the Chargers are still alive and will be playing for an elusive wild card spot in the AFC. Gates and QB Philip Rivers have a long history together, and Rivers knows he can count on his veteran TE in clutch situations.
At an ownership of 22% in Yahoo Leagues, Gates is a great play this week.
Charles Clay (BUF) @ MIA
Despite missing three games with a bum knee, Clay is averaging 8.7 PPR points per contest this season. His 10 targets were second among all TEs in Week 16, and he also boasts the highest number of targets per game on the Bills’ offense with 5.5. In Week 17, we look for guys on teams who have something to play for, and Buffalo still has a wildcard shot.
Clay faces his former team on Sunday, so if you’re into revenge game narratives, he could be extra motivated to put up solid numbers versus the Dolphins. Miami sits 30th in TE aFPA with an average of 14.7 PPR points allowed to enemy TEs.
Clay is a safe option this week if you’re still playing for something in your redraft leagues, and at a 35% ownership, could be a difference maker.
Ben Watson (BAL) vs. CIN
Watson led Baltimore’s three-headed TE monster in targets last week with six, to Nick Boyle’s four and Maxx Williams’ three. He has nearly triple the PPR fantasy points of the other two Ravens’ TEs and is clearly one of QB Joe Flacco’s go-to guys. The Ravens currently own the fifth seed in the AFC and will be fighting to stay among the teams who get to keep playing in January.
This week the Bengals come to town, a unit ranked dead last in TE aFPA. Cincinnati just allowed a big performance from Eric Ebron in Week 16, whose 19.3 PPR points was good enough for TE2 on the week. Watson just turned 37 on December 18th and doesn’t appear to be slowing down on the football field. He may not have the highest ceiling, but with Flacco and company fighting for their 2017 lives, he should see a decent amount of looks on Sunday.
80% of Yahoo waiver wires have Watson on them, so grab him this week if you need him.
Other Streaming Candidates:
- Vernon Davis (WAS) @ NYG – 48% owned
- Eric Ebron (DET) vs. GB – 57% owned
- Jesse James (PIT) vs. CLE – 35% owned
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