Tight end is a pretty thin position anyway, but then take away six teams due to byes, and it gets extremely tricky.
Fortunately, none of the six teams not playing this week have a really great tight end, so fantasy owners shouldn’t be hurting too badly at the position. But, if owners are in search for a last-minute option at tight end, look no further than Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz.
The 25-year-old was fantasy irrelevant the first three weeks of the season, catching just two passes for seven yards in September. During that time, Ryan Griffin was the tight end to own in Houston if any of them were to be considered worth a roster spot.
However, in the last four games, Fiedorowicz has averaged nearly five receptions and 60 yards per week. He has also scored two touchdowns during that span, which doubled his career total in the category.
Last week, Fiedorowicz only had 35 yards, but he did catch five of his seven targets and out-targeted Griffin 7-5. Quarterback Brock Osweiler has clearly favored Fiedorowicz over the last couple weeks.
It has been tough justifying plugging most Texans playmakers into the fantasy lineup recently due to the major struggles of Osweiler. In his first full year of starting, the 25-year-old really has been a disappointment. We are nearly to the halfway point of the season, and Osweiler is 29th in completion percentage (58.2 percent) and dead last among all qualified quarterbacks with 5.72 yards per attempt average. That’s even worse than Blaine Gabbert.
But if there was ever a week to stream Fiedorowicz, this is it. The Detroit Lions, Houston’s Week 8 opponent, allow the third-most fantasy points in the league to opposing tight ends according to Yahoo Sports.
Here’s a list of tight ends who have scored touchdowns against the Lions this season – Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle (he scored two touchdowns in Week 1), Delanie Walker, Richard Rodgers, Zach Miller, and Lance Kendricks. The only two teams that didn’t see a tight end score a touchdown versus Detroit this year are Philadelphia and Washington, but remember, Jordan Reed didn’t play in that game, and Zach Ertz had just returned from injury.
It’s not just tight ends, though, Detroit has had trouble covering. The Lions are 28th in passing yards allowed per attempt and tied for last with 18 passing touchdowns yielded in seven games. If there is ever going to be a game where Osweiler finds a rhythm and breaks out of this funk, it would be this one.
If he does get things going, perhaps he finds Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins more often, but Fiedorowicz figures to still be a big part of the offense because Osweiler simply doesn’t have the confidence right now to work down the field a lot. Last week, Fiedorowicz was second on the team to only Hopkins in targets.
If you are an owner with a stud tight end such as Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen or Delanie Walker, don’t overthink things and start those guys. But for the owners who have any other tight end or are still searching for a bye-week/injury replacement, feel free to stream Fiedorowicz in this juicy matchup.