When Gronk is suddenly declared out on a Thursday night, if you’re anything like me, you feel a huge void in your life… I mean lineup. Luckily, we have some time to adjust before Sunday. Here are a few names you might want to consider picking up off of your waiver wire and sticking in your lineup. Ownership percentages are from Yahoo as of Friday morning.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 19% owned
ASJ has had 10 targets since he came back from suspension in Week 3, and has caught 9 of those passes. He’s involved off the bat after his suspension, and his trajectory is pointing up, especially after the Jets released Will Tye this week, which speaks to the confidence they have in ASJ. Outside of the Giants, the Browns have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Both Jesse James and Tyler Kroft had 2 TD games against the Browns, and Ben Watson was able to put up 8 catches for 91 yards against them. Josh McCown has loved throwing to the tight end throughout his career, so I expect ASJ to put up a decent stat line in Week 5.
Hunter Henry – 69% owned or Antonio Gates – 30% owned
Henry has been up and down this season, and I can’t recommend starting him because you just never know if he’s going to even run routes. But if you’re going to start him in any game, why not start him against a team that has given up 5 TDs in 4 games to tight ends? He’s had zero targets in Weeks 1 and 3, and 7 and 3 targets in Weeks 2 and 4, respectively. Henry has the upside in this game, but it’s a bit of a dart throw. As far as Gates goes, at least he’s been getting targets in every game. Rivers likes looking for him in the end zone, so I think Gates is a bit less of a gamble and won’t give you a goose egg, but his upside is lower than Henry’s.
Evan Engram – 66% owned
Engram’s usage has been off the charts for a rookie TE. His lack of blocking ability has made the Giants just sent him on routes on almost every passing play. His target numbers have been going up from 5, 7, 7, to 11 this past week. Eli Manning’s offensive line hasn’t allowed him to take his time behind the line, so with him having to release the ball quickly, Engram has been someone Manning has been looking for on his high percentage routes. The Chargers held Travis Kelce to one catch, but Zach Ertz was able to put up some decent numbers against them.
Jared Cook – 52% owned
Cook has been involved since the beginning of the season, getting 5-6 targets in the first three weeks, then 8 in Week 4 when EJ Manuel took over for Derek Carr. Manuel looked Cook’s way a bunch of times, so I expect that to continue against a Baltimore defense that has allowed the 5th most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Baltimore’s secondary is very stout against wide receivers, so Cook should get a ton of looks because of it.
Ben Watson – 22% owned
Watson is banged up, but if he plays, he’s a high floor play. Throwing the London disaster out, he’s had 8 targets and 6 targets in Weeks 2 and 4. Flacco loves peppering his tight end with targets, and shouldn’t have a problem against an Oakland defense who’s given up great games to Delanie Walker, Vernon Davis, and A.J. Derby, allowing the 11th most fantasy points to tight ends.