The Week 16 fantasy football slate has both pricey and quality value picks available at tight end, so we’ll try to help you figure out what to avoid. An expensive choice that seems like a sure thing can be enticing, but there are also diamonds in the rough to consider.
Here’s what I think you should take note of:
BEST: Jared Cook (NO) — $5,000
Jared Cook has quietly followed up last year’s breakout season in Oakland with a successful campaign in New Orleans. He’s maintained consistency while flying under the radar in recent weeks. Cook has averaged 14.65 DraftKings fantasy points per contest over the last six weeks, scoring four of his six touchdowns on the year during that span. The Saints hung 46 points on the 49ers — one of the NFL’s premier defenses — in Week 14 and followed that up by routing the Colts 34-7. Cook’s value against teams that have struggled against the pass makes perfect sense, so he should have plenty of room to operate against the Titans. Especially with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara stretching the field.
WORST: Zach Ertz (PHI) — $6,400
This choice might seem confusing because Zach Ertz is easily still one of the best tight ends in football, but this matchup isn’t a desirable one for him. Ertz has strung together strong performances in each of his last two outings, but his team’s two-game winning streak was built against subpar teams — the Giants and Washington. The tight end has failed to record 10 DraftKings fantasy points four times this season, and three of those times came against top-10 passing defenses. Dallas has one of those, a relentless pass rush, and will be able to key in on Ertz because of Philadelphia’s injury-ridden receiving corps. The Cowboys held Ertz to 5.8 fantasy points in Week 7 and will have plenty of confidence to carry over from their Week 15 routing of the Rams.
BEST: Darren Waller (OAK) — $6,100
Like Jared Cook before him, Darren Waller has put himself on the map as Oakland’s starting tight end. Waller has eclipsed 100 receiving yards and 20 fantasy points in two of his last three games and will face a Chargers team that forked up 39 points to the Vikings at home last week. Waller has a chance to come up big against a division rival.
WORST: Mark Andrews (BAL) — $5,900
It’s difficult to gauge what to expect from Mark Andrews, but one thing’s for certain: he’s streaky. His most impressive performances of the year game were in this season’s first two weeks, against underwhelming opponents — Arizona and Miami. While he tallied 16 receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns against those teams, he’s struggled against the Rams, Bills, and Patriots though, and the Browns haven’t been slouches when it comes to defending the pass this year. Cleveland has given up the sixth-fewest passing yards per game (217.9) so far this season.