Final injury report
The Vikings could be short a couple of playmakers this week, as Kyle Rudolph is listed as doubtful and Irv Smith Jr. is questionable. If they’re out, we could see more Kirk Cousins get players like Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe some looks.
Out: Jace Sternberger (concussion)
Doubtful: Kyle Rudolph (foot)
Questionable: Irv Smith Jr. (back), Tyler Eifert (shoulder), Ian Thomas (knee)
Thursday injury report
Thursday brought fantasy managers good news. After sitting out Week 13 with a knee injury, Smith has been upgraded to a full practice. It’s a positive sign that he’ll be out on the field Sunday. He could be in for an uptick in targets this week, too, as A.J. Brown missed his second consecutive practice with a knee injury.
Hayden Hurst has been listed on the injury report with this ankle injury in Weeks past, but it hasn’t impacted his availability on game day. However, he’s posted some duds recently, with fewer than 10 receiving yards in two of his last three outings. It’s worth wondering if this nagging injury is having an impact.
DNP: Jace Sternberger (concussion), Marcedes Lewis (knee), Kyle Rudolph (foot)
Limited: Hayden Hurst (ankle), Irv Smith Jr. (back)
Full: Jonnu Smith (knee)
Wednesday injury report
There hasn’t been much movement for tight ends as far as the injury report goes, but the biggest news is that Jonnu Smith is once again practicing in a limited fashion. He missed last week with a knee injury after snagging a DNP tag for each of the team’s practices for Week 13. Irv Smith is still dealing with a back injury that’s had him in and (mostly) out of the active lineup since Week 9. It’s worth noting that Kyle Rudolph is now listed with a DNP tag for a foot injury. He didn’t catch either of his two targets in Week 13, though he did play his usual allotment of snaps.
DNP: Jace Sternberger (concussion), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Irv Smith Jr. (back)
Limited: Marcedes Lewis (knee), Jonnu Smith (knee),
Darren Waller headlined the tight end position in Week 13, all-but cementing himself in as dynasty fantasy football’s TE3 behind Travis Kelce and George Kittle, who almost indisputably lead the pack.
Logan Thomas had a notable game, coming down with each of his nine targets to total 98 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. Despite the fact that he’s not exactly on an exciting offense, Logan Thomas has officially entered the chat as a tight end worth weekly starting consideration in fantasy leagues.
MyCole Pruitt made the most of Jonnu Smith’s absence (knee), finishing the week as the TE5 in standard leagues despite just one catch on two targets for the day. His points were flukey, but fun to watch, as he reeled in his only catch for a score prior to taking a fumble recovery into the end zone for another one. He finished the day with an outrageous 14.2 fantasy points per touch.
Zach Ertz made his return to the active lineup this week following an extended absence due to an ankle injury. He was relatively quiet in his return, reeling in just two catches for 31 yards. Doug Pederson confirmed Tuesday that rookie QB Jalen Hurts will get the start in Week 14, so there’s always the chance these two could hit it off. It doesn’t appear likely, however.
Mark Andrews missed Weeks 12 and 13 after being diagnosed with Covid-19. He has spent enough time on the Covid-19 list to be cleared once it is medically appropriate, but his status for Week 14 remains in question.
Jonnu Smith missed Sunday’s game against the Browns with a knee injury. He didn’t practice at all last week prior to being ruled out, so fantasy managers will need to keep a close eye on his status through the week. He was held without a catch in his last active game against the Colts, despite playing 81% of offensive snaps.
There are no teams on bye in Week 14.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
Despite ranking ninth in targets among tight ends, Noah Fant’s lack of touchdowns lands him as the TE16 in standard scoring formats. The Broncos have taken just 31 trips into the red zone in 2020, the second-fewest among NFL teams, which has limited his upside tremendously. Fant gets the Panthers this week, whose defense ranks top-10 in number of trips allowed to the end zone and red zone scores allowed. Fant has had 50 yards in two of his last three games with a steady target share to boot. This opportunity could provide an opportunity for managers in standard leagues to put some points on the board with Fant.
Jordan Akins, Houston Texans
This might hurt, but no pain, no gain, right? If you’re desperate for a play at tight end, Akins may be among one of your better options heading into Week 14. Next up, the Texans will face the Chicago Bears, who have allowed tight ends 635 yards (sixth-most) while giving up the second-most touchdowns to the position among NFL defenses.
Akins has led the anemic Texans TE corps with 13 targets and 93 receiving yards over their last three games and has shown us some upside, particularly in Weeks 2 and 11 against the Ravens and Patriots. He and Deshaun Watson just missed out on a touchdown in Week 12, and Watson promised they’d make amends soon. This outing against the Bears could be a decent opportunity to do so.
Tight end non-PPR rankings for Week 18
|1||Travis Kelce||KC||@ DEN|
|2||Mark Andrews||BAL||vs PIT|
|3||George Kittle||SF||@ LAR|
|4||Rob Gronkowski||TB||vs CAR|
|5||Zach Ertz||ARI||vs SEA|
|6||Darren Waller||LV||vs LAC|
|7||Dawson Knox||BUF||vs NYJ|
|8||Dalton Schultz||DAL||@ PHI|
|9||Kyle Pitts||ATL||vs NO|
|10||Mike Gesicki||MIA||vs NE|
|11||Hunter Henry||NE||@ MIA|
|12||Noah Fant||DEN||vs KC|
|13||Tyler Higbee||LAR||vs SF|
|14||Gerald Everett||SEA||@ ARI|
|15||Tyler Conklin||MIN||vs CHI|
|16||Jared Cook||LAC||@ LV|
|17||Cole Kmet||CHI||@ MIN|
|18||C.J. Uzomah||CIN||@ CLE|
|19||Evan Engram||NYG||vs WAS|
|20||Albert Okwuegbunam||DEN||vs KC|
|21||Pat Freiermuth||PIT||@ BAL|
|22||Brock Wright||DET||vs GB|
|23||David Njoku||CLE||vs CIN|
|24||Cameron Brate||TB||vs CAR|
|25||Brevin Jordan||HOU||vs TEN|
|26||Foster Moreau||LV||vs LAC|
|27||Jack Doyle||IND||@ JAC|
|28||Austin Hooper||CLE||vs CIN|
|29||Jonnu Smith||NE||@ MIA|
|30||Dallas Goedert||PHI||vs DAL|
|31||Tyler Kroft||NYJ||@ BUF|
|32||Anthony Firkser||TEN||@ HOU|
|33||Tyree Jackson||PHI||vs DAL|
|34||James O'Shaughnessy||JAC||vs IND|
|35||Josiah Deguara||GB||@ DET|
|36||Geoff Swaim||TEN||@ HOU|
|37||Ricky Seals-Jones||WAS||@ NYG|
|38||Dan Arnold||JAC||vs IND|
|39||Adam Trautman||NO||@ ATL|
|40||Jack Stoll||PHI||vs DAL|
|41||Hayden Hurst||ATL||vs NO|
|42||Mo Alie-Cox||IND||@ JAC|
|43||John Bates||WAS||@ NYG|
|44||Jimmy Graham||CHI||@ MIN|
|45||Will Dissly||SEA||@ ARI|
|46||Stephen Anderson||LAC||@ LV|
|47||Marcedes Lewis||GB||@ DET|
|48||Pharaoh Brown||HOU||vs TEN|
|49||Ian Thomas||CAR||@ TB|
|50||Darrell Daniels||ARI||vs SEA|
|51||Durham Smythe||MIA||vs NE|
|52||Adam Shaheen||MIA||vs NE|
|53||O.J. Howard||TB||vs CAR|
|54||Nick Vannett||NO||@ ATL|
|55||Jesse James||CHI||@ MIN|
|56||Jeremy Sprinkle||DAL||@ PHI|
|57||Nick Boyle||BAL||vs PIT|
|58||Blake Bell||KC||@ DEN|
|59||Kyle Rudolph||NYG||vs WAS|