The top five fantasy football tight ends are more than just glue guys.
5- Jared Cook (STL), $7,500 vs (SEA)
Cook was once again the apple of Austin Davis’ eye on Monday night. ESPN credits Cook with 11 targets, and four receptions for 74 yards receiving in that contest. One of those targets resulted in a bad misfire that could have easily resulted in a touchdown if Davis had been more accurate. As it stands, Cook has been heavily targeted, and entering week six with a bye week sprinkled in, Cook was tied for 12th among tight ends in targets with 29 according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). If PFF agrees with ESPN’s target total, he’ll be sitting with 40 on the season, the sixth most among tight ends. His receiving yardage total pushes him to top 10 at the position, and his top flight speed at the position makes him a touchdown threat from anywhere on the field. His volume and production, not to mention his bargain bin price, makes Cook a top five fantasy football tight end this week.
4- Clay Harbor (JAX), $7,900 vs (CLE)
Harbor is a bigger dice roll as a top five fantasy football tight end than Cook, from a volume perspective, but the Jaguars tight end has a soft matchup. The Browns rank 19th in pass coverage according to PFF. Harbor’s athleticism has played well with Blake Bortles at quarterback, and the former Eagles tight end has turned in two very good performances with the rookie signal caller at the helm. Since Bortles took over starting quarterback duties in week four, Harbor has totaled 14 receptions for 183 yards receiving and a touchdown. His athleticism really shows up well in his 7.2 YAC/Rec, the sixth highest total among tight ends that have received 25% or more of their team’s snaps this season. His 1.76 yards per route run (YPRR) also rank well among tight ends receiving 25% of their team’s targets, as Harbor ranks 12th in that category, sandwiched between Julius Thomas and Martellus Bennett.
3- Jordan Reed (WAS), $8,750 vs (TEN)
Reed took no time establishing himself as an integral part of the Washington passing attack after missing multiple weeks with injury. In his first game back since exiting the week one contest early, he totaled eight receptions for 92 yards on a crazy 11 targets. PFF deemed nine of his 11 targets catchable, and while Reed flubbed one of those catchable passes, he did make quite a bit of noise this past week. Only Jace Amaro was more targeted among tight ends in week six. Reed ranks third among this week’s top five fantasy football tight ends because in addition to being a heavy volume threat, he has a juicy matchup facing a Titans defense that ranks 24th in pass coverage according to PFF.
2- Travis Kelce (KC), $8,550 @ (SD)
PFF grades the Chargers out as the best pass coverage defense, however, Football Outsiders (FO) ranks them 28th defending tight ends through the first five weeks of the season (prior to this week’s contests). In other words, don’t turn your nose up to Kelce because the Chargers secondary is strong, as he is likely the best bet to exploit what weaknesses there are in the Bolts secondary. Furthermore, Kelce is a burgeoning stud at the tight end position, and that makes him an easy choice as one of this week’s top five fantasy football tight ends. Among tight ends that have received 25% or more of their team’s targets, Kelce’s 3.01 YPRR is the best. Even after a bye week, Kelce ranks 11th in receiving yards among tight ends, and his 8.9 YAC/Rec is the second most among tight ends playing 25% of their team’s snaps (and the lone tight end ahead of him, Rhett Ellison, has six receptions on the year). Take advantage of Kelce’s depressed price tag, because it will sky rocket sooner rather than later.
1- Delanie Walker (TEN), $9,350 @ (WAS)
The top honors for the top five fantasy football tight ends this week belongs to Walker for a variety of reasons. For starters, he’s more than reasonably priced at under five figures. It’s not just price though, as even with trash playing quarterback for the Titans, Walker has been a volume and efficiency freak. His 41 targets are the fifth most among tight ends, his 29 receptions are the fourth most, he leads the position in receiving yards with 421, is tied for eighth with the aforementioned Kelce (among others) with three receiving touchdowns, is tied for eighth with 5.8 YAC/Rec, and is tied for sixth with 2.26 YPRR. Seriously, Walker has been an absolute beast no matter how you choose to slice and dice his numbers. Expect him to be at his best this week against a Washington defense that ranks dead last in pass coverage according to PFF.