Just when all hope seemed to be lost, the ranks of the must-start tight end appear to be growing. And not a moment too early.
First, T.J. Hockenson has scored double-digit PPR points in five of his past six games and has at least seven targets in four of his past five. That puts him right behind Travis Kelce and Darren Waller in the week-to-week rankings.
Second, Dallas Goedert has played 100% of the snaps in back-to-back games and topped 70 yards with a touchdown in both. Yes, Zach Ertz is coming back, and he may be must-start too, but Goedert was outperforming Ertz earlier in the season and Richard Rodgers has been heavily involved even since Goedert returned. Ertz and Goedert can both be starters once Ertz gets back to full speed.
Speaking of getting back to full speed, reports on Tuesday indicated that George Kittle could be back before Week 16. This is your notice to get him on your bench, just in case. While tight end is (slightly) improving, Kittle would be an upgrade over anyone not named Kelce.
Week 13 TE Preview
Numbers to Know
- 22 -- Targets for Dallas Goedert over the past three weeks.
- 7 -- Touchdowns for Robert Tonyan, the same number as Travis Kelce.
- 8.5 -- Yards per reception for Darren Waller, the lowest among top 40 tight ends.
- 131 -- Kyle Rudolph has 131 receiving yards in two games without Irv Smith.
- 40 -- Jonnu Smith has not topped 40 receiving yards since Week 3.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
If both Adam Thielen and Irv Smith are out, Rudolph is a top 10 tight end. If one of them is out, he's still a solid stream. If both play, I'll look for a different option.
Jordan Akins TE
HOU Houston • #88
Age: 28 • Experience: 3 yrs.
With Will Fuller out, Akins should see an increased role in the passing game. He's averaging nearly 10 yards per target and had 83 yards against the Patriots just two weeks ago.
LV Las Vegas • #83
Age: 28 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Waller was disappointing last week, but Travis Kelce isn't on the slate and Waller gets to face the Jets. I'm going right back to him.