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Fantasy Football Week 14: Streaming Tight End Options

C.D. Carter continues to target defenses that have proven most generous to tight ends.

San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green
San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green

Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green (89) runs for a touchdown after a reception during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I hesitated to recommend a Philadelphia Eagles tight end last week because choosing the right one is something of a crap shoot, just as fantasy footballers suspected it would be during the offseason.

Zach Ertz, the Eagles’ rookie tight end, was the latest in a long line of tight ends to scorch the Cardinals’ linebackers and safeties, reeling in five catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He was fantasy’s No. 1 Week 13 tight end.

Our Week 13 streamers, Charles Clay and Coby Fleener, held their own, with Clay racking up 15 points in PPR leagues and Fleener finishing with a disappointing eight points. Clay, it should be noted, got a goal line carry against the Jets. He was stuffed at the one-inch line.

We’ll continue to target defenses that have proven most generous to tight ends, according to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points. We have so much data by this part of the football year that it’d be foolish to take any other tact.

Ladarius Green (SD) vs. New York Giants: I suppose I’m a day late and a dollar short on Green, who recorded a couple receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown last week against the Bengals. Green, who runs, catches, and jukes a whole lot like a wide receiver, is quickly becoming a reliable part of San Diego’s offense.

Green, who had played a grand total of 21 snaps in Week 9-11, was in on 91 percent of the Chargers’ Week 14 offensive plays — a great sign for tight end streamers who couldn’t stomach Green’s limited playing time.

Green’s production numbers are sky high: His fantasy points per route (FPPRR) stands at a ridiculous .47 and he’s averaging 22.1 yards per reception. These numbers will normalize with more playing time, of course, but I think they offer an idea of how productive Green can be.

The Giants are allowing 8.8 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to tight ends, eighth worst in the league. New York has allowed 10 catches and two touchdowns to tight ends over the past two weeks. Antonio Gates will continue to draw underneath targets from Philip Rivers, but it’s Green who could expose Big Blue’s linebackers, who aren’t exactly stellar in coverage.

Jared Cook (STL) at Arizona Cardinals: Yes, I’m recommending the Tight End of Whom We Do Not Speak, the breaker of fantasy hearts since Week 1, the killer of preseason dreams.

No player should be dead to you, however, especially one who has caught seven passes for 129 yards and a score over the past couple weeks. Cook’s Week 14 upside is thanks to his turn to torment an Arizona defense that is allowing an eye-popping 15 fantasy points per game to tight ends. No team is even close.

Arizona’s linebackers and safeties have somehow gotten worse over the past month. Their struggles are most acute in the red zone, as evidenced by the six touchdowns to tight ends they’ve allowed since Week 10.

Cook, available in 40 percent of leagues, should be considered a top-12 Week 14 play. If you trust the matchups, Cook is one of the more clear-cut streaming choices on the season. Arizona is unfailingly awful against tight ends.

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