Double-digit fantasy production is a pretty arbitrary threshold. When I'm setting baselines, I could say "at least five points" or "at least 11" or anything I felt like. So any time I discuss a "double-digit fantasy day," I'm not saying it's the be-all end-all of performance thresholds.
That said, it's a really easy and helpful shorthand. To reach double digits as a running back/wide receiver/tight end, a player needs either "100 yards" or "40 yards and a score." I'm comfortable calling either of those a successful day, while "60 yards" or "20 yards and a score" falls below that.
The struggles across the tight end position this year are well-documented, but I'll go ahead and paint the picture again here. The following chart shows all tight ends who (a) are 10-percent owned or greater in Yahoo! leagues, and/or (b) have at least one double-digit fantasy day on their record this year. To make this slightly easier, I've taken out the injured guys like Dennis Pitta or Tyler Eifert, who are still owned enough to qualify.
1. Go Greg Olsen.
2. As great as he was to start the season, Julius Thomas still has only three double-digit fantasy days because his two one-touchdown games were both accompanied by fewer than 40 yards.
3. Jordan Reed's upside has been enthralling for everyone, and it certainly does exist. Still, he hasn't reached double figures in four games this year, and only has done so twice in 13 career games. I still like the guy, but at some point that "like" has to turn into results.
Those were the little takeaways. But the big one, for me, is Tim Wright. Wright's downside as a fantasy player is a flat zero -- he has the chance to catchless in any given game, at least right now. But his upside is far higher than his awful-downside compatriots.
Maybe you have Delanie Walker or Martellus Bennett, the two fantasy-relevant tight ends on a bye this week. Maybe you have Jordan Cameron, who might be out. Maybe you just haven't been able to get anyone who has worked out this season. But I've been seeing any number of questions about tight ends. "Do I use Jace Amaro, Clay Harbor, Charles Clay or Tim Wright?" That sort of thing.
All four of those tight ends -- and a dozen or more others -- have the same downside. Zero. No points. But in a realistic scenario, Amaro, Harbor and Clay have an upside around 10 points. Maybe a few more, but that's about it. Wright, meanwhile, has a couple double-digit games this year, and he also had four last year in 14 games with Tampa Bay. It's not just a New England thing.
You don't want to have to rely on Wright. You'd rather have one of those guys with the "5" or the "4" next to his name up there in the chart. But if that failed, and you're scrambling around with the Coby Fleeners and Jared Cooks of the world, just grab Wright. You might end up dropping him by Thanksgiving, but when the downsides are the same, the upsides are what matter.
On to the Week 9 rankings, where Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Tennessee are on bye:
Tight end rankings, Week 9
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)