Picking a tight end this season has been almost impossible, unless you were one of the lucky few to get the top guys. Ultimately, what that has meant is people have become de facto streamers at tight end, picking guys in the right matchup. In Week 12, I bet far too many people were forced to use Coby Fleener, Jacob Tamme, even Niles Paul in an effort to stop the bleeding.
Those three combined for 38 receiving yards.
In short, picking a tight end on a week-to-week basis has been more sadness than happiness, and, while playing the matchups and add/dropping on a weekly basis is nice, it has not been going well.
Maybe, then, it's better to just find a guy and go with him. That's why we're here now, checking in with rest-of-season position rankings for the very end of the fantasy regular season and the fantasy playoffs.
With tight ends, it still ain't easy. So I'm doing a little thought exercise today. Divide a player's performance into four categories: "Boo," "Eh," "Huh" and "Wow." Here's how I'll define those categories for tight ends (it'd be different at other positions):
Boo: Two fantasy points or fewer. The guy played, but might as well not have.
Eh: Three to six fantasy points. It helped you, but only a little, and you're left feeling like you could've done better.
Huh: Seven to nine points. These guys probably scored a touchdown and did little else, or they had a bunch of yards. Either way, you're happy to have used them, but you aren't exactly doing back flips.
Wow: Anything in the double digits. You're happy with these guys 100 percent of the time.
There are small ranges at these spots, but when you're deciding which tight end to use, you have to nitpick. So I took the 32 tight ends owned in at least 5 percent of Yahoo! leagues (and with enough games played for a breakdown to matter) and looked at how their performance breaks down:
Things that stood out to me:
And, the reason for my little exercise, Tim Wright. I've been driving this point home for weeks, and will probably retire it after this. Once you're past the top six or seven tight ends, these guys are all just about equally likely to put up a "Boo" or an "Eh" game. And when you're stuck down there, all you want is a guy who could pop. You want the best chance you can get for a touchdown. Wright has six touchdowns this year, on only 23 catches.
I can't speak for our other rankers, two of whom had Wright 25th among tight ends, one of whom didn't have him ranked at all. But for me, he's No. 14. If I am stuck with a Zach Ertz or a Kyle Rudolph, I'm looking at my roster and seeing a guy who might put up two points. I'd much rather just accept those occasional awful games and capitalize on the Tim Wright touchdowns.
That said, let's go to the Rest of Season rankings:
Tight end rankings, rest of season
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; JD: John Daigle; SK: Scott Kaliska)