The third week of the 2016 regular season is just about coming to a close, with only the Monday Night Football game remaining. Most fantasy football leagues will run their waiver wire late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but we are here to help you get a jump on the best options to consider.
We will be ranking the top five players likely to be available in your league at each of the four major positions. Some weeks there might not be five good options available, but we’ll scour for the best we can find. Additionally, throughout the week, we will update each of these articles as ownership percentages change (via Yahoo!) and news arrives.
Waiver wire tight end rankings, Week 4
1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (41 percent owned) - now 64 percent owned
The Minnesota Vikings generated points mostly off their defense in Week 3; however, much of the offense that the Vikings did generate was due in large part to Rudolph. The Vikings tight end caught seven passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and continues to see a very healthy amount of targets. Bradford will continue to look to Rudolph on passing plays, particularly in the red zone. The injury to Adrian Peterson looks to be at least fairly-long term, and the Vikings will have to rely on their passing game more than initially thought at the beginning of the season. One of the largest beneficiaries to this change will be Rudolph.
2. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (40 percent owned) - now 50 percent owned
Miller looks to be a new player with Brian Hoyer under center. The Bears tight end caught eight passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3, and looks to be the Bears main red zone target. The Bears face a weak Lions secondary in Week 4, and the following weeks provide good match ups as well. Miller looks to be a viable option at tight end for at least the next few weeks.
3. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (10 percent owned) - now 14 percent owned
Doyle was targeted more and produced more fantasy points than fellow Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. Doyle caught six passes for 65 yards in Week 3, proving that there was more to his fantasy production than touchdowns. It would appear that Andrew Luck favors Doyle to Allen in the passing game, and the absence of Donte Moncrief only adds to the Colts’ need for reliable targets. Doyle should be the tight end to own in Indianapolis.
4. Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (5 percent owned) - still 5 percent owned
There was uncertainty regarding who would be the primary receiving tight end in Green Bay with the arrival of Jared Cook in the offseason, and it appeared that Cook was winning that role. However, with Cook leaving the Packers’ Week 3 win against Detroit in the second quarter, Rodgers was able to recoup his role as Green Bay’s receiving tight end. Rodgers was able to catch two passes for nine yards and a touchdown to salvage his Week 3 value. Cook was seen in a walking boot and crutches as reported by Rob Demovsky, meaning Rodgers should continue to see more playing time for at least the near term. This increased involvement should allow Rodgers better fantasy production, at least until Cook returns.
5. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 percent owned) - now 7 percent owned
Brate is now the undisputed tight end atop the depth chart after Austin Seferian-Jenkins was released prior to the Week 3 game. Brate took full advantage of his expanded opportunity as he caught five passes for 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Brate was clearly Jameis Winston’s primary target in the end zone, and this should only continue as the season progresses. Brate is in a great position to produce fantasy points on the Tampa Bay offense and should be owned in far more than two percent of leagues.
6. Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers (2 percent owned) - now 0 percent owned
The 49ers offense hasn’t been the most productive thus far in 2016; however, much of the offensive production is based around the team’s tight ends. Vance McDonald exited the 49er’s Week 3 loss to the Seahawks with a hip injury as reported by Matt Maiocco. While Celek had a somewhat quiet day, catching three passes for 25 yards, if the injury causes McDonald to miss time Celek will be the primary beneficiary of those targets and potential fantasy points.