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Seven of the top 15 scorers at tight end over the past month are owned in less than 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and only one — Ricky Seals-Jones — is above 30 percent ownership.
Week 14 was dominated by the "streamer" tight end — as Trey Burton, Garrett Celek and Adam Shaheen were all upper-echelon TE1s — but is it the exception or the new rule?
Week 10 (Celek, Jermaine Gresham and Ed Dickson); Week 9 (Julius Thomas, Burton and Gresham); Week 5: (Dickson, Darren Fells and David Njoku); Week 4: (Tyler Kroft, A.J. Derby and Charles Clay); and Week 3: (Marcedes Lewis, Ryan Griffin, Luke Wilsson and Lance Kendricks).
Sensing a trend? Move over, QBs and defenses, because there's a new streaming fantasy sensation. Like at quarterback and defense in 2017, where an immense drop-off exists after the top two, tight end production is extremely volatile after the top five — Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, Jimmy Graham and Evan Engram.
Now it's possible we have a few new Alpha Dogs that threaten that top five in 2018, when O.J. Howard should be set free from Cameron Brate; David Njoku potentially gets a full season working alongside Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman; and perhaps even Adam Shaheen gets a coaching staff that knows what to do with him.
Consider those the mid-to-late-round bargains in our way-too-early '18 forecast. But the price tag for everyone outside of the current top five should only fall after a season with such parity and lucrative opportunity in the streaming-sphere. No, it isn't fool-proof; we talked up Stephen Anderson and David Njoku in this space a week ago, after which they tallied 1.9 points... combined.
If you survived those duds and want a few streamer suggestions in Week 15, we like Shaheen and Seals-Jones — both with matchups against bottom-seven TE defenses — and Celek, whose increase in snaps and targets (averages of 54 and 4, respectively) havs coincided over the past month with Tennessee's decrease in resisting tight ends (combined 23-264-2).