The tight-end position matters greatly in fantasy football. They are not as flashy as their blazing-fast, route-running counterparts at wide receiver. They also do not get the same volume of touches as fantasy-relevant running backs. That can sometimes lead to them being overlooked or treated as an afterthought. Do not make that mistake.
The tight end pool is the shallowest of them all in terms of fantasy. Finding production there on a weekly basis can be incredibly challenging, especially for those who did not invest in one of the top TE options during their drafts.
How might one find success at the position? Well, one way can be by carefully playing the waiver wire week-to-week. The goal of this weekly article is to help fantasy managers do just that by finding low-rostered (under 75%) TEs in the best situations for that particular week.
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Tight End Waiver Wire Options for Week 5
Rostered Percentages based on Yahoo! Leagues as of Oct. 3
Zach Ertz (ARI) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 26% Rostered
Ertz disappointed in Week 3, as he saw just two targets. He did catch both of his targets but for only six yards. Following back-to-back games with six receptions to begin the season, that third game was a real bummer. The veteran TE wasn’t down for long, however, as he bounced right back to secure six of 10 targets for 53 yards this past Sunday in San Francisco.
It seems Ertz will be peppered with short targets most weeks as long as Joshua Dobbs is under center for Arizona. Ertz is averaging less than 7.0 yards per catch, but he’s one of just four tight ends with 20-plus receptions and one of only two with 30-plus targets on the season. The Bengals have given up two touchdowns to the position so far. Maybe Ertz can hit pay dirt for the first time in 2023.
Dalton Schultz (HOU) at Atlanta Falcons: 36% Rostered
Speaking of defenses that are susceptible to opposing tight ends, the Falcons still haven’t figured out how to slow them down. The Atlanta unit was one of the weakest against the position last season. They haven’t been much better this season, allowing three different TEs to go for at least five receptions and more than 40 yards already, with two of them finding the end zone.
During this past Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars in London, Evan Engram navigated his way through the Atlanta secondary for 59 yards on seven catches. Schultz may fall short of those numbers simply due to lack of volume, but he is coming off his best game of the season to date. The first-year Texan secured all three of his targets for 42 yards and a score in a 30-6 rout of the Steelers in Week 4.
– Ari Alexander (@AriA1exander) October 1, 2023
Tyler Conklin (NYJ) at Denver Broncos: 3% Rostered
After Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 1, the immediate reaction from most was that third-year quarterback Zach Wilson would significantly hurt the fantasy value of every Jets’ pass catcher. Well, that’s certainly true to some extent. Rodgers is just the far superior QB. Still, Wilson showed notable improvement in Week 4’s close loss to the Chiefs, providing reason for renewed encouragement.
Conklin was a beneficiary of Wilson’s progression, hauling in four of six targets for 58 yards. That effort marks the second time in the past three weeks that Conklin has caught at least four passes and reached the 50-yard mark. Wilson clearly trusts Conklin, and that brings solid fantasy upside to a matchup against a Denver defense that surrendered 85 yards and two touchdowns to Bears’ TE Cole Kmet this past Sunday.