August 17, 2018


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Cooper Kupp

Los Angeles Rams

Mr. Cooper's neighborhood

Cooper Kupp was 4th in the NFL last year in red-zone targets. Kupp and Goff have the most chemistry of all the receivers on the team as Goff targeted him more than anyone last year. Everyone is expecting Cooks to lead these receivers in points this year, but Kupp will be the receiver to own. Sammy Watkins had eight red-zone touchdowns last year. Cooks is not a red-zone target receiver, so Kupp should see more targets and could sneak into the WR2 with massive upside.

08/13/18, 09:39 PM CDT by C-wags


Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings

The Jet is set to take off!

Mckinnon has been a super divisive player this offseason. Especially after the first preseason game where he didn't amass many yards and the following day he injured himself in practice. I constantly hear people question his ability to carry the ball 200+ times or that he can’t run between the tackles, or he’s unproven in a lead role. This is all NONSENSE and you shouldn’t believe any of it. Shanahan had his pick of players that he could’ve signed instead of Mckinnon, including Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde, or drafting a rookie. He chose Mckinnon cause he felt he fit his offensive system in the same way that Devante Freeman fit his scheme. The 49ers just signed Alfred Morris today as a safety net, but I’m taking all the Mckinnon I can this year. I see him carrying the ball 205car/950yds/6td while also amassing 60rec/500yds/5td making him an RB1 this year. Don't be scared, and steal him away from people that are.

08/13/18, 09:24 PM CDT by C-wags


Marquise Goodwin

San Francisco 49ers

Too good, too fast

Marquiae goodwin has been targeted like a number one in camp. With Pierre Garcon likely squaring off with one of the toughest schedules against number one DBs, Goodwin could break out even more than he did last year. I wouldn't put it past him to put up T.Y HIlton numbers this year. Pick him up in the 6th and 7th round and pile up the points.

08/13/18, 09:11 PM CDT by C-wags


Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia Eagles

Ready To Fly

In 2016 Ajayi racked up 1272 yards on 260 carries and 8 TD’s and finished as the RB11 in both standard and PPR scoring. Last year Miami ran him out of town when he struggled in an anemic offense. He was not heavily used when he got to Philly, but his touches did increase every week until the Superbowl. He was also hyper efficient gaining 5.8 yards per carry and 9.1 yards per reception. Despite the general perception Clements usage went down with Ajayi’s arrival, even with Smallwood going down with injury. The Eagles have the number 1 offensive line as graded by PFF, and 18 RB targets and 192 carries vacated. Ajayi is a safe pick in the fourth round and a steal in the fifth.

08/02/18, 06:08 PM CDT by Wheeler


Jimmy Graham

Green Bay Packers

Split Wide, Back in Stride

He is coming off a season that produced only 57 receptions for 520 yards, his fewest since his rookie season. With that said, Graham remains a big-time weapon in the red zone. He led the league last year with 27 targets in the region, which led to 10 touchdowns. You can bet Rodgers and play-caller Mike McCarthy will be utilizing his skills early and often when knocking on the door of the end zone.
Look for McCarthy to use a variety of personnel groupings with his new tight end group and expect to see Graham split out wide as a receiver much more than as a traditional in-line tight end.

This goes right along with what I was saying on Pyro podcast 308. I expect Graham to be used as a wide receiver and not a tight end. When Graham was negotiating his contract in his last season in New Orleans he wanted to be paid on scale with wide receivers because he rarely lined-up as an in-line tight end. When Seattle paid him, he did whatever they asked, and they asked him to block more. He was out for five games that year, but averaged one less reception per game and only scored two TD’s, after having at least nine TD’s in the previous four years. Overall Graham saw about 25% fewer targets while in Seattle compared to New Orleans and his fantasy numbers reflect it. I see Green Bay using him more like he was used in New Orleans, and even though he has obviously lost a step or two I see him as the major replacement for the Jordy Nelson targets.

07/22/18, 01:41 PM CDT by Wheeler


Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers

Cream Rises To The Top

Jones’ 5.55 YPC on first- and second-down carries trailed only Alvin Kamara (6.24) for best in the league last year. Jamaal Williams averaged 3.80 YPC on first- and second-down in 2017.

He’s slid two rounds since the announcement of his two game suspension, he is a screaming value if you can get him in the ninth round. We already knew he was going to be competing in a crowded backfield so missing two games really shouldn’t be a big hit to his overall production. The likelihood of either of the other two backs taking over the role is slim, Jones should be able to carve out 10 touches a game when he gets back with fresh legs. They are all high risk for injuries so I’m hoping this added rest will help Jones in the long run.

07/21/18, 06:51 PM CDT by Wheeler


Nelson Agholor

Philadelphia Eagles

Solidified Role

In 2017, Nelson Agholor had 62 recs, 768 yds, 9 TDs and 7 games of WR2 or better. There is no reason he wouldn't maintain this output, even with additions in the offense. Agholor had to carve out a role for himself and beat out incumbent Jordan Matthews. This year he'll be the main slot receiver and have an established role from the start.

07/21/18, 06:49 PM CDT by Wheeler


Sterling Shepard

New York Giants

Buying The Slot Receiver in a Shurmur Offense

Sterling Shepard is currently 24 years old with a 124/1,414/10 career line, in two seasons. He finished 2017 as the WR42 in 11 games (WR22 in FP/G) with only a 13.9% target share. He finished 2016 as the WR36 as a rookie. He's currently being drafted as the WR42 in MFL10’s.

Shepard does see more targets (+2.7), get more receptions (+2.3), more yards (+28), and get about three more PPR points per game when Beckham is out. But he still averages over 11 PPR points per game when he is playing. Apparently Shepard is more open in the end-zone when Beckham is playing, as he averages three times as many TD’s when they are both playing.

07/21/18, 06:47 PM CDT by Wheeler


Allen Hurns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Plenty of Targets in Dallas

He’s been hampered by injuries over the past couple of years, but when he has stayed healthy and gotten the targets he has been successful. His best season was in 2015, he had 105 Targets for 64 Receptions at 1031 Yards for 10 TDs, that’s 16.11 Yards Per Reception and a 61% Catch Rate coming from Blake Bortles. He finished as the WR14 in Standard Scoring and WR18 in PPR.

He's an amazing value in the 11th round of current best-ball drafts.

07/21/18, 06:41 PM CDT by Wheeler


Eric Ebron

Detroit Lions

Second Team Breath's New Life Into TE

Outside Brady, Luck is the only other QB to support 2 TE's, both Fleener and Allen had 8 TD's with Luck. Frank Reich runs 2 TE sets very successfully - see: 2018 Eagles. TE1's for Coach Reich have never finished worse than 12th. Yes, Doyle would seem like the obvious choice after last season, but that was with Brissett who needed a quick dump off outlet. Luck isn't a check-down machine.

Eric Ebron has lined up "everywhere" in the Colts offense. And the new tight end already is beginning to feel at home in Indianapolis. Without a strong WR2, Ebron could see a large number of targets. The Colt's line-up in two TE sets more than any other team in the NFL.

07/21/18, 06:36 PM CDT by Wheeler


Matt Breida

San Francisco 49ers

Filling Coleman Role

“One guy who stood out at Niners practice to me was RB Matt Breida. No one talks about him, but the dude is gonna get some run this year. Fast downhill player.”

This is just some more camp hype from a beat reporter, but if they don’t get another running back through trade or free-agency Brieda is going to see plenty of touches to pay off being picked in the 15th round of fantasy drafts. McKinnon has never had over 205 touches in a season, that leaves plenty of opportunity in a Shanahan offense.

07/21/18, 06:28 PM CDT by Wheeler


LeSean McCoy

Buffalo Bills

McCoy starring down 30 with uncertainty

LeSean McCoy, despite ending the year as the #7 fantasy running back in standard leagues was a slight disappointment for fantasy owners last year. McCoy played in all 16 regular season games, but only cracked 100 yards rushing 4 times, and averaged 4.0 yards per rush, which was 23rd in the NFL. That all happened with a formidable QB with a scrambling ability that defenses had to respect, presumably allowing McCoy some more room before tacklers ascended.
The Bills have the least sexy QB situation in the entire NFL in my opinion. With Tyrod Taylor at the helm for most of the season last year, the bills had the 31st passing offense. None of the QBs on the Bills roster are considered mobile and without a wide receiver on their roster worthy of drafting in any fantasy formats, defenses can stack the box against McCoy. McCoy will be overused, underperform and probably get hurt because of it. McCoy’s ADP is in the second round, but wouldn’t touch him until the fourth or beginning of the fifth round.

06/29/18, 12:42 PM CDT by C-wags


Tyreek Hill

Kansas City Chiefs

Hill lookin' busty with chiefs new look.

Tyreek Hill had a great 2017, amounting 75 receptions for 1183 yards and 7 touchdowns in 15 games. He’s currently being drafted in the middle of the third round in standard leagues, which would appear to be a great value. However, with promoted RB coach Eric Bieniemy presumably in-line to be the primary play caller, a new QB, Travis Kelce receiving the #1 target share and the addition of Sammy Watkins, I expect Hill’s numbers to decrease dramatically.
I believe Hill to be more of a boom or bust player this year. There’s no denying his break-away speed and ability to separate from defenders, and with Mahomes cannon of an arm, I expect them to connect deep on occasion. However, I believe Sammy Watkins to be the more complete receiver and likely to take more of the target share from Hill. Bundled with the change in offensive strategy toward the end of last year to run the ball more, the change to a young QB presumably resulting in a more conservative game plan, I see a major decline in the amount of touches Hill will get and see him as more of a 5-6 round flex play guy.

06/21/18, 10:54 AM CDT by C-wags


Eric Ebron

Detroit Lions

Ebron Could Use Some Luck

Colts signed TE Eric Ebron, formerly of the Lions, to a two-year contract. Coach Frank Reich called Ebron an "elite tight end."

The last time we saw Andrew Luck healthy (2016), the Colts used 2+ TE sets at the 3rd-highest rate in the NFL and had the 6th-highest target share to TEs.

04/01/18, 11:32 AM CDT by Wheeler


Carlos Hyde

San Francisco 49ers

Hyde and Seek

Browns agreed to terms with RB Carlos Hyde, formerly of the 49ers, on a three-year, $15 million contract.

Obtaining Hyde has several trickle-down effects; first it replaces Crowell who signed with the Jets, it probably diminishes Duke Johnson’s value a bit. Hyde is a better all-around back than Crowell was and will certainly take over the goal-line work seeing that he’s got 20+ pounds on Duke. It also reduces the likelihood that Cleveland takes Saquon Barkley with the 4th pick in the draft. They will most likely look to draft a defensive player (Chubb) or trade down again.

04/01/18, 11:28 AM CDT by Wheeler


Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings

McKinnon Goes West For Gold-Rush

49ers agreed to terms with RB Jerick McKinnon, formerly of the Vikings, on a four-year, $30 million contract.

McKinnon averaged a ho-hum 3.8 yards a carry for the Vikings and scored three rushing touchdowns. By contrast, San Francisco's former lead runner, Carlos Hyde, averaged 3.9 yards an attempt in 2017 and had eight rushing touchdowns.

It appears as though Shanahan is enamored with McKinnon's athletic metrics, but I'm not so sure he was "pounding the table" to get him. This move could push the Niner's to cut Joe Williams.

04/01/18, 11:12 AM CDT by Wheeler


Mike Wallace

Baltimore Ravens

Eagles Keep Improving

Eagles signed WR Mike Wallace to a one-year contract.
Mike Wallace can still move posting a top five max speed among wide receivers last season. He will fill the void left by Torrey Smith as a speed vertical threat.

04/01/18, 11:08 AM CDT by Wheeler


Terrelle Pryor

Washington Redskins

Jets Searching For Weapons

Jets agreed to terms with WR Terrelle Pryor, formerly of Washington and Cleveland.

Second year in a row on a new team doesn’t really help Pryor's cause, but I like the idea of him on the field with Teddy Bridgewater at some point. I would imagine, with some creativity, the Jets could really design some innovative gadget plays.
The Jets receiving corps really looks like a bunch of question marks at this point though, no telling what the week-to-week outcome will be with these guys.
Jermaine Kearse: 65 catches, 810 yards, 5 touchdowns (2017)
Robby Anderson: 63 catches, 941 yards, 7 touchdowns (2017)
Quincy Enunwa: 58 catches, 857 yards, 4 touchdowns (2016)
Terrelle Pryor: 77 catches, 1007 yards, 4 touchdowns (2016)

04/01/18, 11:04 AM CDT by Wheeler


Carlos Henderson

Denver Broncos

Sleeper Watch

Broncos coach Vance Joseph said the team is "counting on" Carlos Henderson making an impact in 2018.

If you are paying attention to Staggs projections there is plenty of opportunity for Henderson to step into a solid number of targets in the slot. Henderson was hindered by injury and awful QB play last year. Being drafted in the 18th round or later in best-ball leagues, Henderson is the late round flyer that should be on your radar.

04/01/18, 11:00 AM CDT by Wheeler


Ben Watson

Baltimore Ravens

Watson Returns To Big Easy

Saints signed TE Ben Watson, formerly of the Ravens, to a one-year contract.

Watson had 74 catches on 110 targets for 825 yards and 6 TD’s when he was with the Saints in 2015. After missing 2016 he had a pretty good year with Baltimore last year despite an anemic offense, with 61 catches on 79 targets for 522 yards and 4 TD’s. He’s not a bad late round flyer TE. He’s basically free right now, but I expect by the time the season starts he’ll be being drafted within the top 20 at the position.

04/01/18, 10:54 AM CDT by Wheeler


Antonio Gates is a Road Warrior at Tight End, see who are the home heroes

Home Heroes & Road Warriors - Tight Ends

Posted by d-Rx on 08/29/16

by   The Archer


More Articals


Looking Deeper at Tight Ends


            Rob Gronkowski. Jordan Reed. Greg Olsen. We know who the best of the best are. But if you draft and value players like me, then you are not going to pay the price tag to get one of those three. Gronk is being drafted in the late 1st or early 2nd round while Reed and Olsen are being drafted as top 50 players off the board. While you may miss out one of the top tight ends in the league by waiting until the middle to late rounds to grab one, streaming those later round tight ends based on home/road splits may give your team the edge to bring home the gold. So let us take a deeper look into the top 24 tight ends based on ADP from Fantasy Pros as of August 25, 2016. We are going to dig into the home/road splits for them and also dig into how they performed against their divisional opponents so we can give you the Home Heroes and Road Warriors.



Road Warriors

            We all know how successful players like Drew Brees are when they put on the pads and play in front of the home crowd. It takes a special player to perform at the highest level on the road in front of a hostile crowd. Let’s look at the tight ends and see who could be a solid streaming candidate or late round pick when their teams are on the road.


Road Warriors TEs - Away Games Chart

- enlarge chart -


Jimmy Graham

            I know, I know. Jimmy Graham looked awful and only played in 11 games in 2015. The transition from super powered offense in New Orleans to the conservative, smash mouth style in Seattle did not translate to the red zone targets and being the obvious choice for quarterback Russell Wilson to target. But even with the drop in production and the season ending injury, Graham finished as the tight end 17. Graham was definitely the number one target last year in Seattle before his injury, averaging over 6 targets per game. With a median score of 9.45 points scored on the road over the last three seasons, Graham has shown the ability to play at a high level in hostile environments. Only Gronkowski has a better median score. Seattle showed the willingness to open up the playbook last year after a slew of injuries made them change their game plan. If Pete Carroll allows Wilson to keep throwing the ball like they did at the end of season and Graham can stay on the field, expect Graham to bounce back in 2016.



Dwayne Allen

It should be no surprise to anyone following football that Allen has the worst median score of the 24 tight ends being drafted. With a median score of 1.4 and a ceiling score of 12.4 points in standard leagues over the last three years, Allen hasn’t even been on the radar as a potential streaming option. Allen has been plagued by injuries as he has never played a full season in his career, and hasn’t played more than 12 games in a year for the past three seasons. The Colts showed their confidence in Allen this offseason when they decided to let Fleener walk, and that should open the door for Allen to produce. Andrew Luck targeted his tight ends 168 times in 2014 and Allen saw 50 of those. Even though Allen has not produced at the level that we all would like to see in our tight ends, this will be his year to show what he can do.


Divisional Road Dogs

When you play the other teams in your division twice a year, it is safe to say you need big time performances on the road to ensure victory. The pressure is doubled when those road games against division opponents could get your team playing for the championship or at home watching from the couch. Let us take a look at a couple of Divisional Road Dogs


Road Warriors at Tight Ends - Away Divisional Chart
- enlarge chart -



Antonio Gates

The San Diego Charger great is back for one more season. And it should be a historical one at that because Gates is 8 touchdowns away from breaking Tony Gonzalez’s all-time record for tight ends. He has proven over the years to be a favorite target for Philip Rivers, recording a median score of 7.85 points on the road and an impressive 7.4 points against his divisional foes on the road. In 2015, he only scored 1 touchdown against division foes on the road but starting the season healthy and being on the same page on the target for the end of season with his quarterback Gates looks to bounce back to top 10 tight end status. His current ADP at tight end 11 and 100 overall makes Gates a late round pick that will pay off with top 10 finish barring injuries.



Ladarius Green

Ladarius Green up to this point in his career was the back-up to Antonio Gates in San Diego. And it looks like his first extended chance to be the number one tight end for a team (Pittsburgh) could be put on hold with nagging injuries keeping him off the field for most of training camp. The conflicting reports of ankle injury or headaches raise an even bigger red flag. In his limited playing time, Green never showed his true potential finishing the last three years with a median score of 2.3 fantasy points scored. While he was brought to the Steelers to take over for Heath Miller, it doesn’t look like Green will produce much this season. Nothing more than a really late round flier or a waiver wire pickup once news of his health start clearing up.


Hometown Heroes

Players like to ball out for the home crowd. Nothing better than scoring that touchdown and listening to the thousands in the stands cheer your name. Some experience that rush more than others and it’s time to give those players their dues. When looking to stream a position like tight end, it is very important to look at how these tight ends perform when the lights of the local stadium are shining on their face.



Home Heroes at Tight End - home Games

 - enlarge chart -



Julius Thomas

Thomas came on strong in 2013 with the Denver Broncos as the top tight end option in that high powered offense. Peyton Manning has always enjoyed a pass catching tight end and Thomas filled the role amazingly giving Thomas the chance to sign a big free agent contract to join the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. While his first year with Blake Bortles didn’t quite live up to expectations that most fantasy owners had (including myself), we know Thomas performs at his best when he is at home. Since his breakout year of 2013 Thomas has a median score of 9.5 fantasy points in all home games played. Thomas also saw the second most targets in a season of his career. 4 of his 5 touchdowns last year came at home and he looks to become a red zone threat for that offense. One more training camp and work out with Bortles should create that chemistry that will allow Thomas to beat out his ADP as the 9th tight end off the board and 97 player taken overall.    


Gary Barnidge

I could have easily used this space to talk about Ladarius Green or Dwayne Allen again, but that is not the type of person I am. So let us talk about another tight end, one who came on strong last year on a bad team: Gary Barnidge. While Barnidge finished last year as the number 2 tight end in standard scoring leagues, he also saw an incredible increase in targets and touchdowns. 9 of his 12 career touchdowns came last year and the 125 targets seen last year is exactly 100 targets more than his next best season. Overall over the last 3 seasons, Barnidge has only averaged 2.9 fantasy points at home. He hasn’t shown the consistency to be a top tight end and his career numbers expect huge regression. His ADP of tight end 8 and 79th overall player will be hard for Barnidge to succeed with. Don’t be fooled by his one great season, let us see another year of production before we name him a Hometown Hero.


Honorable Mention: Coby Fleener

Coby Fleener served as the primary receiving TE for the Colts the last three years and that earned him a big payday in New Orleans. It is common knowledge that Drew Brees and that offense are always clicking on all cylinders when playing in the Super Dome. Fleener is a better replacement than Ben Watson was last year for Jimmy Graham and should be able to produce at a TE5 or better clip. Not many chances will be had to stream him but if you pay the price to draft Fleener, watch him early this season to see how he fits in with that offense.


Home Versus Divisional Opponents

 We know the drill by now. Win all the home games and steal a couple on the road, you will more than likely be seeing the playoffs. These players play big in the biggest home games: the games against their division rivals. Let’s get a couple of names to talk about that we could exploit their matchups.



Home heroes for tight ends - home divisional chart

- enlarge chart


Jason Witten

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Jason Witten has been Tony Romo’s favorite target over the time. Witten has been a staple in that Dallas offense, and with the Cowboys looking to go back to power run game, the passing attack should open back up for Witten. Witten over the last three years has compiled an average score of 11.8 fantasy points scored when playing home games against division opponents. 2015 is the perfect example of this. All three of his touchdowns last year came against division rivals Giants and Redskins while playing in the confines of AT&T Stadium. Now that the news of Romo’s back injury has been released, I expect Dak Prescott to rely heavily on Witten and a healthy Dez Bryant in the passing game. Witten has the floor you look for at a very volatile position and with a rookie quarterback or an older player looking to avoid the big hit at the helm of that offense, Witten could easily improve on his 2015 numbers that saw him end as the tight end 12. His ADP of 14th tight end of the board and the 129th overall player drafted could easily turn into the steal of the draft that gives you that consistency every single week that could give you fantasy gold. Especially when at home against the NFC East.

Eric Ebron

Calvin Johnson is no longer suiting up for the Detroit Lions. No more feeding the best wide receiver the league has seen in a long time. So what does this mean for the Lions passing game? It should mean that Ebron, Tate, and Jones are going to be asked to step up and fill those legendary shoes. And while Tate and Jones on the outside look to be a potent duo for Stafford, Ebron hasn’t shown as much. Whether it be because of health issues- having never played a full 16 game season- or concerns that his head just is not in the game Ebron has not lived up to his draft position the last couple of seasons. He scored on average a lousy 2.3 fantasy points when playing at home against divisional opponents to go with a 2.55 average in ALL home games. While the Lions are looking for him to fill the red zone role left by Johnson, he has not done much this training camp to build that rapport with Stafford, who is one of the best fantasy options at home. Being drafted as the 198th player off the board and the 19th tight end is a low risk price that could lead to some streaming capabilities if Ebron and Stafford show some chemistry.  


Now while these players listed have all been highlighted for many reasons, we can't forget to be diligent in watching new trends and new information. Ebron could step up and come off this list. Graham could not show any improvements and no longer be in favor with Russell. For all the latest news and advice, reach out through Twitter. Follow me at @LouieMac8 and make sure to always check Pyromaniac for the latest information.  



by Louie Mac



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