It was a tough week in tight end-ville. Only eight tight ends hit double-digits in half PPR scoring, TJ Hockenson’s backup Josh Oliver finished TE3, and something called Stone Smartt crawled out of the gutter to a TE5 week with one reception for 51 yards and a touchdown.
It was downright pathetic and disgusting.
To make matters worse, our tight end sleeper picks were abysmal outside of Donald Parham Jr’s four receptions for 57 yards. Pat Freiermuth was nonexistent, while we put our trust in Zach Wilson to make Tyler Conklin relevant– tough times, indeed.
Let’s put Week 11 in the rearview and look ahead to our top fantasy football Week 12 TE streamers and sleepers.
ISAIAH LIKELY, BALTIMORE RAVENS (50% ROSTERED)
The last time I was shocked about a tight end’s 50%~ ownership was Trey McBride a few weeks ago. While I like Likely as a talent, I don’t think he has McBride’s monster upside. However, with the tight end market being as barren as it is, Likely should be rostered for those who cannot figure out the position on a weekly basis (80% of us).
In three games last year when Mark Andrews was hurt or out of the lineup, Likely had 19.7, 9.4, and 18.3 PPR points, proving he is more of a receiving tight end than a second-string run blocker. He also finished with three touchdowns on the season, one coming when Andrews was injured and the other two coming in games both played in.
Not only is Likely a solid play this week against the Chargers (second-worst vs tight ends), but he also gets the Rams (eighth), Jags (16th), and Dolphins (10th) to finish up the season.
Again, I’m not saying he’s going to be a league-winner like McBride or Dalton Kincaid, but Likely could be a consistent option with high touchdown upside in this surging Ravens’ passing game.
PAT FREIERMUTH, PITTSBURGH STEELERS (47%)
Pat Freiermuth is the epitome of the tight end position. We know he’s talented, but he’s underutilized and has done absolutely nothing this season. Through five games (was on IR since Week 4), Freiermuth has nine receptions for 60 yards and two scores. No, that’s not just one really good game. That’s his total production this season.
But still, he’s still ranked up there, even on our own Wolf’s Week 12 Rankings at TE14. Is The Wolf high on Freiermuth because Matt Canada is finally gone, and Mike Sullivan, the quarterback coach, will be the team’s playcaller? It could be.
Freiermuth still has immense upside due to his skill set alone, making him intriguing at 47% rostered. He’s only a year removed from a 63-reception season with 732 yards and two scores. He has a solid matchup this week and moving forward, but he’s more of a stash for me right now.
JONNU SMITH, ATLANTA FALCONS (29%)
Jonnu Smith has been the best tight end on the Falcons’ roster at times this season, highlighted by four TE1 weeks and two top-five fantasy tight end weeks.
Enter New Orleans, where both Smith and Kyle Pitts could put up points. The Saints have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points per game and the second-most receiving touchdowns (6) to tight ends. Recently, the Saints allowed an 11-134-1 game to TJ Hockenson, a 6-55-2 game to Cole Kmet, and 5-54 to Evan Engram. The Vikings even went as far as to target their two tight ends 17 times.
Is Smith a dice roll because he’s technically the TE2? Yes. But, he has a real chance to do some damage on some designed screens and in the short game after the catch.