Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight end options to start in Week 15

2TAXY0R Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson (87) runs after a reception during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Trust Jake Ferguson: The Dallas Cowboys’ tight end is someone we trust heading into the fantasy football playoffs.

David Njoku is an easy choice: Njoku was the TE2 in Week 14 and is benefitting from Joe Flacco’s presence.

Dominate your fantasy leagues in 2023: For up-to-date draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to let the chaos ensue. The fantasy football playoffs have arrived so for the next three weeks, it’ll be sheer pandemonium across fantasy football leagues as teams compete for championships. Leagues are won and lost on the decisions made in the next few weeks.

Our Week 14 picks impressed, with Isaiah Likely, Jake Ferguson, and Tanner Hudson combining for a healthy 13.8 fantasy points per contest. That’s a real relief after Week 13’s dud. So, let’s keep the good times rolling as we head into the playoffs.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

Opponent: Chicago Bears

After a slow start to the season, David Njoku is in a very healthy place within the Cleveland Browns’ offense. He’s currently the TE7 and has a top-10 scoring week in five of the last seven weeks, including a season-high 27.10 fantasy points against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14.

Since Week 7, Njoku has led all tight ends with 68 targets and four touchdown catches. He’s only caught 58.8% of his targets during that time and struggled with seven drops, but Njoku's volume despite that is too hard to ignore. He’s become a favorite target for Joe Flacco since he stepped into the lineup, and that looks to continue this week against the Chicago Bears. He’s also a menace with the ball in his hands, averaging 8.2 yards after the catch per reception in 2023 — the second-most among all tight ends.

Njoku and the Browns have a tough matchup against a resurgent Bears defense that’s allowing just 16.7 points per game in their last four games but also the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. For his benefit, Njoku has a favorable 15% matchup advantage to boot. Bank on more volume coming his way.

Davis Allen, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Washington Commanders

Out of all four of our picks for the week, this is the one that shouldn’t be treated as a lock. After all, Allen has just five catches on the season, four of which came last week in the overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens. However, Allen looked impressive as he scored 15 fantasy points, catching four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. There’s a chance that Tyler Higbee returns this week, and if he does you can flip this pick to him instead of Allen, but let’s go with Allen until otherwise needed.

The Rams' offense has been rolling over the last three weeks, they’re averaging 34.6 points per game and 422 yards of total offense and at 6-7, there’s still a strong chance they can sneak into the playoffs via the NFC wild card. Despite losing to the Ravens in Week 14, the offense is getting hot at the right time. Matthew Stafford has looked excellent all season and Sean McVay has been in his bag.

Regardless of it being Allen or Higbee, you should consider punching in one of the Rams' tight ends. They’re up against the Washington Commanders, owners of the worst defense in the NFL, and Allen has a favorable 10% matchup advantage this week. The Commanders have been steady versus tight ends, but this freefalling defense allows over 30 points per game. Everything is on the table for Allen.

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

We needed a solid performance from Isaiah Likely to know that he could be a contributor to the Ravens offense sans Mark Andrews. His Week 12 performance against the Los Angeles Chargers pre-bye week was a nice teaser, but Likely responded with 19.30 fantasy points in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, catching five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Likely finished as the TE3 for the week and looked like he belonged in the Ravens offense, taking a pass 54 yards to the house for a touchdown — his first of the season. From here on out, Likely is a risky, but high-reward starter at the tight end position. The Ravens offense has the potential to hang points on any opponent, and Likely’s yards-after-the-catch abilities make him a nice boom player. He currently leads all tight ends in yards after the catch per reception at 7.1 yards, though his 18 catches barely make the qualifier.

Looking ahead, Likely has a promising matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, despite the 28% matchup disadvantage against the defense. The Jaguars are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends and the defense has allowed 65 points in the last two games. Can Likely repeat the success that Njoku had a week earlier?

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Jake Ferguson is our trusty four-seam fastball, just load him up whenever you need him and he’ll do the job. It would maybe boring to see his name appear every week, but Ferguson is the current TE8 in PPR scoring and has averaged 15.9 fantasy points over the last two weeks. Extrapolate that back to Week 8 and Ferguson is averaging 13.1 fantasy points per game.

As the Cowboys offense has hit its stride, Ferguson has remained a feature of the offense. Prescott will always look to target him on those seam routes, but Ferguson continues to flash his yards after the catch ability too, averaging 5.9 yards after the catch per reception – seventh-most in the NFL. Having a consistent contributor at tight end on an elite offense is a recipe for success, and that’s why it’s hard to look away from Ferguson.

He’ll have another tough matchup this week against the Buffalo Bills — a team striving to make the playoffs — but Ferguson has a strong 17% matchup advantage this week. He’s had seven games with at least seven targets this season and has 16 in his last two games. That sort of production could yield big rewards.


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