Week four was a great example of tight end variance. The top dog, Rob Gronkowski, did not come close to creating value in the Patriots’ domination of the Dolphins. Low salary players like Jared Cook and Eric Ebron delivered despite busting the previous week. Thus, it’s important we can identify potential landmines and gradually find our final player pool. Let’s examine which tight ends to avoid in week five.
Kyle Rudolph: $6,100
PHI Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 272 Individual Matchup: Malcolm Jenkins
It seems like Kyle Rudolph is a staple on this article series. I promise you, I do not have a personal bias against the player. The situation just does not bode well for Notre Dame alumni this weekend. Not only will he have to play a more pronounced role in protection against the Eagles’ ferocious defensive line, but he will also have one of the worst one-on-one matchups among tight ends against Malcolm Jenkins. The Vikings’ offensive line, aside from Dalvin Cook’s inconsistent health, has been their biggest problem offensively.
The Eagles are in a three-way tie at 9th among team sack leaders with 11. The Vikings have surrendered the 10th most sacks through four games with 13. When you combine that information with their inability to establish the run, this game will likely lead to a high volume, low-efficiency game from Kirk Cousins. Against the Rams last Thursday, Cousins was above a 70% completion rate and still only targeted Rudolph six times. While five catches for 57 yards is fine normally, his $6,100 price this week does not create value than that stat line. Rudolph’s matchup, price and having to compete with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs for opportunity makes him an easy fade in week five.
David Njoku: $5,200
BAL Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 193 Individual Matchup: Tony Jefferson
David Njoku crushed my small tournament hopes and dreams last weekend. However, I don’t hold grudges against players who disappoint. Njoku is in a terrible situation this week. According to Pro Football Focus, Njoku has the second worst matchup of the week versus Tony Jefferson. This passing defense as a whole has been incredibly stingy, as they don’t even allow, on average, 200 passing yards per game.
The only thing that scares me about noting Njoku as a tight end to avoid in week five is his crazy athletic ability. One catch up the seam for Njoku would allow Njoku to make value this Sunday given his price. Essentially, the risk is too much for me to stomach this weekend with players like Jared Cook at $5,900 and budget plays like Vance McDonald at $4,600.
Ian Thomas: $4,000
NYG Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 229 Individual Matchup: Landon Collins
If you’re punting the tight end position this week, there are plenty of cheap options outside of Ian Thomas. Players like Vance McDonald, Tyler Kroft, and Hayden Hurst are all in better spots and still provide you with enough salary relief to fit in your studs. It seems like the plan near the goal line is either pounding Cam Newton, or targeting the big-bodied Devin Funchess. Don’t waste your time with Ian Thomas, especially in cash games this weekend. The Giants are top 10 in passing yards allowed and Landon Collins is not a good matchup for this young tight end.
Featured Image Courtesy of Vikings Territory
“From Our Haus to Yours”