Week 4 was another brutal week for starting tight ends. While Mark Andrews broke out for 80 yards and two scores, production was few and far between for the other heavy hitters at the position. In Week 5, bye weeks and injuries will further muddy the already-cloudy tight end waters. If you’re in need of a bye week (or injury) replacement, look no further than my Week 5 tight end rankings and notes.
As mentioned above, bye weeks start this week. That means David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Donald Parham Jr., Noah Fant, and Cade Otton will all be on the shelf in Week 5. On the injury front, Pat Freiermuth is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Pittsburgh is on a bye in Week 6, so Week 7 will be the earliest he will return. Juwan Johnson is dealing with a calf injury that sidelined him last week. His Week 5 status is unclear as of this writing, so keep an eye on injury reports as the week progresses. Luke Musgrave suffered a concussion in the Thursday night game and is in concussion protocol. He practiced on Tuesday but still needs to be cleared to suit up this week.
Tight End Notes
Bye Weeks: CLE, LAC, SEA, TB
- Jake Ferguson is coming off his best game of the season. He hauled in all seven of his targets for 77 yards, with both totals leading the Cowboys in Week 4. Ferguson now has seven targets in three of four games this season. Additionally, he’s being targeted on 27% of his routes run, which is second only to Travis Kelce’s 31% among tight ends who have run at least 80 routes. In Week 5, Ferguson faces a 49ers unit that is one of the better defenses against the position. However, his high target share provides a solid floor that should guarantee a top-12 finish.
- Zach Ertz was back up to double-digit targets in Week 4, catching six of 10 for 53 yards. He’s yet to score a touchdown this season, but Ertz’s target volume is tough to ignore. His 30 targets on the season are the second-most on the Cardinals, and his 24.8% target share leads all tight ends. Up next is a favorable Week 5 matchup against the Bengals. Cincinnati has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. They’ve also allowed three touchdowns to the position through four weeks, tied for second-most. Ertz should continue to get looks this week and may even find the end zone. He’s a back-end TE1 for me in Week 5.
- Tyler Conklin could be a sneaky play this week. He’s averaging just under six targets and 45 receiving yards per game over the last three weeks and is Zach Wilson’s second-favorite target this season. In Week 5, Conklin faces a beatable Denver defense that leads the league in points allowed (150). They also just coughed up two touchdowns and 85 yards to Cole Kmet. The Jets are averaging only 15.5 points per game, tied for fourth-fewest. But that could change this week, and Conklin could benefit. Conklin is a top-tier TE2 with TE1 upside for me in Week 5.
- Cole Kmet is coming off one of the better tight end performances of the season. He finished as the week’s TE1, grabbing seven of nine targets for 85 yards and two scores against Denver. While seeing some signs of life in Chicago’s offense was nice, Kmet is a fade for me in Week 5. He gets a much tougher matchup against a Washington defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends (2.1). They’ve also given up the third-fewest receiving yards (83) to the position — a stat I’m not wild about, considering Kmet averaged 34.7 receiving yards per game in the first three weeks. He’s a low-tier TE2 for me in Week 5.
Week 5 Tight End Rankings
Note: Ranks based on half-PPR scoring
Got beef with Lauren’s Week 5 Tight End Rankings? Let her hear it in the comments below. Then check out the rest of our Week 5 Advice and Analysis!