by Ray Kuhn
As we look at the battle, if you can call it that, between the Rams and Jets this week, there are two conclusions to be drawn. Neither team is a playoff contender, but New York is strong defensively and Los Angeles’ offense can be described as sputtering at best. With those assumptions, it draws clear conclusions about how to attack the game from fantasy perspective.
However, you should know by now never to take anything at face value, and a deeper look is often required.
Lance Kendricks generally isn’t a relevant fantasy option. With the tight end revolution we have seen over the past few seasons, Kendricks doesn’t fit in the athletic, game breaker mold that has been taking over the NFL. Seen more of a blocking, plodding tight end, Kendricks doesn’t draw much attention in fantasy circles as something more than a streaming or bye week option.
But over the past few weeks, Kendricks has emerged as an option deserving of legitimate fantasy consideration.
For the season, Kendricks comes in as the 18th ranked tight end from a fantasy perspective, but he is a rising commodity. And this week, he faces the Jets and their 23rd ranked defense against opposing tight ends.
A quick glance at the Rams’ tight end isn’t going to cause you to rush out to your waiver wire, he is owned in 21% of ESPN leagues, but you might be missing out.
Kendricks stat line for the season isn’t impressive, 32 receptions for 332 yards and a touchdown, but he has emerged as a large part of Los Angeles’ passing offense. While Case Keenam has been struggling under center, as sentiment swirls for rookie Jared Goff to replace him, he has also developed a chemistry with his tight end. Over the past three weeks, Kendricks has caught 19 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown which is the majority of his production for the season. It is worth noting, that in that span Kendricks was targeted 29 times, and I would expect to see that continue this week.
The Jets are allowing 272 passing yards per game, and that production is going to have to come from somewhere this week. Kendricks is an economical way to grab a piece of that production in a game that likely will be overlooked.