The Arizona Cardinals defense is simply too generous to opposing tight ends.
If you’re a fan of fantasy football, you know that nothing is a sure thing. And that can be incredibly frustrating, as well as infinitely joyful. A strange phenomenon has been happening in the NFL this season. There is something that can be calculated, that can be measured and can be predicted. There is something that you can hang your hat on, something that you can have confidence in. This phenomenon is the Arizona Cardinals defense against tight ends.
Death, taxes and the Cardinals defense getting crushed by a tight end.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) December 1, 2019
This is a trend that people have noticed throughout the season, so I’m not necessarily giving you something new. However, the more weeks that go by, the more I’m flabbergasted by the results. It came to a head during Week 13. The morning of the Sunday slate of games, I was sitting in my living room debating whether or not to play Tyler Higbee. He hadn’t done much all year but Gerald Everett was out and he was facing the Cardinals. I chickened out and started Benny Snell Jr. Higbee had more points than Snell by the end of the 1st quarter and ended with many more points than Snell. I’m still recovering, emotionally.
Week 13 TE Fantasy Football Leaders 🏆
1. Tyler Higbee 23.7
2. Jack Doyle 19.3
3. Mike Gesicki 18,9
4. Jason Witten 18.2
5. Darren Waller 17.0
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 2, 2019
The Cold Hard Facts
That pain has led me on a quest to examine just how bad this Arizona Cardinals defense has been against TEs, which we will dig into now. Additionally, I want to look to the future and see who the Cardinals are playing the next few weeks. Possessing one, or more, of the TEs the Cardinals play in the next few weeks could help you win a ring this year.
The Cardinals have allowed at least one touchdown to a TE in 10 of their 12 games this season, 13 total touchdowns to TEs through 12 weeks. However, in their game against the Saints, Taysom Hill caught a touchdown pass as a TE. So it’s more like there was only one game in which they didn’t allow a touchdown to a TE. On average, a TE against the Cardinals is putting up a line of 5 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Whether you’re playing PPR or Standard, that is a solid line for a TE. Especially if that’s the floor for a TE, which means this is likely the worst he’ll do.
The Cardinals have given up 13 Touchdowns to Tight Ends this year, the same amount that the Patriots defense have given up all year to ALL positions pic.twitter.com/UgrNmAxKSp
— Mac (@azsportsfien) December 2, 2019
It’s staggering how much of a guarantee this has been during the 2019 season. If you believe in the stats, maybe you’ll ride this wave through your fantasy playoffs. Let’s take a look at who the birds will face the next three weeks.
Week 14 – Vance McDonald
Week 15 – David Njoku
Week 16 – Jacob Hollister
These names aren’t something you’d be excited about for most of this season, but neither are Tyler Higbee, Rhett Ellison or Ross Dwelley but those guys did fine against the Cardinals. Now these guys may be taken already, but keep an eye out for them this week and beyond. If one, or more, of them are available and you need some upside at TE, take a shot. If you’re in a deeper league, I’d suggest checking out these team’s second TEs as well. Nick Vannett, Demetrius Harris, or Ed Dickson (maybe).
A sure thing is just about an impossibility in fantasy football. If you have a sure thing, it’s a huge advantage. According to the numbers, you have a sure thing here. This sure thing could give you the upper hand in your upcoming playoffs.