A difference-making tight end is one of the most valuable assets you can have in Fantasy Football, precisely because they tend to be so hard to find. Guys who you can count on to play a legitimate role in their offense every week are incredibly rare, and the ones who do exist tend to be drafted in the first four rounds on Draft Day.
Finding one on the waiver wire? Well, that's incredibly rare, and incredibly valuable. Sam LaPorta and Dalton Kincaid are both examples of tight ends who went from the waiver wire to your lineup every week, and I think Trey McBride is going to join them after Sunday's game.
McBride, playing with Kyler Murray for the first time since last season, was the top target in the passing game Sunday, catching eight of nine passes (28% target share) for 131 yards. It was the first 100-yard game of McBride's career, though also his second with at least 95 in the past two games.
Which is to say, this isn't just a one-week wonder situation. McBride had 10 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown in Week 8. He followed that up with just three catches for 22 yards in Week 9, but there's some important context there, as the Cardinals started rookie Clayton Tune at quarterback and had 17 net passing yards – McBride actually had a 25% target share and 38% of the team's passing yards in that game.
McBride is clearly a big part of this offense, and while Zach Ertz's return from a quad injury could spoil that – he's eligible in Week 12 – I have a hard time seeing that actually happening. Ertz was earning targets at a high rate before his injury, but was averaging just 4.3 yards per target; McBride is nearly doubling that at 8.2 Y/T. He's just a much more dynamic playmaker, and the Cardinals don't have enough of those to take that step backward.
It's not a guarantee, but I have a hard time seeing the Cardinals going back to Ertz when McBride has looked so good recently. Given his role in what is an ascending offense with Murray, McBride looks like a sure-fire top-10 TE the rest of the way, and potentially a top-six option.
If you've got him, you shouldn't have to worry about the TE position the rest of the way. That's huge.
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Here's who else we'll be looking to add ahead of Week 11:
Joshua Dobbs QB
MIN Minnesota • #15
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
It wasn't quite as dramatic as last week, but Dobbs put together yet another tremendous Fantasy showing Sunday, making plays with both his arm and his legs en route to a 27.1-point showing against a good Saints defense. The Vikings were also still quite pass-heavy, dropping back to throw on 41 of 68 offensive snaps despite going out to a 21-3 lead in the first half, a good sign that Kevin O'Connell trusts Dobbs enough to keep his foot on the gas pedal. Dobbs has been terrific in two games with the Vikings and now could have Justin Jefferson back from IR in Week 11 with a legitimate chance to make a run for the playoffs. It's one of the unlikeliest stories in the league this season, but Dobbs has just been irrepressible so far, and he looks like a legitimate starting Fantasy option in this offense.
HOU Houston • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
The Texans haven't been able to run the ball at all this season, as Dameon Pierce has taken a big step backward after a promising rookie season, but Singletary provided a big spark Sunday. He rushed for 150 yards on 30 carries against a tough Bengals front, nearly 70 more yards than any player had on the ground for the Texans in a game prior to Sunday. Singletary was already forcing his way into a committee before Pierce's ankle injury, and he might have done enough to just be the lead back here moving forward. I don't want to say Singletary would be a must-start Fantasy option moving forward even if that were true, of course, because let's not forget he had just 28 yards a week ago with Pierce out. But, at the very least, Singletary will have to be in the RB2 discussion for Week 11 against a soft Cardinals defense if Pierce is out.
Ty Chandler RB
MIN Minnesota • #32
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Before Cam Akers' season-ending injury last week, it looked like Alexander Mattison's hold on the No. 1 RB role for the Vikings was at risk, and he was back in a timeshare Sunday even with Akers out for the season. Chandler didn't just force Mattison to the bench, or anything, but he did immediately step into a timeshare, though Mattison was the clear lead back before leaving with a possible concussion. Mattison had played 30 snaps to that point to 17 for Chandler, though Chandler did match Mattison in carries with eight to that point. Mattison was more involved in the passing game, running 18 routes to Chandler's 13, but Chandler ended up leading the team in carries and yards, and scored on a direct snap in the second quarter, before Mattison's injury. Mattison had just one catch for 6 yards, while rushing for 27 yards on his eight carries. This doesn't mean Chandler is just the lead runner for the Vikings moving forward, but I do think he'll have a big role to play in this offense, and could find himself in a lead role next week against a vulnerable Broncos defense if Mattison isn't cleared.
NE New England • #81
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
We haven't seen a big breakout game from Douglas yet, but it's pretty clear at this point that he's the Patriots top target in the passing game. His nine targets led the team Sunday, and he was the only player with more than five Sunday in a game where the Patriots threw it just 27 times. It's a dreadful offensive environment right now in New England, which makes Douglas production even more impressive. I don't necessarily think there is start potential here with Douglas, but he's the lead receiver on a team that's going to have some trail scripts here moving forward, which should mean solid production, with more games like Week 10's to come.
DAL Dallas • #3
Age: 30 • Experience: 10 yrs.
It took a while, but the Cowboys finally figured out how to use Brandin Cooks in Week 9. Cooks, who entered Sunday's game with just 165 yards in the first seven games, torched the Giants for 173 yards on nine catches. Of course, it was the Giants, in a game where the Cowboys probably could have done whatever they wanted. The fact is, though, that they wanted to get Cooks going, as he was targeted on seven of Dak Prescott's 24 first-half passes, going over the century mark with a score before halftime. Whether this will prove sustainable remains to be seen, and my guess is this will end up being by far the best game of Cooks' season. But if he can even come close to it, he'll be a very useful Fantasy option.
Noah Brown WR
HOU Houston • #85
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Brown is on some kind of run right now. In 49 games over five-plus seasons entering Week 9 of this season, Brown had just six total catches of 25 or more yards. Just Sunday against the Bengals, he had four such catches, after having two last week, meaning he matched his total for the first 49 games of his career just in the past two games. C.J. Stroud is playing at a remarkably high level, not just for a rookie, and the Texans are creating a ton of big plays, with Brown the surprising beneficiary of a significant share of them. Can we expect Brown, who ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the combine coming into the NFL, to sustain this? Skepticism is warranted, but it doesn't make sense to just ignore his production the past two weeks.