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Best available tight ends on the Week 18 waiver wire

Looking for help at tight end ahead of Week 18? We take a look at five players widely available in Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy football playoffs are over for most, but some leagues are gearing up for championship week.

Here are some tight ends you can look to on the waiver wire as many star players across the league rest and get ready for the playoffs.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2%)

Next upCarolina Panthers

The Bucs have seen a few injuries and well... other things happen to deplete their corps of pass-catchers. But because of those holes on the field, Brate has returned and become a steady part of the rotation for QB Tom Brady.

He’s caught a touchdown in each of the last two weeks, including a matchup against Carolina. With Antonio Brown no longer a member of the team, expect Brate’s target share to increase a bit, but his real damage will be done once Tampa gets into the red zone.

Evan Engram, New York Giants (30%)

Next upWashington Football Team

You honestly have to feel a bit for Engram. If he had a halfway decent quarterback throwing him the ball, he could be a top-tier fantasy tight end.

Still, even with the revolving door under center, he’s had a OK season for fantasy managers. With the exception of a game here or there, he hauls in pretty much everything that’s thrown toward him. This week could be a breakout game to end the season on a high note, taking on a WFT defensive unit that’s one of the worst in the NFL against the pass.

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (1.1%)

Next upNew Orleans Saints

Hurst has clearly taken up the task of being the Falcons TE2 thanks to stellar rookie Kyle Pitts holding firm atop the depth chart. Still, Hurst has been solid when called upon, catching all but five passes thrown his way this season. He also has three touchdowns on 25 catches and close to 200 yards.

Pitts suffered an injury right before halftime in the loss to Buffalo and only played briefly in the third quarter before exiting the game. If Pitts isn’t 100%, it’s probably not worth it to risk their franchise player in a meaningless game. Hurst is healthy and ready to take on a bigger role.

John Bates, Washington Football Team (0.1%)

Next up —New York Giants

At the start of the season, you probably wouldn’t have wanted Bates anywhere near your fantasy lineup. But due to a bunch of injuries to the tight ends above him on the depth chart, Bates has been forced to step up. He’s done a solid job too, going for 45 yards and a score against Dallas two weeks ago and following it up with a 35-yard performance last week.

For the season finale, Bates and company will take on the Giants who struggle to do anything right. They’re giving up an average of 30 points per game over their last four weeks and rank near the bottom half of the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (17.8%)

Next upCleveland Browns

This one is honestly just a matchup play. Uzomah has struggled recently and hasn’t scored a touchdown since October 24. But he’s a good player overall and the Bengals pass offense has been flying off the charts recently.

Uzomah also has at least one TD against the Browns in each of the last three seasons. He doesn’t have one yet in 2021, so I’m sure he’ll be eager to keep that streak alive.