When we talk about tight ends, upside doesn’t often come to mind. A large part of their value is dependent upon reaching the end zone but they don’t have upside in the way a wide receiver has. Seeing a tight end go for 100-plus yards just isn’t something that will happen often unless you are dealing in the truly elite territory. Fifty yards and a touchdown is a perfectly reasonable expectation from your tight end, and that means your budget should be allocated accordingly. Just make sure you are paying for the production you are getting though.
This doesn’t mean you should never look towards the higher end options if the situation dictates or the salary cap allows, but tread carefully here. There is a fine line to walk between risk and reward as you can’t afford taking a zero from a lineup spot. At the same time, you don’t want to spend any more than necessary at the risk of other positions.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. While T.J. Hockenson ($5,100 DK, $6,200 FD) was a late addition to the injury report with a toe injury it doesn’t appear to be anything we should concern ourselves with. Watching the Sunday morning inactive list is always a prudent move regardless of that fact though. With Kenny Golladay sidelined for another week that means Hockenson will retain his target share. Last week he was targeted eight times which gave him 49 on the season for 34 receptions and 360 yards. What really catches our eye though is Hockenson’s five touchdown receptions on the season; four of which have come in his last five games.
Subscribers can now expect to get six more picks as we take a closer look at some more tight ends at varying price points who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. And not all will break the back either which will leave plenty of room for help at other positions. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer.
There has never been any questioning Evan Engram’s ($4,500 DK, $5,600 FD) talent as a receiver but correlating it directly to on field performance has been a different story. Despite some key drops over the past few weeks the Giants have continued to get Engram involved in the offense with 29 targets in his last three games. That has translated into 16 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown for Engram. Philadelphia has allowed the most points to opposing tight ends so far this season and things are setting up nicely for Engram to continue his success.
Zach Ertz will be sidelined for this week which means there are targets to be had at the tight end position for Philadelphia. Earlier in the season, and by that I mean the first two weeks prior his injury, Dallas Goedert ($4,200 DK, $5,800 FD) outpaced Ertz when both were on the field with 12 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. Prior to Philadelphia’s bye week Goedert returned to catch his only target for 15 yards against the Cowboys but I would expect to see his role increase this week. And at his price the cost of finding out isn’t exactly substantial either.
It’s not a secret how dire the situation is in San Francisco when it comes to skill position players and George Kittle being sidelined is the biggest detriment to their success. Earlier in the season when Kittle was sidelined we did see Jordan Reed ($3,500 DK, $5,000 FD) have success with eight receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. Last week the 49ers eased Reed back in his return from Injured Reserve as he was on the field for just 13 snaps catching one pass for three yards. Reed is the most talented option San Francisco has at the position and as long as he is healthy, the track record is there as well. There is no harm in looking towards the veteran as long as he is healthy.
Tyler Higbee ($3,700 DK, $5,200 FD) entered the year as one of the better tight end options but that quickly went sideways hence his price. After catching three touchdown passes in Week 2, Higbee has been kept out of the end zone which helps to explain the $2,200 drop in salary on Draft Kings. Over the past few weeks though Higbee has been dealing with a hand injury and after the Rams’ bye all indications are that the hand is healed and he is healthy. The Seahawks defense has struggled to defend the passing game this season so expecting a bounce back effort from Higbee is a viable possibility.
If you were to rank the available tight end options for this week without salary, then Darren Waller ($5,900 DK, $7,000 FD) would be at the top of the list. Waller is also at the top of the list when it comes to salary but I’m not sure his performance warrants the additional investment. The Raiders do their part in involving Waller in their offense with 71 targets leading to 50 receptions but the rest of his production hasn’t exactly been there. Big plays have escaped Waller as he has just 394 yards and two touchdowns and that is where the concern takes over.
The name recognition is there but don’t be blinded by it when it comes to Rob Gronkowski ($4,700 DK, $6,100 FD). Last week things didn’t go well at all for the Tampa Bay offense and Gronkowski was no different as he only caught one of his six targets. Gronkowski was starting to find some momentum as in the three weeks prior he had 14 receptions for 181 yards along with a touchdown in each game. The concern though is that Tampa Bay does have a plethora of other receiving options and things are even more crowded now with the addition of Antonio Brown. Aside from those three weeks Gronkowski has struggled otherwise giving him just 27 receptions for 323 yards on the season.
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