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NFL Football DFS Advice

DFS NFL Tight End Picks for Week 13

Darren Waller TE DFS
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Oakland Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr (4) completes a pass to Tight End Darren Waller (83) during a regular season game between the Denver Broncos and the visiting Oakland Raiders on December 29, 2019 at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, CO. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)

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. I know you don’t come here for the obvious but sometimes it just has to be said for clarities sake. Darren Waller ($6,100 DK, $7,000 FD) is the clear top option at the tight end position this week. It is readily apparent how bad the Jets are and Waller happens to be the Raiders number one target. That hasn’t translated to success each week as Waller is coming off a four-reception performance against Atlanta in which he gained just 27 yards. Waller does have 64 catches for 542 yards and five touchdowns so far this season but the Las Vegas passing offense has left something to be desired at times this year. Last week Miami’s tight ends reached the end zone twice against the Jets and there is no reason why Waller can’t have his best game of the season this week against New York.  

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Call me boring and predictable but that is what the tight end position does to me as we go back to T.J. Hockenson ($5,000 DK, $6,100 FD). It appears that Kenny Golladay will be sidelined once again this week but even regardless of that, Hockenson has consistently has been a top option for Detroit. Last week Hockenson caught five passes for 89 yards in what was his best performance of the season. Hockenson has been targeted 27 times over his last four games although he has gone three weeks without a touchdown pass. With five touchdowns so far this season Hockenson does have red zone ability but the fact that he has been targeted 68 times this year does speak to his role in the offense. 

Robert Tonyan ($3,700 DK, $5,900 FD) emerged on the scene out of nowhere with a three-touchdown game against Atlanta but then his value stabilized. Now that Tonyan is healthy again he is back on the DFS radar. We no longer have to be concerned with Tonyan’s ankle and he is coming off his second straight game of five receptions each for a combined 111 yards. More importantly he has a touchdown in each of those games which brings Tonyan’s total for the season up to seven. Philadelphia’s defense has been favorable to opposing tight ends from a DFS perspective so far this season and Tonyan is next in line to take advantage of it as he looks to continue his success.

The Colts have a crowded tight end depth chart but with touchdowns in back to back weeks Trey Burton ($3,500 DK, $5,500 FD) has emerged as an interesting option. While he has caught just 23 passes for 213 yards so far this season eight of those receptions and 91 yards have come in his last three games. I know this isn’t much but that is what we are working with as Burton has carved out a role in the Indianapolis offense.  

For starters let’s assume that Ryan Fitzpatrick is under center for the Dolphins week. That means Miami’s offense will likely focus more on the downfield passing attack and that is a good sign for Mike Gesicki ($4,200 DK, $5,700 FD). Overall he has been underwhelming so far this season with 30 receptions for 449 yards and three touchdowns but one of those touchdowns came last week. Gesicki is working on three straight weeks of five targets each in which he has eight receptions for 108 yards. This week he gets to face a Cincinnati team that has allowed the most points to opposing tight ends so far this season so perhaps we see Gesicki’s best performance to this point?

At this point Zach Ertz ($3,900 DK, $5,700 FD) has nothing more than name recognition. The tight end is slated to return to action for the first time since Week 6 and he will be doing so against a Green Bay team that has had success against the position so far this season. Even when Ertz was healthy it is not like he had been having success with 24 receptions for 178 yards and one touchdown through six games. The Philadelphia offense also leaves a lot to be desired these days, and with Dallas Goedert also hanging around it is a situation best avoided. 

Just because the Falcons have had some struggles in defending the tight end position so far this season it doesn’t mean we should be targeting Jared Cook ($3,700 DK, $5,500 FD). The New Orleans offense isn’t as explosive as we have become accustomed to and that has trickled down to Cook. On the season he has just 22 receptions for 284 yards and the consistency isn’t there to rely on him to expand on his four touchdown catches. Over his last three games Cook has been targeted five times but that has led to just one reception for six yards. That clearly is not a recipe for DFS success regardless of the format. 

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