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’m not looking to make excuses but this week is hard. Overall our choices at the tight end position aren’t exactly appealing as a group but we still found five options to take a closer look at. A common theme through our looks at the running back and wide receiver position was the general cost savings available so why not start at the top here. It may seem to be taking the easy way out by going with George Kittle ($6,600 DK, $7,100 FD) but his price really isn’t that inflated. After missing the last two weeks, Kittle returned last week and it was like he never left as he caught all 15 of his targets for 183 yards and a touchdown. This week he likely gets Jimmy Garoppolo back and the tight end will continue to be the focal point of San Francisco’s offense.
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.
Eric Ebron ($4,000 DK, $5,100 FD) and the Steelers return from their unexpected bye week to face an Eagles team that has struggled to defend opposing tight ends so far this season. When we last saw Ebron he was targeted seven times which he turned into five receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. After starting the season off slowly with just one catch for 18 yards, Ebron has nine receptions for 113 yards through his first three games of the season. I know this isn’t exactly production that will generate much excitement but his last game was a nice building block and this is an Eagles team that allowed Kittle to gain 183 yards last week.
I warned you that this week the options were a little thin but that doesn’t mean we get to skip the position. The good news is that Tyler Eifert ($3,400 DK, $4,500 FD) won’t require much in the way of a financial investment. Houston struggles against the tight end position so that does work in Eifert’s favor this week, but he isn’t going to win any fans with last week’s production. While Eifert was targeted six times on Sunday he turned that into just two receptions for 22 yards. It was the second game of the season in which Eifert was targeted six times but he has yet to turn that into production. Through his first four games Eifert has just eight receptions for 77 yards but it only takes one game to turn that around. There is some risk involved here but the match-up is right and it’s hard to argue with the price and the six targets.
When we are trying to draw water out of stone at the tight end position the starting point usually is the number of targets we can expect. If we are looking to Evan Engram ($4,600 DK, $5,500 FD) for production in the first four weeks of the season we aren’t going to find it as he has just 17 receptions for 131 yards. Engram is still looking for his first touchdown of the season and despite the fact that he was targeted 10 times last week, he caught six passes for 35 yards. It goes without saying that we like Engram’s 30 targets but it’s hard to reconcile it to his performance thus far. This week Engram and the Giants face a Dallas team that has struggled on defense in what should likely be a high scoring affair as he looks to turn those targets into production while also catching his first touchdown of the season.
Let’s go even lower on the salary cap list and now take a flier on Chris Herndon ($3,200 DK, $4,800 FD). The Jets can’t be any worse this week, can they be? With Joe Flacco under center this week, New York does have a competent quarterback so perhaps they shouldn’t be and Herndon would likely benefit. On the season we have yet to see what Herndon can truly do as he has just 11 receptions for 74 yards but the potential is very easily there for more. And Flacco just might lead him in that direction.
At this point we can boil down Tyler Higbee’s ($5,600 DK, $6,000 FD) season to just one game. In that game Higbee caught five passes for 54 yards and three touchdowns compared to just eight receptions for 100 yards and no touchdowns in his other three games. Last week in a match-up against weak Giants defense Higbee managed just three catches for 20 yards. Things should improve on Sunday for Higbee against a Washington team that does struggle against opposing tight ends but he hasn’t shown us any level of consistency. Were it not for those touchdowns, Higbee’s price would likely be a lot lower so we won’t want to overrate him based on that anomaly.
The opportunity was there for Zack Ertz ($5,700 DK, $6,500 FD) last week but he did not deliver. In a game the Eagles won Ertz caught four passes for just nine yards. Overall Ertz has just 19 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown so it’s not like he has shown us much at any point this season and at this point it appears opposing defenses are truly keying in on him defensively. This week I wouldn’t expect to see things get any better for Ertz as he has to deal with a tough Pittsburgh defense.
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