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. We don’t make excuses here but with Travis Kelce and George Kittle both playing in prime time this week things are a little thin. The highest priced option on Draft Kings, by a full $1,000 in fact, is Mark Andrews ($6,500 DK, $7,600 FD) and he is worth a look. Philadelphia struggles to defend against the tight end position and with three touchdowns over the last two weeks Andrews appears to be rounding into form. Andrews entered last week with 12 receptions but last week he turned a corner with six receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. That came on nine targets, as over his last three games, Andrews has been targeted 20 times in case there was any doubt about his role in Baltimore’s offense. If you want to pay up for a tight end then Andrews is your man.
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.
Tennessee treats Jonnu Smith ($5,200 DK, $5,800 FD) as a wide receiver and he has the skill and athleticism to back it up. But most importantly the production has been there through his four games of the season but the price hasn’t followed as steeply. On the season Smith has 18 receptions for 221 yards and five touchdowns while also being consistent which is one of the more important factors we look at from a DFS perspective. Smith has four or five receptions in each game while being targeted 27 times. Even on a short week there is no reason why we shouldn’t expect it to continue against Houston.
Back to Eric Ebron ($4,100 DK, $5,200 FD) we go. After a slow start to the season Ebron is working off two straight weeks of five receptions each. With a combined 95 yards, Pittsburgh has been targeting him more in the intermediate game than anything else but the fact that they have looked Ebron’s way 13 times in the last two games is certainly a good sign. With just one touchdown through his first four games we could say that Ebron is due, but this is also what is keeping his price down. Cleveland is in the top five of points allowed to opposing tight ends so far this season which means Ebron is set up for success in Week 5.
It’s going to cost you, well compared to the other options, but then again you get what you pay for. The Jacksonville defense isn’t going to scare anyone and T.J. Hockenson ($5,300 DK, $5,700 FD) will be one of this week’s beneficiaries. Considering the results from the last time we saw Hockenson and his Week 5 bye, the ownership percentage should be on the lower side against the Jaguars this week. New Orleans is one of the better teams at defending the tight end position so it’s not all that outlandish for Hockenson to catch just two passes for nine yards. He did catch his second touchdown of the season so some value was salvaged. Through the first four weeks of the season Hockenson has 15 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns and he has proven to be a capable red zone target.
We know it’s all about saving money wherever possible but the cheapest I’d be willing to go at the tight end position this week is Austin Hooper ($3,900 DK, $5,200 FD). Despite the return of David Njoku, Hooper still dominated things from a workload perspective as he was on the field for 79% of Cleveland’s snaps last week while also being targeted 10 times. Hooper turned that into five receptions for 57 yards in what was his best game of the season. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but Hooper does have a consistent role in the Browns’ offense. Again, we did warn you that this was at tough week.
It might be famous last words but I think it’s time to move on from considering Evan Engram($4,900 DK, $5,600 FD). Of course now that we say that Engram is going to take advantage of the league’s worst defense against opposing tight ends but he has yet to prove otherwise. Last week we saw the Giants open things up as far as the offensive playbook went but Engram failed to benefit as he caught just one of his two targets for 16 yards. For the season Engram has just 18 receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown and you can spend your money better elsewhere. Don’t go chasing the match-up as the performance hasn’t backed that up.
It’s not like Robert Tonyan ($5,100 DK, $6,200 FD) came out of nowhere two weeks ago as he did have two touchdowns and 75 yards entering the game, but it was clearly a season defining game. The price is reasonable, almost as a trap though, and I don’t want to chase a three-touchdown performance on six receptions and 98 yards. We know how bad the Atlanta pass defense can be and Green Bay was also devoid of receiving threats so until we see more from Tonyan, the thought process is not to chase last week’s success.
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