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 all go through life looking to save money whenever possible but it cannot be disputed that you get what you pay for. Everyone can easily find instances where that is the case and DFS players will certainly agree as they watch seemingly good lineups go up in flames. If your salary cap allows it Travis Kelce ($6,300 DK, $7,900 FD) is in position to return positive value on his cost this week. I mean we all know there aren’t many options jumping off the page at you so why not stick with Patrick Mahomes’ preferred target. Last week Kelce came through with five receptions for 65 yards and both of Kansas City’s touchdowns through the air. On the season Kelce has 37 receptions for 470 yards and five touchdowns and that simply speaks for itself.
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.
It is not a secret that the Dallas Cowboys are currently a mess. After last week’s debacle I’m sure Cowboy’s fans could easily come up with a few more adjectives, but let’s try to keep things G-rated. Despite their overall state of disarray we know that the Cowboys have a lot of weapons in the passing game, but they only have one tight end in Dalton Schultz ($3,900 DK, $5,200 FD). Now it’s not like Schultz’s production is off the charts but he has generally been a consistent performer. Last week Schultz was targeted five times and caught four passes for 35 yards and on the season he is at 23 receptions for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Nothing here is going to jump off the page, but he has a legitimate chance at a touchdown each week and you know that some targets will be there.
After last week you had to know this was coming. I’m not going to go too crazy and say we are pressing the rewind button for Rob Gronkowski ($4,600 DK, $5,400 FD) and Tom Brady but things certainly looked like that on Sunday. Of course the problem is that you likely aren’t the only DFS player thinking that this week but you can’t ignore what he did. Brady targeted his old (and now new) tight end eight times which Gronkowski turned into five receptions for 78 yards and his first touchdown of the season. With just 17 receptions for 218 yards overall this season nothing about Gronkowski jumps off the page at you. But if you combine last week’s performance with the fact that he has 24 targets over the last four games (including one week of three targets) well, here we are.
If you want to continue with another obvious play this week, we bring you David Njoku ($3,000 DK, $4,500 FD). As we have come to learn in fantasy football there is a separation between talent, opportunity, and production. Njoku brings the first to the table and the third attribute has been lacking but with Austin Hooper sidelined this week he now has the second one. After spending three games on Injured Reserve already this season Njoku has just five receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown as playing behind Hooper was clearly to his detriment. It doesn’t get much cheaper than this but the opportunity is knocking for talented Njoku and the risk to your salary cap is minimal as he faces the Bengals in a good matchup for him.
We try not to chase touchdowns but here we are with T.J. Hockenson ($5,000 DK, $5,900 FD). To be nice and simple Hockenson needs to combine the first three weeks of the season where he had greater than 50 receiving yards each week along with each of the last two weeks in which he caught a touchdown pass. Last week was another quiet one for Hockenson as he caught just two passes for 17 yards but he was targeted five times and the touchdown helped make it a solid afternoon. He is a large part of Detroit’s offense and let’s be honest, it is all about Hockenson’s match-up against the Falcons this week.
If we are going to pay up at the top of the tight end list they better be as consistent as possible with higher level performance that differentiates them from the pack. At this point that is not the case with Darren Waller ($6,100 DK, $6,800 FD). The usage is there as at 47 targets so far this season Waller is a large part of Oakland’s passing game but with just 59 yards per game, he isn’t necessarily moving the needle for me. My other issue is the fact that Waller only has two touchdown catches which hinders his upside. This week Waller has to deal with a tough Tampa Bay defense and I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.
Don’t do it. Don’t fall for the trap. Chris Herndon ($3,000 DK, $4,600 FD) is a starting tight end who is cheap and talented but that is where the good things we can say end. Last week in a game that the Jets were trailing from the start, Herndon was on the field for 63% of the offensive snaps but he wasn’t targeted. Not even once. This is a case of getting what you pay for in a negative direction as sometimes there is a reason why things are priced in the manner they are. With just 13 receptions for 98 yards so far this season there really is nothing to see. And things should get even worse for Herndon as the Jets’ begin to get their wide receivers back from injury.
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