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.
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 to take 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. Jonnu Smith ($4,100 DK, $6,100 FD) might not be the highest priced tight end this week, but there is a pretty good chance he will be the most productive. Smith will be facing a Bengals team that gives up the 5th most DK points, and the 4th most FD points on average each week. Smith’s production has varied week to week, but he is a consistent red-zone target for Ryan Tannehill, and I expect there will be lots of yards to be had against the Bengals defence this week.
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 bank 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.
T.J. Hockenson ($5,300 DK, $6,000 FD) has largely proven himself to be among the most consistent tight ends in the NFL this year. He has touchdowns in four of his first six games this year, and has 50 or more receiving yards in four of six games as well. Hockenson isn’t a player that is going to break the bank, and his upside is going to be somewhat capped as well as he doesn’t see get a lot of targets, but if you can afford him, he is a player that is worth his price most weeks. The only thing you should be concerned about is the Colts have largely shut down tight ends so far this year, but in the same vein, they also haven’t faced any of the top tight ends to test their meddle. That said I would be using Hockenson in GPP only.
We have talked a lot this week about the struggles of the Browns pass defence. This now brings us to Darren Waller ($5,600 DK, $6,800 FD). Waller in his own right should be considered most weeks, but this week especially so. The Browns give up on average more than 10 points per game on both DraftKings and FanDuel, while not really facing a single tight-end of note. Waller is one of the few tight ends this week that could pass the 100-yard mark in receiving and he consistently sees around ten targets per game. You should make sure you have some shares of Waller in all of your game types this week.
George Kittle ($7,000 DK, $7,700 FD) is among the most expensive tight ends on the board this week and on the surface this makes sense. The Seahawks have struggled to defend the pass this year, and Kittle is the 49er’s top receiver. But when you dig a little deeper and see the DK and FD points the Seahawks have given up to tight-ends it completely scares me away from Kittle. The Seahawks have given up the 4th least points in both formats to TE’s. I get that Kittle isn’t most TE, but given his price, and some better options out there, Kittle really isn’t worth the risk.
The majority of time when building a lineup I tend to avoid higher priced tight ends and this week things are no different when it comes to Jimmy Graham ($4,600 DK, $5,400 FD). Graham will be going up against a Saints defence that holds the distinction of giving up the most DK and FD points per game to tight ends. Graham’s production hasn’t consistently been there this year, seeing an average of six targets per game, and just 34 yards per game, so there is a reason for concern, but the matchup and the price are both good this week, so he is worth taking the risk in both your cash and GPP games as he will still allow you to get some more expensive options at other positions into your lineup.
If you’re looking for a low priced player to take a risk on Ryan Izzo ($2,500 DK, $4,100 FD) is your guy this week. Izzo is coming in at the minimum price this weekend will be facing the Buffalo Bills who are a strong defensive team but have given up the 4th most points to tight ends on FD, and the third most on DK. Izzo is certainly a risk, given he hasn’t had more than 40 yards in a game this year, or a touchdown. That said, the Patriots have consistently been a wild card with their game planning, and if the fantasy points are any prediction, they may look to expose a weakness in defending the tight end this week. Izzo is a GPP play only, as he does come with the risk of being a zero.
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