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. It goes without saying but if you can afford them Travis Kelce and Darren Waller speak for themselves this week. And then there is everyone else. This week that starts with T.J. Hockenson ($5,100 DK, $6,000 FD) as he is in an ideal situation against Minnesota. Hockenson has the advantage in facing a weak Vikings’ defense and with Kenny Golladay sidelined the tight end is in prime position to capitalize. Based on his success over the last two weeks with 12 receptions on 16 targets for 124 yards and a touchdown, Hockenson is finding his groove. There is still a chance that Matthew Stafford is not available for the game but Chase Daniel does have some NFL experience and I would expect to see him look Hockenson’s way even more as a dependable option.
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.
Noah Fant’s ($4,600 DK, $5,800 FD) performance has been up and down this season but there is consistency in his play here and that is more than we can say for a lot of other options at the position. Despite uncertainty at the quarterback position earlier this season, it appears that Drew Lock is back in place under center, Fant has been targeted at least five times each week. The one problem compared to last season is that it has appeared at times that Fant has morphed into more of a volume option than a big play threat. That was the case last week as Lock seemed very comfortable with Fant as a security blanket as he caught seven of his nine targets for 47 yards. We have to conclude with the note that Fant is facing the Falcons this week and that speaks for itself and it’s hard to argue with an explosive young player who has steady role in his offense.
We might be a week ahead of the game here on Evan Engram’s ($4,300 DK, $5,500 FD) price as it appears the Giants’ have found a place for him in their offense. Engram made up for some drops two weeks ago with five receptions for 61 yards. More importantly for his role in the offense the Giants targeted the tight end 10 times as he came close to his second touchdown of the season. Over the past two weeks Engram has 11 receptions for 106 yards and its highly likely New York will be without Golden Tate this week so that opens up even more targets for the tight end in a solid match-up against Washington on Sunday.
Opportunity can’t be overstated and with Cole Kmet banged up and likely sidelined for this week, Jimmy Graham ($3,800 DK, $5,300 FD) is a solid option against the Titans on Sunday. When it comes to tight end chasing touchdowns is always a large part of the strategy and so far this season Graham has four touchdown receptions. He has an underwhelming stat line with 29 receptions for 247 yards on the season but Graham has a minimum of five targets in all but one game this season. That is something we can work with.
Entering the season Mark Andrews ($4,800 DK, $6,600 FD) was ranked as one of the top tight end options but he hasn’t exactly lived up to those expectations. The track record of success is there from last season and he has shown flashes so far this year, but the overall picture hasn’t been as positive with 23 receptions for 275 yards and five touchdowns (coming in two games). Andrews’ price has come down, especially on Draft Kings, since Week One and he caught our attention more on that site based on the price. Granted facing the Colts isn’t exactly the best match-up these days but Andrews does stand out at the position overall.
After missing a game due to injury Jonnu Smith ($3,900 DK, $5,700 FD) has yet to find his groove since. Last week Smith was targeted just twice and two receptions for 29 yards isn’t exactly going to cut it. It appears Smith has currently found himself in a time share with Anthony Firkser and there isn’t enough sustainable DFS production to be had.
Four games with one or no receptions is not what I want from my DFS tight end. Aside from five receptions for 91 yards against San Francisco a few weeks ago Mike Gesicki ($4,400 DK, $5,300 FD) has struggled this season with 19 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Gesicki has lost out on some end zone targets with Adam Shaheen catching two touchdowns so far this season. Even with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center Gesicki still struggled to do much of anything and Miami will likely continue to be conservative with rookie Tua Tagovailoa under center. This is a situation with minimal upside.
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