Welcome to the NFL DFS TE Coach, where we identify the best tight ends for our DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft lineups!
What’s up my peeps? I must admit that when I first looked at the schedule and saw that Travis Kelce (KC) isn’t on the main slate I thought to myself, “Aw crap!” Sound familiar? Well, you can use your imagination as to what I thought to myself when I saw that Darren Waller (LV) wasn’t on the main slate either. The lack of “cream” at the top of the tight end position seems disappointing at first glance. However, when you think about it, it’s actually a “good” thing (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The way that this NFL DFS slate plays out, the number of pricey quarterbacks and running backs is rather thin. If Kelce or Waller were on the slate, they would be considered “must starts” at the position. This week, tight end is where you differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd. The range of outcomes for the remaining tight end options is rather narrow. In a nutshell, “you’re looking for someone that’s going to find the end zone.” Figuring out who that guy is going to be is a rather tough task on any given week, given the inherent lack of consistency at the position.
Despite the level of inconsistent performances from tight ends, the criteria we use when looking for an optimal tight end always stays the same. When you’re looking for the ultimate tight end, you want someone who is on the field for a large percentage of the offense’s snaps, runs routes for most of those snaps (instead of blocking), is heavily targeted (especially in the red zone), and plays for a team that is expected to put up lots of “real life” points. It’s hard to check off all of those boxes. Most weeks, you need to either spend up for beefcake or try to snag a player in a good matchup who has a “high floor” that won’t kill you.
For the Week 11 slate, I’m currently locking in Taysom Hill (NO) in cash games on FanDuel and rolling with Mark Andrews (BAL) in cash games on DraftKings (see below). I’ll rotate my remaining favorite tournament options throughout my favorite stacks in the hopes that I land on the guy who stumbles into the end zone twice.
Remember, when it comes to tournaments, do your best to correlate your tight end choice, either with his quarterback or the opposing team’s running back/wide receiver. You want to get the most bang for your buck and correlation helps you do just that.
T.J. Hockenson (DET) –(FanDuel $6000/DraftKings $4200/SD Multiplier 1.1x): I still think Hockenson is a “wolf dressed in tight ends clothing”, however, he ends up getting the job done more often than not. I currently have him projected as the third highest scoring on the main slate and should benefit to injuries to Kenny Golladay (DET) and Danny Amendola (DET). Feel free to fire him up in tournaments.
Taysom Hill (NO) – FanDuel $4500 / DraftKings $4800 / SD Multiplier 1.8x
The evidence why Hill should be locked in as your cash game tight end play on FanDuel is rather convincing. For those of you who haven’t heard, Hill will be under center as the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints this weekend as they take on Atlanta. Not only is Hill a cheap quarterback with tight end eligibility (only on FanDuel), he gets a tasty home matchup against the Falcons who rank 31st in DvP versus quarterbacks. I never thought a quarterback DvP ranking would come in handy during my tight end write up, yet here we are. There are far too many pathways for Hill to put up fantasy points, whether it be as a passer, rusher or even receiver in the red zone. As far as I’m concerned, anything less than 20 fantasy points on FanDuel would be a disappointment. Just lock in as your cash game play on FanDuel and move on. Do you want to hear a “hot take” when it comes to tournaments? There will be some random tight end out there that scores multiple touchdowns, besting Hill as the highest producing tight end option on FanDuel. Who will it be? Beats me (see below). I don’t have a current projection for Hill’s FanDuel ownership, however, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be through the roof.
Mark Andrews (BAL) – FanDuel $6500 / DraftKings $4900 / SD Multiplier 1.0x
Using Hill at tight end isn’t an option on DraftKings. I actually think that’s good news. Want some other DraftKings news? No DraftKings tight end is priced higher than $4900. I don’t know if that’s “good” news or “bad” news, so for now I’ll just call it “news.” I currently have Andrews in my cash game lineup on DraftKings. I also have him as my top projected scorer at the position, so that works out well. The Baltimore Ravens offense isn’t nearly as efficient as it was last year, and Andrews has felt the effects of that. He remains the team’s number one receiving option in the red zone and is a candidate to score two touchdowns on any given week, no matter who his opponent is. This week he takes on the Tennessee Titans who rank 20th in DvP versus tight ends. His ownership will be rather high (current projected DraftKings ownership of 11.07%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 6.40%), so I’ll have Andrews in my “underweight” category in tournaments.
Eric Ebron (PIT) – FanDuel $5400 / DraftKings $4000 / SD Multiplier 1.55x
I currently have Ebron as my favorite tournament tight end this weekend. He might not meet all of the criteria to deserve “beefcake” designation, however, he is on the field for greater than 80% of his team’s offensive snaps, plays for a team with a potent passing attack, sees plenty of looks in the red zone and has a matchup against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends so far this season and rank 26 in DvP versus the position. If you’re looking for the “random tight end” I spoke about earlier who could score multiple touchdowns, Ebron is a fine candidate (current projected DraftKings ownership of 4.15%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 3.73%). His multiplier level on SuperDraft is especially juicy.
Dallas Goedert (PHI) – FanDuel $5800 / DraftKings $3800 / SD Multiplier 1.4x
Goedert’s stat line of four receptions (on six targets) for 33 receiving yards and zero touchdowns last week against the New York Giants was disappointing, to say the least. Especially since a number of us have him as our cash game tight end. That being said, he was on the field for 62 of the Eagles’ 67 offensive snaps. I’m blaming his lack of production on Carson Wentz (PHI), as he sent at least five targets to six different receivers last week (as per RotoWire). This weekend, Goedert gets a juicy matchup against Cleveland who ranks 23rd in DvP versus tight ends. He’s in a fine spot to come up with a reception in the end zone, as long as Wentz throws the ball his way. Consider him my second favorite tournament tight end option this week (current projected DraftKings ownership of 6.58%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 3.08%).
Hayden Hurst (ATL) – FanDuel $5500 / DraftKings $4400 / SD Multiplier 1.65x
Hurst is another tight end option that doesn’t meet the “beefcake” criteria, however, he’s a fine tournament option (my third favorite) if you lower your standards just a little bit. Hurst doesn’t have any 100 receiving games under his belt this season, however, he’s logged over 50 receiving yards in six of nine games prior to last week’s bye week (he also has three receiving touchdowns of the season). This week he faces New Orleans on the road. While the Saints have a formidable run and pass defense, they have been vulnerable against tight ends and rank 27th in DvP versus the position. Expect “Double H” to be an integral part of Atlanta’s offense of scheme this week (current projected DraftKings ownership of 4.13%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 3.48%). He’s another guy that has a sweet SuperDraft multiplier.
Austin Hooper (CLE) – FanDuel $5100 / DraftKings $3900 / SD Multiplier 1.5x
Do you remember the whole “last week’s stat line was a disappointment” thing I wrote for Goedert? Well, you can basically “copy and paste” that segment here with regards to Hooper. He had one reception (two targets) for 11 yards and zero touchdowns last week against Houston. Cleveland was playing in the middle of a monsoon, so, to be fair, none of Cleveland’s receivers did anything. This week Hooper and his teammates are facing a Philadelphia Eagles team that ranks 29th in DvP versus tight ends. I like him as my fourth favorite tournament option this week. However, if he’s playing in another “hurricane,” I’ll have to put him a little bit further down in my GPP rankings (current projected DraftKings ownership of 5.22%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 3.77%).
Logan Thomas (WSH) – FanDuel $5200 / DraftKings $3300 / SD Multiplier 1.7x
Thomas was banished from my tight end write up for a while but multiple changes at the quarterback position in Washington have increased his overall efficiency. He’s seen a slight uptick in targets over the last two weeks, with Alex Smith (WSH) back in action, which is always a good sign (6 targets in week nine and five targets in week 10). He also has 13.2, 16.0 and 10.6 DraftKings points in three of his last four games. That’s pretty nice too, especially when you’re looking for a cheap player with a high floor. He may get a chance to test his ceiling as well this week as he faces Cincinnati who ranks 31st in DBP against tight ends (allows the second-most fantasy points to the tight end position). I would have him ranked higher if he were part of a more potent offense and was expected to have a more favorable game script, however, he is fifth on my tournament wish list (current projected DraftKings ownership of 7.04%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 4.19%). I think his SuperDraft multiplier tops the list as my favorite.
Irv Smith, Jr. (MIN) – FanDuel $5100 / DraftKings $3400 / SD Multiplier 2.0x
Smith, Jr. is currently dealing with a groin injury, however, if he sits up this weekend he is my favorite flavor of “Kool-Aid” this week. I know that he scored two receiving touchdowns in week nine (prior to being a DNP due to injury against Chicago in week 10), however, this isn’t about “chasing points.” Truth be told, Smith Junior isn’t even the best tournament option out there (see my favorite choice is above). Do you know what he is, though?. He’s an excellent leverage option against what will undoubtedly be a very heavily owned Dalvin Cook (MIN). The two touchdown receptions he had against Detroit in week nine could have easily been rushing scores for Cook. There is an opportunity for Smith Junior to vulture even more scores from Dalvin this week against the Dallas Cowboys (current projected DraftKings ownership of 1.13%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 0.95%). If Smith Jr. is unable to play again this week, feel free to slide Kyle Rudolph (MIN) into his “Kool-Aid” spot (caught four of five targets for 63 yards against Chicago last week).
Hon. mention that almost made the article includes Jared Cook (NO), who will go overlooked at the tight end position, given all of the Taysom Hill (NO) buzz. Cook faces an Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks worst in the league when it comes to defending the tight end position (32nd in DvP). If you really want to get “funky,” you can roster both Cook and Hill in GPPs. The positive correlation between those two guys could win someone a tournament. You better believe I’ll be doing that in a number of rosters (current projected DraftKings ownership of 3.82%, with a FanDuel projected ownership of 1.80%).
NFL Week 11Tight End Coaching:
Let me start off by saying that there are two things you need to learn to embrace if you’re going to win “all the monies” in NFL DSF. Those two things are tight ends and defenses. No one likes to roster either of them, however, if you nail one of them (or both), you’ll be doing your best Scrooge McDuck impression when it’s all said and done. Given the “flukiness” and inconsistency of these positions, you can use them as opportunities to “zig” when everyone else “zags”.
This is how I am approaching the tight end position this week. To be honest, this is how I approach it every week.
Tight ends can be divided into four categories as far as I’m concerned:
1. “Gifts that the slate gives you.”
If you’ve seen me on the Friday night Livestreams this season, you know that I’m not into focusing on a particular game, so much as focusing on what the slate gives you. Most of the time, there’s a “gift” at some position or another based on injuries, a guy playing “out of his position”, poor pricing, etc. This week we’re lucky because we get to gifts at the tight end position. These are in the form of Taysom Hill (NO) on FanDuel and Mark Andrews (BAL) on DraftKings. If you need to know why, just take a look at this week’s tight end article. For me, I’ll stick with these guys in my cash games and moving on.
Given the injury status to George Kittle (SF), we’re basically talking about Travis Kelce (KC) and Darren Waller (LVR). Andrews used to be a member of the beefcake group, however, the decrease in efficiency that Baltimore has displayed so far this season has knocked him down a peg.
The beefcake category can actually be divided into “career season beefcake” and occasional beefcake. Kelce is on pace to have a career year. That says a lot. He’s currently on pace to exceed his total receptions and total yards and is also on pace to almost triple his season total when it comes to touchdowns. When guys are having career season beefcake years, you find ways to get them into your lineup every week. Sure, you can end up with a floor-game of 5.0 fantasy points, however, more often than not healed give you something north of 19.0 fantasy points. Career season beefcake guys have a sort of “magic” that usually doesn’t wear off until the following season. Don’t believe me? Last season’s career season beefcake stud was Lamar Jackson (BAL). If you rostered him every single week of the season last year, there’s a very good chance you ended the year with a profit. Whenever Kelce is on the slate I do my best to bank any value that comes up during the week and spend up for him. When I go back and look at the optimal lineups for this year, I notice that he isn’t in any of them. That’s only because some random guy from “category four” edges him out by one or two fantasy points. The bottom line is “fit Kelce in when you can get Kelce in”. That even applies to SuperDraft at a 1.0 x multiplier. Waller falls under the “occasional beefcake” category which is self-explanatory. Unfortunately, neither is available on the main slate for Week 11.
3. “High floor guys that won’t kill you.”
These are the guys that we’re looking for to fill the “beefcake” void this week. These guys stand a good chance at giving you 50 yards receiving on the week, but they might fall into the end zone, like they might not. They are players that usually have a very high snap share percentage, get five or more targets and are targeted in the red zone. One good example is Hayden Hurst (ATL). He only has three touchdown receptions this season, however, he’s walked over 50 receiving yards in six of nine outings. These guys are usually very nice flyers in cash games because of their floor, while at the same time giving you a decent ceiling if they find the end zone. Other guys that I’m putting into this category this week are my other favorite tournament options: Eric Ebron (PIT), Dallas Goedert (PHI), Austin Hooper (CLE) and Logan Thomas (WSH). Again, these guys could deliver a “floor game” but for the most part they are steady options. Most of time these guys are your cash game options, however, since we already have “gifts from the slate” and there’s no “beefcake” this week, they all get promoted to solid GPP plays. Congratulations fellas! (Note: If you really prefer to use these guys in your cash games you can feel free to do so.)
Remember (I can’t emphasize this enough), when it comes to tournaments, do your best to correlate your tight end choice, either with his quarterback or the opposing teams running back/wide receiver. You want to get the most bang for your buck and correlation helps you do just that.
4. “Low floor/high ceiling guys.”
That’s basically everyone else. By everyone else, I mean the Irv Smith Jr’s (MIN) of the world. Most weekends these guys will end up with less than five fantasy points, however, at least once during the season they will fall into the end zone twice during one game (on 3 targets). At least one guy will fall into this category every single week. One week it will be Robert Tonyan (GB). Another week it will be Trey Burton (IND). The tight end position is unique, as any player could put up 20 fantasy points on any given Sunday. Sure, these guys put up random performances, but if you can find a gem and roster him you’ll end up taking home ”all the monies”. Unfortunately, these performances are, as I stated, random. Most weeks these guys end up being “Kool Aid” plays. They will either win you a tournament or send your GPP team to the depths of the Atlantic.
You might be asking yourselves, “What is a Kool-Aid play?” Well, it’s a player who is very low owned, in a unique spot, and could either catapult you to the top of the leaderboard or send you to the depths of the Atlantic. It’s a pick that’s not for the faint heart. Only drink the Kool-Aid if you truly believe. You might not die, but you will get sick.