Welcome to the NFL DFS TE Coach, where we identify the best tight ends for our DraftKings and FanDuel lineups!
What’s up my peeps? I’m excited to be writing my first NFL DFS article of the season. Today, I’ll be diving into the tight end position for the main slate of Week 3. I’m going to be straight forward here. With Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and Jared Cook not on the main slate, as well as George Kittle and Darren Waller battling injuries, this tight end pool is lacking a lot of elite talent this week. The good news is, there are some appealing options this weekend in solid spots, and for the most part, they will not take up much of our salary, which will allow us to fit in some of the higher-priced players in smash spots. Let’s jump right into it!
Hunter Henry (LAC) – FanDuel $6000 / DraftKings $4800
Henry has quietly started off the season playing solid football. So far through two weeks, he has caught 11 passes for 156 yards. Henry has been peppered with 16 targets, good for 25 percent of the Chargers target share. In addition, he leads the team in red zone targets with two (40 percent of the target share in this part of the field). The Chargers are likely starting rookie quarterback Justin Herbert this week, who leaned heavily on Henry in Week 2, peppering him with eight targets. Henry offers the right combination of a solid floor as well as plenty of upside, making him a viable option in all formats. This is a matchup he should take advantage of, so I expect him to continue to play well in Week 3.
Noah Fant (DEN) – FanDuel $5800 / DraftKings $5400
Fant has been lights out to start the season, catching nine passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the Broncos in routes run (64), receiving yard, receptions, and is second in targets (11). Fant has also played in 77 percent of the offensive snaps and accounts for 22.2 percent of Denver’s red zone targets.
Losing Drew Lock is not ideal for Fant, but Jeff Driskel likes to sling it and Fant can stretch the field and make big plays, so their strengths go hand-in-hand. In fact, Driskel and Fant connected for a 20-yard touchdown last week. This is not an ideal matchup for Fant, as the Bucs have been stingy against opposing tight ends, but I am willing to get him in my lineups even in a tough matchup. After all, he was able to be productive against a tough Steelers defense last week. With that said, Fant is a tournament only play for me this week.
Hayden Hurst (ATL) – FanDuel $5700 / DraftKings $4700
After a mediocre Week 1, Hurst bounced back nicely in Week 2, catching 5-of-8 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Through two weeks, he has seen 12 targets and has run 78 routes, while playing in 72 percent of the Falcons offensive snaps. The matchup this week against the Bears is one Hurst should be able to exploit. In Week 1, this defense gave up a 5/56/1 stat line to T.J. Hockenson, and last week, they allowed Evan Engram to finish with six catches for 65 yards. The Falcons are a pass-first offense, with a pass rate of 63 percent this season, and Hurst accounts for 13 percent of the target share for Atlanta.
Considering his role in this offense, the favorable matchup, and the reasonable price, Hurst makes for an appealing option this week. This should also be a nice game environment, as the Falcons defense is unable to stop anyone and this game has an implied total of 47 points with just a three-point spread. I do prefer Hurst in tournaments this week and would try to find the extra money to play Henry in cash if you are paying up at the position.
Jonnu Smith (TEN) – FanDuel $5600 / DraftKings $5200
Smith has scored three touchdowns in the first two games of the season, and some may consider rostering him this week as chasing points, but once again he draws a favorable matchup. The Titans take on the Vikings this week, a defense that just got shredded by Mo Alie-Cox in Week 2 for five receptions and 111 receiving yards. Smith has been peppered with 12 targets in the first two weeks (18 percent target share) and leads the team with three red zone targets (33.3 percent), converting each of those targets into a touchdown reception.
Granted, that type of efficiency is not sustainable, and eventually, regression will hit. But in a matchup like the one at hand, it is tough to pass up on Smith, who has been so efficient and productive. Smith offers a nice combination of a consistent floor and nice upside like we saw last week, making him a viable option in all formats. If A.J. Brown sits, we can lock in Smith into our lineups this week, but even if Brown is active, Smith is still in play.
Dallas Goedert (PHI) – FanDuel $5200 / DraftKings $4900
It is Goedert, not Zach Ertz, who leads the Eagles tight ends in targets, receptions, and receiving yards after two games. Do I expect this to continue? Absolutely not. In fact, this is a potential get right spot for Carson Wentz and I would not be surprised to see both Ertz and Goedert have solid games. However, I prefer taking the savings here on Goedert.
The Eagles have run two tight end sets in 74 percent of their offensive plays, and considering how banged up this receiving corps is, that’s a trend I expect to continue moving forward. So, there should be plenty of opportunities here for these tight ends. The Bengals have done a solid job against tight ends this season and were a tough team against the position last year as well, so this is no slam dunk contest by any means.
That said, Goedert has been peppered with 16 targets this season and has also received 50 percent of the red zone targets for the Eagles offense. So, based on volume alone, he should receive plenty of chances for fantasy production. Not to mention, he is talented and has shown the ability to excel even in subpar matchups. I would not roster him in cash but do think there is plenty of upside here to consider him in tournaments.
Logan Thomas (WSH) – FanDuel $4900 / DraftKings $3700
Thomas was disappointing last week and burned a lot of people, but I am going right back to the well this week.
Through two games, Thomas has been peppered with 17 targets, good for fourth-most among all NFL tight ends and leading his team in this department. In addition, he accounts for 50 percent of Washington’s red zone target share and has played in 82 percent of the offensive snaps. Clearly, the opportunity is there. It’s just a matter of whether he can execute or not. This week, the answer is yes, and there is a good chance he has a solid outing. Washington faces a Browns defense that has allowed 18 receptions (second-most), 148 receiving yards (sixth-most), and three receiving touchdowns (second-most) to opposing tight ends, as well as 20+ DK and FD points per game. Hopefully, recency brings his ownership down this week, so that the #EliteMafia can capitalize from this incredibly good spot.
Drew Sample (CIN) – FanDuel $4800 / DraftKings $3500
There is not a lot of sample size for Sample (see what I did there), but he stepped in for the injured CJ Uzomah in Week 2 and Joe Burrow wasted little time getting Sample involved. Sample was peppered with eight targets last week, despite playing in just 49 percent of the offensive snaps. Four of those targets were in the red zone, and he now leads the Bengals in this department. Sample was targeted on 24 percent of his routes run in last week’s game, catching seven passes for 45 yards.
We also must take into consideration the fact Burrow has targeted his tight ends in 21 percent of his pass attempts and in 43 percent of his red zone passes this season. Aside from the potential volume here, Sample gets a good matchup against an Eagles defense who has surrendered a league-high four touchdown receptions to opposing tight ends so far, as well as a potentially favorable game script with the Eagles favored by 4.5 points.