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? Week 4 of the NFL season has barely started, and things are already interesting. This week’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans has been postponed, taking two potential tight end plays out of the player pool (Ebron and Smith). Have no fear, there’s more than enough “fantasy goodness” left for us to take advantage of on Sunday. As per usual, this week’s tight end choices come in the form of “surefire studs,” “high floor value” and possible “high ceiling surprises.” I even threw in a little “Kool-Aid” at the end to quench your thirst. Let’s get started, shall we?
T.J. Hockenson (DET) (Fanduel $5400/DraftKings $4800): Hockenson didn’t make the initial cut when it came to my tight end write up, however, the loss of numerous defensive starters for the New Orleans Saints puts him firmly in play. His performance against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 was subpar (four receptions, 53 receiving yards and zero touchdowns), however he did set year high marks in targets (7), snaps (54) and routes (35), as per Pro Football Focus. That’s actually a very good sign, given the fact that Kenny Golladay (DET) made his season debut last week. The Saints are ranked 12th in DvP versus the tight end position, but they will be without the services of Marshon Lattimore (NO) and Janoris Jenkins (NO). He won’t fly under anyone’s radar (DraftKings ownership percentage 7.06% and FanDuel ownership of 6.01%, however, Hockenson remains a viable option in both cash games and tournaments.
Adam Trautman (NO) (Fanduel $4000/DraftKings $2500): If Jimmy Graham (CHI) is this week’s “Kool-Aid” play, then Trautman falls into the “Sunny Delight” category. Jared Cook (NO) has been ruled out for this week’s matchup against the Detroit Lions, opening the door for Trautman to potentially have an immediate impact in daily fantasy. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never heard of this guy, and I’m from New Orleans. At any rate, all he needs is an opportunity to shine and he’ll certainly get one this week. He played each of the Saints 12 offensive snaps in the fourth quarter against Green Bay (two receptions on three targets for 21 receiving yards) and should be heavily involved against the league’s worst defense against tight ends (ranked 32nd in DvP versus the position). I don’t have the stones to put him in my cash game lineup, however, I’ll have my fair share of him in tournaments.
Mark Andrews (BAL) – FanDuel $7400 / DraftKings $6000
Andrews put up stellar numbers in his season debut, with five receptions, 58 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns. Since then, he’s had subpar performances against the Houston Texans (3.9 fantasy points) and the Kansas City Chiefs (5.2 fantasy points). Those aren’t the type of numbers you’re looking for when rostering someone with his salary. In his defense, Houston is currently ranked 13th in DvP versus tight ends, while the Chiefs are ranked fifth. This weekend, Andrews faces the Washington Football Team, ranked 29th in DvP versus the position. The Ravens have the second-highest implied team total on the slate (29.5), and Andrews is their #1 receiving option. His projected ownership on DraftKings is 4.67%, while his projected FanDuel ownership is 3.67%. That’s crazy. Travis Kelce (KC) is my dude (see below), however, I’ll gladly take Andrews over him in tournaments this weekend in a plus matchup at half the ownership.
Travis Kelce (KC) – FanDuel $7600 / DraftKings $6800
Unless you are brand spanking new to professional football, I can’t say more than you already know when it comes to Kelce. He was projected to be the league’s top fantasy tight end prior to the season and has backed that up with 6–50–1, 9 –90–1 and 6-87-0 receiving lines through the first three games of the season (17.0, 24.0 and 14.7 fantasy points). He’s received six, 14 and seven targets this season and should continue to get more than his fair share of looks this week against the Patriots. I know Bill Belichick likes to try to take away his opponents’ best offensive threat, however, Kelce is matchup proof. That means New England will need to focus on shutting down some other talented Kansas City player if they want to stop the Chiefs (the Patriots are ranked 20th in DvP against tight ends). As per usual, Kelce isn’t cheap, however, if you “run it back” with a cheaper opposing player from the Patriots like N’Keal Harry (FanDuel $5300/DraftKings $4000) you can still get it done. Pencil Kelce in as my second favorite tight end in tournaments this week (current DraftKings ownership percentage of 10.22% with a current FanDuel ownership percentage of 5.75%).
Mike Gesicki (MIA) – FanDuel $5700 / DraftKings $5100
Gesicki might be listed as a tight end, however, that’s not really the case. As per Pro Football Focus, he’s played only 14 total snaps as an in-line tight end through three weeks. That being said, he leads the team in targets and should be heavily utilized in what will likely be a negative game script situation for the Miami Dolphins when they take on Seattle. The Seahawks are ranked eighth in DvP versus tight ends, however, given the way the Dolphins utilize Gesicki, you can take that ranking with a grain of salt. He had an eight-reception, 130 yard and one receiving touchdown performance against Buffalo in Week 2 (ranked third in DvP versus tight ends). He currently sits at tasty GPP level ownership on both DraftKings (3.55%) and FanDuel (2.78%). Consider him my third favorite GPP tight end option.
Tyler Higbee (LAR) – FanDuel $6000 / DraftKings $5700
Higbee followed up his five-reception, 54 receiving yard and three-touchdown effort against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 with two receptions for 40 receiving yards and zero touchdowns against Buffalo in Week 3. That hardly came as a shock. You can’t expect the guy to go out there and score three touchdowns every week. Despite the fact Gerald Everett (LAR) received 41% of the snaps last week, Higbee still dominated snaps at the position with 72%. He’s one of those guys who could give you multiple touchdowns one week and next to nothing the other. Those are the “boom or bust” guys you want in tournaments, especially at low ownership. Higbee currently sits at a projected DraftKings ownership of 2.79% and FanDuel ownership of 3.43%. The Rams have the highest projected team total on the main slate (30.5) and face the New York Giants (ranked 23rd in DvP against tight ends). That’s my way of saying get Higbee into your GPP lineups (he’s my fourth favorite tournament tight end option).
Logan Thomas (WSH) – FanDuel $4900 / DraftKings $3500
While Thomas doesn’t play for an efficient offense, his 24 targets this season trails only Travis Kelce (25) and Darren Waller (27), as per Pro Football Focus. With an inefficient quarterback like Dwayne Haskins (WSH) under center, Thomas remains a low floor option with upside. The Washington Football Team will stick with Haskins for their Week 4 matchup against the Ravens, however, a change at quarterback could result in a spike in efficiency for Thomas. Terry McLaurin (WSH) is currently questionable with a thigh injury. His absence would catapult Thomas to the top of the food chain when it comes to receiving options. That’s not saying much, however, there aren’t many tight end options at his salary that are on the field for nearly every single offensive snap. Consider him a cheap option to use in both cash games and tournaments (projected DraftKings ownership @ 3.74% / projected FanDuel ownership @ 2.47%).
Darren Waller (LV) – FanDuel $6700 / DraftKings $5200
Waller makes the list based on talent and volume, not necessarily due to his matchup. This weekend, he faces Buffalo who is currently ranked third in DvP against tight ends. That’s pretty good, at least when you’re talking about defense against conventional tight ends. Unconventional tight ends still stand a chance, as evident by the eight-reception, 130 yard and one receiving touchdown performance Mike Gesicki (MIA) had against them in Week 2. Waller is versatile, athletic and relatively cheap for a player of his caliber. He’s currently second in the league in tight end targets (27) and could see a career-high in looks this weekend with wide receiver Henry Ruggs (LV) listed as doubtful (knee/hamstring) and wide receiver Bryan Edwards (LV) listed as out (ankle). As a result, the Raiders number one receiving threat will be a popular cash game choice this week. His current ownership projections are pretty high (14.19% on DraftKings and 6.45% on FanDuel), so you’ll want to fade him in GPPs.
Jimmy Graham (CHI) – FanDuel $5300 / DraftKings $3800
Don’t look now, but a new quarterback could breathe new life into Graham. With Nick Foles (CHI) under center, Graham ended Week 3 as the most targeted receiver on the Bears (seven targets). On top of that, he also ran the third-most routes among tight ends last week (42) and ranks seventh in routes run (97) this season (as per Pro Football Focus). Graham appears to be the number two option in Chicago’s passing game and could end up leading the team in targets when it’s all said and done. That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence when it comes to using him in cash games, however, he does make my GPP wish list, even against the Indianapolis Colts (ranked first in DvP against tight ends and have yielded only six catches for 32 yards to opposing tight ends this season). His current DraftKings ownership projections sit at 3.27%, while his projected FanDuel ownership projection is 2.83%. If you’re looking for this week’s “Kool-Aid” play, he’s your guy.
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.