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 5 of the NFL season is upon us. However, at this rate, we won’t have any games left to choose from on the main slate. I mean, it’s insane. We knew this would be an NFL season like no other, so nothing should surprise us at this point. This has to be one of the most unique weeks I’ve seen when it comes to rostering tight ends in NFL DFS. There aren’t a lot of “beefcake” options to spend up for at the running back and wide receiver positions. When you add potential minimum salary chalk-like Olamide Zaccheaus (ATL) to the equation, you end up with a situation where you can roster even the most expensive tight end options comfortably.
If the potential value comes into play and that ends up being the case, paying up for a stud in cash games and getting a little “freaky” with a cheaper option in tournaments could go a long way. I don’t usually have a lot of “double tight end” rosters, however, I will have a number of them in tournaments this week. Nailing the right combination of tight end studs that put up ceiling games could win you a GPP. Let’s get started, shall we?
George Kittle (SF) – FanDuel $7100 / DraftKings $6600
Kittle was in his usual “beast mode” last week, posting 15 receptions (on 15 targets) for 183 yards and one touchdown. Some tight ends don’t have 15 targets on the season, let alone 15 receptions. This was all done while the 49ers played musical chairs with Nick Mullins (SF) and CJ Beathard (SF) at quarterback. Kittle even had one rushing attempt for 8 yards. The only thing he didn’t do was throw a touchdown pass and kick an extra point.
This week, Kittle faces Miami at home. The Dolphins are ranked second in DvP versus the tight end position, but does that really matter? The only acceptable answer is, “No.” Kittle’s combination of talent and volume put him in the “matchup proof” category. That’s why I have him projected as the highest-scoring player at the position this week and my number one tight end in all formats. Personally, I wouldn’t fault you for just locking him in and moving on to another position.
Travis Kelce (KC) – FanDuel $7800 / DraftKings $6400
Did you know Kelce turned 31 last Monday night (as per Pro Football Focus)? I know, right? It says so on the internet, so it must be true. Normally, I would insert a joke about a player being “old,” however, I’ll save those jokes for someone like Jason Witten (LV). That being said, even Witten caught a touchdown pass last week. Kelce is in a prime spot to give father time the middle finger, as he and his teammates are facing the Las Vegas Raiders this week (ranked 13th in DvP versus tight ends).
Kelce has at least 70 receiving yards and/or a touchdown in each game this season and has no less than six targets each game. It’s safe to say he’ll be heavily involved in the offense this weekend. The Chiefs have the highest implied team total on the slate (34.5), so expect Kelce to “eat.” The last time he faced the Raiders he had 12 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns, so a ceiling game is certainly within the realm of possibility. Put him down as my second favorite tight end option on the slate.
Darren Waller (LV) – FanDuel $6800 / DraftKings $5900
Waller is slightly banged up (knee), however, as long as he can take the field he’ll be listed as an excellent tournament option in my tight end writeups. He has 39 targets on the season, including 12 targets last week against Buffalo (nine receptions, 8 yards, zero touchdowns). The Kansas City defense is a formidable one (ranked third in DvP versus tight ends), however, this is another example of talent and volume outweighing the matchup. He’s the number one receiving option in Las Vegas and will be playing in a game where the Raiders will need to air it out early and often. He’s my third favorite tight end option this week.
Mark Andrews (BAL) – FanDuel $7500 / DraftKings $6200
Andrews really came through as my top tight end choice last week, hauling in three receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, he only had three targets, however, he’s still the number one receiving option for the Baltimore Ravens (12 receptions on 20 targets for 166 receiving yards and four touchdowns). While he may not receive the same heavy volume as some of the other tight end options, he can provide you with multiple touchdown games on any given week. That includes this week when he faces the Cincinnati Bengals (ranked 22nd in DvP against tight ends). The Ravens are hefty home favorites (-13.5), so they may not need to air it out that much. They do have the second-highest implied team total on the slate (32.3), mitigating any concerns I have with regards to Andrews’ usage.
Andrews may be my fourth favorite tournament tight end, however, that’s not too shabby, considering the other beefcake options at the position.
Evan Engram (NYG) – FanDuel $5500 / DraftKings $4600
The good news? Engram is third in tight end targets and plays 80% of his team’s offensive snaps. The bad news? He plays for the New York “Football” Giants. Any other week that would be enough for me to pass on Engram, however, a matchup against the “defensively challenged” Dallas Cowboys puts him firmly in play. On paper, the Cowboys might be ranked ninth in DvP versus tight ends, but it’s no secret that their defense stinks. Engram might not be part of a high-octane offense, but his talent is unquestioned. He also has a history of “owning” the Cowboys (29 receptions, 312 receiving yards and three touchdowns over the last two seasons). Consider him a fine target in both cash games and tournaments this week.
Dalton Schultz (DAL) – FanDuel $5300 / DraftKings $4800
First of all, I would like to apologize to Schultz and his family. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been sleeping on Schultz this season (at least a little). He’s been on my radar, however, I just didn’t think he would see enough consistent volume to be an integral part of the Dallas Cowboys potent offense. His 18 receptions (28 targets) 219 receiving yards and two touchdowns have proven me wrong. The real “kick in the groin” is his team-leading five red-zone targets. I’m not sure if there’s enough room left on the bandwagon for me to hop on, but I’ll be happy to consider Schultz in cash games and GPPs in this weekend’s matchup against the New York Giants (ranked 26th in DvP versus tight ends).
Eric Ebron (PIT) – FanDuel $5100 / DraftKings $4000
Ebron only has 14 targets this season, however, a closer look reveals some promising data. According to Pro Football Focus, he has started and played at least 75% of the offense’s snaps in consecutive weeks, catching eight of 12 targets for 95 yards and a score. Based on that, I’m willing to throw out Ebron’s Week 1 stats if you are. This week, Ebron faces the Philadelphia Eagles, who allow the third-most fantasy points to the tight end position (as per ESPN). They have also given up the second-most touchdowns to tight ends this year (five). This is the same Eagles defense that allowed George Kittle (15-183-1), Tyler Higbee (5-54-3) and Logan Thomas (4-37-1) to have big weeks (courtesy of Pro Football Focus). I’m currently penciling in Ebron’s name to this list and using him in tournaments.
Hayden Hurst (ATL) – FanDuel $5700 / DraftKings $4700
Hurst makes the list as this week’s “Kool-Aid” play. Remember how excited we were at the beginning of the season when we thought Hurst would simply step in and absorb an Austin Hooper (CLE) type of workload? Yeah, well that didn’t happen (Hurst averages 5.5 targets per game while per averaged 7.5 targets per game, as per Pro Football Focus). This could be a redemption week for Hayden as he takes on the Carolina Panthers (ranked 32nd in DvP versus tight ends). If Julio Jones (ATL) is forced to miss this week’s game (currently a game time decision with a hamstring injury), Hurst could see an uptick in target share. That would put him in play in GPPs, creating excellent tournament leverage against some of the higher owned Atlanta Falcons receivers on the slate.
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.