Normally the TE position is one with few good options and one that is tough to write up, but after grinding through 18 weeks of NFL DFS, I finally get a slate to write up where it’s pretty stacked.
Normally the TE position is one with few good options and one that is tough to write up, but after grinding through 18 weeks of NFL DFS, I finally get a slate to write up where it’s pretty stacked. This is arguably the best main slate of TE options I have had the privilege of writing up all year and that’s not hyperbole. There is no more Kittle or Cook, but the other four top tight ends are all in play here on this slate. We have options from top to bottom that are interesting this week. Let’s get into it.
1- Travis Kelce – Kelce finished the season as TE1 in fantasy. The Colts finished the season giving up the 7th most fantasy points to the TE position. The Colts defense was stingy against the run and play an umbrella type coverage where they keep everything in front of them. The way to attack them is underneath with guys who can make plays by picking up yards after the catch. That’s right in the wheelhouse of a guy like Travis Kelce. Kelce has had at least 9 targets in 6 straight games and had only three games all season below that number. He has not scored single digit DraftKings points since week 1 and this game sets up as one that should be pass heavy for the Chiefs. Kelce is not the only good option at the tight end position this week, or even in this game, but he is still the #1 TE on the season and deserves to be owned here.
2- Eric Ebron – On FanDuel Ebron is $6600, which is only $900 less than Kelce. On DraftKings he is $1500 cheaper. Kansas City gave up the most points to the TE position of any team in the league during the regular season, so this spot is obviously a good one for him. Ebron does not have the volume of Travis Kelce, at least in recent weeks with his target totals settling in around 6 per game. What he does bring to the table though is TD upside. Ebron has scored in each of the last two games and led all tight ends in touchdowns with 14 in the regular season and he added another to that total in the wild card game last week. We have so many high priced plays at each position with talented offensive weapons everywhere. As much as I like Kelce, you quickly find out that paying up for him is not as easy this week. If you can afford to do it, I still prefer him for a higher ceiling, but Ebron is definitely a guy worthy of inclusion if you need the extra couple hundred bucks. I have been more inclined to use him on DK where the savings is greater. The Chiefs likely pass heavy approach here means a shootout is expected. With Ebron’s TD equity in that offense, he should be able to come up with another solid fantasy performance.
3- Gerald Everett – Everett is near min price on DK and only $4800 on FanDuel. If you need to save at the TE position, he is the guy I like to do it with. The Rams have used more 2 TE sets with Cooper Kupp going down and Everett has been the big beneficiary of that. He saw at least 6 targets in each game from 14-16. He’s not a massive upside guy, but that kind of target share puts him in line with guys like Ebron and Gronk, both of whom are more expensive. Todd Gurley is also not 100% here for this game, so I’m not sure the Rams are going to pound it in from close like they have been doing all season. The Dallas defense is stingy, but the weakest part of it has been defending tight ends this year. They allow a bottom 25% production to QB, RB, and WR, but allowed the 11th most points to fantasy TEs. In fact multiple TEs had big games against them. Evan Engram went 7/67/1 in week 2, Ertz went for 14/145/2 in week 10, Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis went for 8/148/1 in week 12, Engram went 5/81/1 in the second showdown with the cowboys as well, and they had a bunch of games giving up 5-7 catches for around 40-50 yards to other various guys as well. Everett is not only cheap, but he has a decent floor due to the targets and a good potential ceiling due to the matchup. You can fit in a lot of players you wouldn't be able to touch using him at $2800 on DraftKings. He doesn't have the ceiling of a lot of these other guys, but he is half the price of guys like Ebron and Ertz on DK and a third the price of Kelce. On FanDuel you save $2000-$3000 as well and that money is definitely needed this week with so many studs at every position we can potentially pay for.
4- Zach Ertz – Honestly, I love Zach Ertz, but this is not the ideal spot for him. He went just 2/15 on 3 targets last time these two teams met. The Saints on the season allowed the 10th fewest fantasy points to the TE position, so the matchup is not ideal. The other thing that has me off of him is the number of mouths to feed in Philly. You have Tate, Alshon, Agholor, Ertz, and even Dallas Goedert all involved in the offense lately. There is no denying that Errtz and Wentz had a better connection than he does with Foles. Not that Foles and Ertz don;t have a connection, but he has not been peppered with targets the same way with Foles as he was with Wentz. I’m not ruling him out in a game where the Eagles could find themselves trailing or getting into a shootout, but I would much prefer to play Ebron at about the same price on DK or KElce for the same price on FanDuel.
5- Rob Gronkowski – Gronk is my fifth best TE on the weekend, but that’s not a bad thing given the other four above him. The other thing with Gronk is we are getting him at a much lower price than you would normally see him in past seasons. He has not seen the target share or been as consistent as he has in the past, but Gronk does always have upside. He had a 27 fantasy point explosion a few weeks ago and it was his second of the season. He’s also had a couple games with double digit fantasy points too. Gronk has not dominated every game like he had in the past, but the ceiling game is still there and he’s the kind of guy who likes the spotlight and the big stage. I would not touch him outside of GPPs, but he’ll be low owned, discounted, and the Patriots pass catching core is not exactly top notch after they lost Josh Gordon. If Gronk gets into the endzone, he likely pays off that DraftKings price and that’s not out of the question.
Blake Jarwin is listed as questionable and I doubt he plays. Even if he does, I’m not expecting him to be 100%. If he sits, Rico Gathers and/or Dalton Schultz likely pick up the snaps, but I like Gerald Everett way better than either of those guys.
Dallas Goedert is viable, but I don't really want to go there. He had about as good of a game as we can expect out of him last week with 2/20/1 on 4 targets. That’s basically his ceiling and a repeat would be decent value on DraftKings, but this is a softer spot for Ertz too. Chicago had been shutting down TE options all year long, so Ertz wasn’t expected to smash last week against them.
Hunter Henry is back in the mix this week for the Chargers who took him off the PUP list. He’s going to be on a pitch count, which means at best he’s in there for high leverage situations. That does likely mean third downs and potential red zone opportunities, but it also caps his upside. Not only does it cap his upside, but it caps the upside for Antonio Gates too. The only way Gates is viable is if he gets into the end zone and has a couple catches along the way. His end zone chances are now lower with Henry back and his opportunities go down as well. That means a lower floor and a lower ceiling, making neither guy that appealing.