Given the generally inconsistent, touchdown-dependent nature of the tight end position, I rarely use a tight end at the Flex position in DFS. This may be the week I make an exception. There are a bunch of top flex options out this week with the Bears, Bengals, Broncos and Packers on a bye, making tight ends more viable at the flex spot. On top of that, guys like Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates and Julius Thomas have the upside of most wide receivers. I suspect I will have one of those guys at a flex spot in at least one of my lineups this week.

        FanDuel Draft KingsFantasy Feud
PlayerTmOppHorATar/GRec/GYds/GTD/G$PTS/GOpp Pts Allowed$PTS/G$PTS/G
Rob GronkowskiNENYJhome7.64.6851810016.025.7810020.313850016.02
Antonio GatesSDOAKhome13.5993.5158006.6217.8500024.351229006.62
Greg OlsenCARPHIhome94.874.80.6640011.876.9610017.0811540011.87
Jimmy GrahamSEASFaway6.74.857.30.3630010.159.6540013.0711140010.15
Gary BarnidgeCLESTLaway6.84.568.80.8590014.137.8490017.3810520014.13
Travis KelceKCPIThome6.84.869.30.3600011.0215.6490014.4310810011.02
Jason WittenDALNYGaway7.4654.20.456009.3214.8480013.62844009.32
Kyle RudolphMINDETaway5.
Julius ThomasJACBUFhome7.54.5490.556003.3811.2450012.4976003.38
Charles ClayBUFJACaway7.55.2540.355009.659.9430013.07919009.65
Dwayne AllenINDNOhome2.51.815.30.350002.61527004.78457002.6
Delanie WalkerTENATLhome7.35.5610.355008.612.7390013.1851008.6
Derek CarrierWASTBhome21.715.30.249003.375.425003.73607003.37
Jacob TammeATLTENaway53.846 51005.4212.529008.4715005.42
Ladarius GreenSDOAKhome5.44.451.80.651009.1517.8290013.18445009.15
Heath MillerPITKCaway3.72.8280.252005.226.527006.97556005.22
Austin Seferian-JenkinsTBWASaway53.569.5152004.97.7320017.95561004.9
Larry DonnellNYGDALhome5.8430.50.352007.056.133009.05623007.05
Jordan CameronMIAHOUhome7.23400.255006.0710.433008.2701006.07
Zach ErtzPHICARaway5.73.234.5 50005.037.632006.62505005.03
Crockett GillmoreBALARIaway4.83.345.30.550006.15250010.78586006.1
Coby FleenerINDNOhome4.73.2280.251005.381530007.3586005.38
Jared CookSTLCLEhome5.6333.8 52004.288.828006.38428004.28
Benjamin WatsonNOINDaway5.
Gavin EscobarDALNYGaway1.
Tim WrightDETMINhome2.61.4110.2  11.2    
Vernon DavisSFSEAhome4227.3 48002.481630004.73489002.48


Premium Options

Antonio Gates

Before I get into Gates’ production and matchup, it is worth noting he didn’t practice Wednesday, and Ladarius Green would be a near must-play with Gates out. That being said, it seems likely Gates simply got an extra day off to rest his 35 year-old body, and I suspect he will be just fine on Sunday.

Under different circumstances I might argue there is no way Gates would catch nine passes for 90-plus yards for the third consecutive game, but it would almost be a shock if he didn’t reach those numbers considering his competition. The Raiders have still allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season despite shutting out Denver tight ends in Week 5. Eventually some team will figure out how to slow down Gates, but it almost certainly won’t be the Raiders. Gates continues to be underpriced on FanDuel and DraftKings, and is worth playing on FantasyFeud as well.

Rob Gronkowski 

I was all set to finally leave Gronkowski out of my TE coach this week, but byes and injuries made that impossible. There just are not very many players worth paying up for this week, and Gronk is just as worthy as most other high-priced option.

That being said, I have some concerns. Gronk has had exactly five targets in two consecutive games and has four receptions or fewer in three straight. Those trends may continue this week, as only two teams have allowed fewer fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends than the Jets. Even so, there is no arguing with Gronk’s upside, and you have to spend your money somewhere.

Value Options

Julius Thomas

The big concern with Thomas coming into this season, aside from his injury history, was Blake Bortles. At the very least, Bortles has been good enough to get the ball to Thomas fairly consistently, and there are few doubts about Thomas’ talent. With Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and T.J. Yeldon all nursing injuries, Thomas could see a ton of work against a Bills defense that has allowed at least four receptions by opposing tight ends in every game this season.


Kyle Rudolph

The Lions have allowed at least five receptions to opposing tight ends in five of their six games this season, including five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown to Rudolph in Week 2. Rudolph’s usage this season limits his ceiling, but Rudolph is a viable red zone target, and the Vikings should have no trouble moving the ball against a Detroit defense averaging 386.8 yards against per game this season.

Bargain Options

Derek Carrier

He still hasn’t seen nearly the volume Jordan Reed did, and that may never change. Even so, he has averaged three receptions for 33 yards in the two games Reed has missed, and Carrier is a pretty decent bet to find the red zone. He is a perfectly viable cheap option in both cash and GPP games.

Dwayne Allen

The Indianapolis offense finally looked like itself last week, and while that didn’t translate into fantasy production for Allen, it is probably just a matter of time. Neither Allen nor Coby Fleener are safe enough for cash games while both are healthy, but Allen is a cheap GPP upside play.