The last and final bye week slate would obviously tie the season high with six teams on bye week because, well, why wouldn’t it? So this is the last slate we are going to need to scrape things together before we get full lineups the rest of the way. Luckily for us, there are plenty of solid matchups and sneaky plays to help us get by so let’s get into it! Good thing guys like Evan Engram and Cole Kmet paid off for us last week so would should have some money to work with.
Top Tier: the safest and most expensive guys available if you want to pay up
Mid Tier: affordable players that offer the best bang for your buck
Value Tier: the bargain bin players that are risky by nature but can have the huge upside in terms of value created
Fades: The guys we feel are the worst value proposition that you should actively avoid
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS Week 14 Tight End Top Plays
NFL DFS TE Top-Tier Plays
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
The top tier this week is pretty obvious for us. Travis Kelce has been leaps and bounds better than everyone else in terms of both behind the scenes usage and production. Mark Andrews has had ideal behind the scenes usage in terms of snap share, route participation, target share, aDot etc. but he doesn’t have the production (and his price is too similar to Kelce). Other guys have produced sporadically but they don’t have the ideal usage the Kelce has in order to provide consistency. So some weeks in this top tier we need to just go with the chalk and Kelce is the chalk king. Kelce is a whopping 18% of your budget on Yahoo so I would not pay up for him over there but he isn’t bad on DraftKings (15.2%) and FanDuel (13.33%). When you look at how FanDuel has priced some of our mid and value tier options below, Kelce becomes even more attractive on that platform.
T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
Speaking of chalk, TJ Hockenson is going to be an incredibly popular play. He has the matchup - the Lions are a bottom five team vs. the tight end and this game has shootout potential given the high over/under and close spread. He should have the opportunity as he runs a ton of routes and Jeff Okudah did a pretty good job on Justin Jefferson last time around. And he has the revenge game narrative going for him which is Twitter’s favorite. My Quick Out podcast co-host Jon Impemba often talks about good chalk (a popular player that you should start to not miss out) and bad chalk (a popular player that you can fade to get an advantage on other fantasy gamers). Given the info above and the Vikings recent tendency to get pulled into high scoring games, TJ Hockenson is good chalk this week. Chalkenson is roughly 10-11% of your budget on all three platforms so he’s not a bad pick anywhere (especially on Yahoo where Kelce is 18%).
NFL DFS TE Mid-Tier Plays
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
The elite tier above are guys that range from $5,000 to $8,000 or so on DraftKings. In the upper end of the mid-tier, we don’t really love some of the options this week. The Cowboys are 17.5 point favorites vs. Houston which doesn’t make us feel great about pass volume for Dalton Schultz. David Njoku is coming off an ankle injury and we’ve seen them limit his snaps in his first game back from injury earlier this year. And George Kittle is playing with a rookie QB in a game that has an over/under of only 37.5 points. Pat Freiermuth has been playing a ton of snaps, running a lot of routes, and his target share is solid so all he really needs is for his quarterback Kenny Pickett to maybe take some more chances and throw some more touchdown passes (Pickett has only two touchdown passes over the last five weeks). If you have cash, Muth is the best option in this range. He’s around 8.5% to 9.5% of your budget on all three platforms so fairly reasonably priced across the board.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
We say this virtually every week in the Rest of Season Tight End Rankings breakdown - one of the big reasons we like Greg Dulcich is that he’s a converted wide receiver who is now a tight end that they use like a wide receiver. Well, now the head coach Nathaniel Hackett himself has acknowledged that it’s an advantage to have a tight end that can play like a wide receiver. With both Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy dealing with injuries, they really don’t have many other options than the rookie and the Chiefs are certainly a team that you can work against. He remains incredibly cheap on DraftKings and Yahoo at 6.5%-7% of your budget though he’s been bumped up to 9% on Fan Duel.
NFL DFS TE Value Plays
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
Daniel Bellinger was already starting to heat up earlier this year but then he almost had his eye poked out. Yikes. We were a little concerned about his return but then last week he hit the ground running playing 64 of 66 snaps, running 34 routes, and catching all five of his targets. Bingo. The Eagles have two stud corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry that should handle the wide receivers on the outside. Meanwhile the Eagles lost stud safety CJ Gardner-Johnson vs. the Packers and might not have slot corner Avonte Maddox so there might be room to work over the middle. Bellinger is a little expensive on Fan Duel at 8% but he’s 6.6% on DraftKings and 5.5% on Yahoo so he’s affordable over there.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
You might remember this name from the NFL combine when he shocked everyone by running a 4.52 forty yard dash at 243 pounds (he’s in the 96th percentile for speed for tight ends). Now he’s actually making a little noise on the field with back to back games of five targets. So much noise that offensive coordinator Todd Downing said that Okonwko has “earned more opportunities and the Titans have looked at drawing up more ways to get him the football”. Since he’s already getting targets now, “more ways to get him the football” has me excited to see maybe they are going to look at giving the speedy tight end some handoffs/end arounds or screens. Either way, we like the sound of that. He’s practically “free” on DraftKings and he is the bare minimum price on Yahoo at $10 but FanDuel is spoiling the fun a bit by pricing him at 8% of the budget so stay away on FD.
NFL DFS TE Bonus Dart Throw
Noah Gray, Kansas City Chiefs
Gray once again quietly played ~60% of the snaps which makes the three weeks in a row. It’s only a matter of time that he sneaks into the end zone here and he’s virtually free on every platform. If you are someone that makes a ton of lineups, you should keep sneaking at least one Gray lineup in there because there aren’t many folks in that price range that catch passes ever and he’s caught at least one ball in eight straight games, 11 of 12 this season. Since our other value tier options are both kind of pricy on FanDuel, this might be the sneaky play over there.
NFL DFS TE Fades
Mitchell Wilcox, Cincinnati Bengals
I know what you are thinking. Hayden Hurst is out. Joe Burrow is good. Bengals throw a lot. Slam dunk right? Probably not. First of all, the Browns are a top-five team vs. the tight end. In a division with Mark Andrews and Pat Freiermuth. Second, Mitchell Wilcox isn’t that good. He’s a blocking tight end, like Drew Sample. In fact, he’s had a couple games this year where he played more snaps than Hayden Hurst. This team has Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon/Samaje Perine so why in the world would they pepper Mitchell Wilcox? This dude runs a 4.88 forty yard dash which is painfully slow. Really no reason to go there.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Bucaneers
We talked about good chalk and bad chalk earlier - this one is likely to end up as bad chalk (regardless of whether Cameron Brate plays or not). This game is a trap game in more ways than one. First off, the over/under is only 37.5 points and the Bucs are underdogs meaning their implied point total of 17.82 points this week is the lowest besides the Texans (who are 17.5 point underdogs vs. the Cowboys). The other is that the 49ers are one of the best teams in the league vs. the tight end. This should be another case of folks thinking they are being sneaky but actually making the mistake mistake everyone else is making.