Wow - what a nightmare week for tight ends. You know it’s bad when the TE2 overall is OJ Howard and the TE3 overall is Taysom Hill. Will Dissly was TE5. Will. Dissly.

But that’s the way she goes sometimes - we just need to dig our heels back in and give ourselves the best chance to succeed. And the beautiful thing about Week 2 is that now we have stats from Week 1. We’ve seen actual games, we have actionable data. So let’s comb through to data, check out the prices, and figure out which guys we want to get in there.

As a reminder, we like to give you guys at each price point so that you can build the lineup you want at any level.

  • 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 a 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!

| DFS Watch List (Wed) | QB Coach (Tue) | RB Coach (Wed) | WR Coach (Wed) | TE Coach (Thu)| D/ST Coach (Thu) | NFL DFS Playbook | NFL DFS Dartboard |



NFL DFS TE Top Plays


Top Tier

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

With Travis Kelce playing on Thursday, we have limited options at the elite level. If you are going to spend the big bucks on a tight end, it needs to be Mark Andrews. Andrews had a “disappointing week last week but there were a number of solid signs in terms of usage as well as some game script narratives working in his favor. This tweet sums up most of those.

On top of that, he also had a 12.6-yard average depth of target which is elite tier. The Jets game was never in question and they were scoring so efficiently with Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman that they were giving the ball back to the Jets fairly quickly (the Ravens ran 56 plays while the Jets ran 84). Expect a more competitive game this week with the Dolphins - one in which Andrews can thrive.  He’s 14.8% of your budget on Yahoo and 12.8% on DK so slight value on DraftKings.

Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders 

There was some concern for Waller coming into this season playing alongside Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow but Week 1 did a lot to quash those fears. First off, just from a box score perspective, he got more targets than Hunter Renfrow which is half the battle. Davante Adams isn’t going to get 15+ targets every week so the second target in that offense has room to thrive. Also, his usage in terms of alignment was better under Josh McDaniels than it has been under previous coaches, as crazy as that sounds.  He was very close to Andrews in a lot of those stats above as he ran 89.5% of his routes from a wide receiver spot and ran a route on 80% of the dropbacks. He also had an elite tier aDot of 13 yards. Travis Kelce absolutely torched the Cardinals this past week so Waller could be in a spot to do the same. He’s 11.2% of your budget on DK but only 9.5% on Yahoo so that’s the spot to get him in there.


Mid Tier

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys 

Most of the public is going to look at one thing and fade this play - Cooper Rush. And they might be right. Maybe it’s just a disaster. But Cooper Rush actually looked okay filling in on short notice and he has had a full week to be installed as the starting QB. Not only might he be hesitant to push the ball downfield which would benefit Schultz but we also have a short sample size of Cooper Rush in-game numbers in which he targeted CeeDee Lamb 10 times and Dalton Schultz nine. With Michael Gallup on the mend, they really don’t have many options in this passing game and the Bengals really aren’t that great of a defense vs. the tight end. The line to bet this one also suggests it might not be the blowout you would assume at only a 7-point spread with some books. He’s just about 10% of your budget on both books so not a bad play on either.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

Even with only 60% of the snaps last week, Ertz was able to find pay dirt. This isn’t uncommon for him as he had the second most red zone targets of any tight end last year and was third in end zone targets. He was held out Wednesday like many veterans but he’s expected to be a full participant to round out the week and be a full go for Sunday’s matchup. Not only is it a good matchup vs. the Raiders defense with a high over/under (51.5 points) but DeAndre Hopkins is still suspended and Rondale Moore is dealing with injuries of his own. The questionable designation is going to scare some folks away which makes him even more of a sneaky play. He’s exactly evenly priced at 9% of your budget on both platforms so pick your poison there.

Value Tier

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This isn’t a “sexy” pick by any means but he wouldn’t be in the Value Tier if he was a sexy slam dunk now would he? There’s actually a surprising amount to like about the first week for Brate that could translate to production moving forward.  First off, the veteran Kyle Rudolph wasn’t even active because other players on the roster “provide more on special teams”. So much for that. As far as Brate himself, his route percentage per drop back was rock solid this week at 76% - that would be good for ninth among all tight ends this week.

They just didn’t throw much because they didn’t need it. Brate also played more than half of his snaps at wide receiver and, with Chris Godwin now out, he could continue to provide slot snaps in that offense. It’s also worth noting that Brate quietly had 10 targets within the 10-yard line last season per Pro Football Reference which was actually tied for third behind Mark Andrews and Dawson Knox. Yes, Cameron Brate got as many targets inside the 10-yard line last year as guys like Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz. He’s only $3,900 on DraftKings but he’s even cheaper on Yahoo where he is the bare minimum of $10.

Logan Thomas, Wahington Commanders 

We know that Logan Thomas is capable of great things. He has a TE3 season under his belt in PPR. And, when healthy, he plays virtually every snap for that team. In fact, Ron Rivera had him play 100% of the snaps in all three games to start the season last year before he got banged up. To start the season this year he was a little limited, only running 51% of the routes on dropbacks, yet he STILL got six targets. Ron Rivera loves utilizing him and Carson Wentz has force-fed passes to Zach Ertz in the past, so don’t be surprised if we see some fantastic games from Thomas again this year. This week he gets the Detroit Lions so it’s not a bad week to slide him into some lineups. If his snap share continues to increase, he won’t be this cheap again. He’s $3,400 on DraftKings and $15 on Yahoo so it’s kind of the opposite of the Brate situation - use Brate on Yahoo, Thomas on DK.



Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints

Looking for that bare minimum priced tight end this week so that you can STACK the rest of your lineup? Want it to also be a player who should be fairly low-owned thanks to a smoke screen from his teammate? This is your guy. Sure, Taysom Hill had a couple of carries and scored a touchdown. But he only played 16% of the snaps and only ran four routes. Juwan Johnson quietly had a 78% route participation which was eighth among all tight ends and he garnered five targets. He also ran 76.4% of his snaps from a wide receiver spot with a solid 12.4-yard aDot which makes sense as a converted wide receiver. This is a sneaky play in a good matchup vs. the Buccaneers so I’m absolutely making lineups with him. He’s pretty much free on all platforms.


EDIT: With Michael Pittman AND Alec Pierce dealing with injuries, Kylen Granson is an additional sneaky play. He quietly played more snaps and ran more routes than Mo Alie-Cox last week. I'd try to sneak him into at least one lineup. He is $2,600 on DK and minimum on Yahoo.



Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

We talked above about how the underlying usage was great for Mark Andrews and Darren Waller. Well, not so much for Kyle Pitts. Arthur Smith decided he was going to use Pitts less like a wide receiver and more like an in-line tight end, lining up at wide receiver only 57.1% of the time compared to over 70% last year. He also was asked to stay in and block on an alarming 20% of his pass plays. Dawson Knox this week against the Rams heavy pass rush was asked to stay in and block 21.9% of the time - Pitts gets that same Rams defense this week. I’m pretty concerned about that usage so probably best to avoid for this week at least.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins 

I’m not sure how Mike Gesicki could possibly still be priced at $4,300 after this weekend. And I’m not talking about the box score. Mike McDaniel’s offense uses a two-way, in-line tight end - in San Francisco that was George Kittle. And what happened this week? They utilized a two-way tight end. But it wasn’t even Mike Gesicki. Durham Smythe played 38 snaps to only 25 for Gesicki. Gesicki was basically used as a rotational slot wide receiver along with Cedrick Wilson and Trent Sherfield. Not ideal. He doesn’t have nearly enough upside with that usage. Stay away.




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