We whiffed pretty hard on Evan Engram and Hunter Henry last week but made up for it with our top pick - T.J. Hockenson - who was virtually a requirement in lineups to hit the big bucks. Hopefully, you mixed him in there and loaded up on guys like Geno Smith from that crazy shootout. This week is an odd one for tight ends on the main slate with a lot of the big dogs in primetime games but that just means we get to dig a little deeper. 


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 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!

| DFS Playbook | QB Coach (Tue) | RB Coach (Wed) | WR Coach (Wed) | TE Coach (Thu) | D/ST Coach (Thu) | Value Plays |

NFL DFS TE Top Plays for Week 5

Top Tier


Some weeks there really isn’t a “top dog” to pay up for. This is one of them. Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and Darren Waller are all playing in prime-time games and they aren’t available for the main slate. George Kittle is the only tight end even priced over $5,000 on DraftKings and, if you have the extra cash, he’s probably the safest option. But he’s been asked to help out blocking with not only Trent Williams out but also his backup Colton McKivitz, who suffered a high ankle sprain this week. So perhaps not the highest upside play either. Honestly, it’s not the end of the world since we can just save some money in the lower tiers. Since we have no elite tier, we’ll give an extra mid-tier guy and another dart throw.  

Mid Tier

Zach Ertz, ARI

There will come a time when DeAndre Hopkins returns and Zach Ertz might not be as reliable of an option. But he’s still suspended for another two weeks. Ertz is top tier in a number of important tight end stats this year with an 83.4% route per dropback rate, a 19.7% target share, and a 2.8% pass block rate (meaning he’s almost never asked to stay in and block on pass plays). He’s also lining up at WR for 71.8% of his routes which isn’t likely to change with no Hopkins or AJ Green. He’s clearly the second target on the team after Marquise Brown and the defacto red zone target and the Eagles defense has some tough corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry that the WRs will have to deal with. He’s about 9.5% of your budget on both DraftKings and Yahoo so he’s a decent option on either. 

Dallas Goedert, PHI

This Eagles vs. Cardinals game is set to be a high-scoring affair so we like the tight ends on both sides of the ball. I like the idea of making a “shootout” lineup by either stacking Dallas Goedert with Jalen Hurts or making a Kyler Murray lineup with Goedert on the other side. Like Ertz, he’s been elite in nearly every category but there are two holding him back - he’s not a top two target on the team (AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith) and he’s been running low aDot routes (3.2 yards). That said, they are drawing up a lot of screens and, when you take those away, his aDot on other routes is a more normal 7.7 yards. Goedert is 11% of your budget on Yahoo but only 9.4% on DraftKings (which is cheaper than Ertz) so I’d only use Godert on DraftKings or FanDuel. 

Gerald Everett, LAC

Since there are no top-tier options, we’re giving another mid-tier one. And the formula is simple here honestly - when Keenan Allen doesn’t play, you need at least one Gerald Everett lineup. Everett is averaging 7.3 targets per game in Allen’s absence and he had five catches on six targets for 61 and a touchdown last game out. If Keenan Allen is in, however, you’re going to want to steer clear. He’s cheaper than Ertz and Goedert on all platforms but he’s especially cheap on Yahoo (7.5% of your budget rather than 8.4%). 

Value Tier

Logan Thomas, WAS

We loved Logan Thomas in the past because of his usage. As recently as last year he was playing monster snaps with most of them at the slot. In fact, over the first three games of 2021, he literally played EVERY snap. He has been working his way back from an ACL but, as John Daigle points out here, the numbers have been creeping up.

Now with Jahan Dotson out, that timeline could be accelerated a bit. Thomas not only has that going for him but Tennessee is one of the bottom-ranked defenses (26th) vs. the tight end so it’s time to start mixing him in. He’s 6.4% of your budget on DK and 7% on Yahoo so it’s a DK play. 

Cole Kmet, CHI

Okay, hear me out. Cole Kmet actually has good usage, as crazy as that sounds. He played 61 of 62 snaps this past week. And, on the season, he’s run 82% of the routes per dropback which is eighth of all tight ends. They just haven’t thrown much vs. teams like the Texans and Bears. You can’t get away with that against the Vikings. 

The Bears are averaging 16.75 attempts per game which no one in modern football is even close to - you legit have to go back to teams like the 1949 New York Yankees and 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers to find attempts per game that low (and yes, those were football teams, not baseball teams). The bet here is that they regress to the mean a bit and you have a player no one else is utilizing. He caught three passes when they threw 22 times last week so just imagine what that might look like if they are actually forced to throw 30 of 40 times. He’s $3,000 on DK and $10 on Yahoo so you can make a lot happen with the rest of your lineup. Just don’t stack him with Fields…

Bonus Dart Throw

Cade Otton, TAM

Cameron Brate has been the primary pass catcher and has actually played a ton. He’s got a 15.6% target share and he’s run 72% of his routes from the WR position. Last week he suffered a concussion and he wasn’t at practice once again today (Thursday) so the odds are starting to look good that he’s out. After Brate exited the game Otton had three catches on four targets which aren’t too shabby. He’s literally the bare minimum price on every site so, if you are looking for the cheapest possible option, this is the best bet. If Brate plays though, scratch it.


David Njoku, CLE

The are some stats floating around that are saying David Njoku carves up the Chargers. Well, not only is this Chargers defense built a bit differently with Khalil Mack, but that game last year was a 47-42 shootout. That’s 89 points so, if you are expecting that, bet the over. We’ve seen two good games in a row from Njoku with the two games before that vs. tough pass rushes he was asked to stay in and block on 17% of his pass plays and he didn’t do so hot. And who is to say he wouldn’t have similarly been asked to block vs. the Steelers had TJ Watt not been injured?

In this one, we have both the threat he could be asked to block as well as the prospects of facing safety Derwin James who is a tight end killer (some folks might remember that he practically power-bombed Travis Kelce a couple of weeks ago). David Njoku is going to be a popular pick and I really don’t think it’s worth it this week. It would have been much easier for me to just sit back and say “Njoku is the chalk and he’s good vs. the Chargers” but I’m willing to go against the grain on this one based on THIS YEAR’s data.

Will Dissly, SEA

Folks are going to look at the fact that he’s top 10 in fantasy football on the season. They will look at Geno Smith last week and think they are being sneaky with this stack. But the truth is that Will Dissly only plays half the snaps and the fact that he only has 12 targets on the season makes him incredibly touchdown-dependent. Not to mention, he’s going up against a top-three defense this year vs. the tight end in New Orleans. Skip this one - a lot of folks will be chasing last week’s points.


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