This was probably our best week of the entire season. Here’s how week 7 panned out.




We aren’t going to victory lap the “fades” because we didn’t exactly predict that Daniel Bellinger was going to hurt his eye or that Darren Waller would be ruled out on Sunday. But, as far as the picks go, it doesn’t get much better than that. No time to sit around talking about last week though - let’s see if we can do it again!

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!

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NFL DFS TE Top Plays for Week 8

Top Tier

TJ Hockenson - Some folks aren’t going to recognize the pattern here but process of elimination removes a ton of options from the top tier pretty quickly. Travis Kelce is on bye. Mark Andrews isn’t on the main slate (Thursday). George Kittle plays the number 1 defense vs. the tight end. Darren Waller has been banged up and plays the number 2 defense vs. the tight end. TJ Hockenson gets a good matchup this week vs. a bottom 6 defense vs. the tight end and we know he is capable of big things. Last time he had a plus matchup like this he drop over 170 yards and two touchdowns. He’s 10.5% of your budget on Yahoo and Fanduel but only 9.8% on DraftKings so slight advantage there.

Zach Ertz - We were ready to put Ertz on the backburner with the return of DeAndre Hopkins. But, right on cue, Marquise Brown gets hurt. So Ertz is right back in the mix to be a top two target on his team. We’re still a little concerned because DeAndre Hopkins dominated targets last week but the Saints and Demario Davis are actually a top two team vs. the tight end. The Vikings are currently the 7th worst. So get him in there. He’s right around 10% of your budget on every platform so it’s dealer’s choice.


Mid Tier

Kyle Pitts - I know what your thinking. How can I possibly recommend this guy after his performance as of late. And the answer really is fairly simple. He has the second highest target share of any tight end in the league behind only Travis Kelce (24%). Last week his five targets out of 13 were a 38% target share. We know he’s an athletic freak. We know he can make big plays. So the bet here is simple. If the Falcons actually throw the ball a normal amount of times for once, Kyle Pitts should account for a large number of those targets. If they actually throw it 30-35 times like a normal team (and like they did week 1) 24% of the targets would be 7 or 8. You don’t have to start him but, if he blows up, you’ll know why. He’s only 7% of your budget on Yahoo while being over 8% on both others so that’s the spot. 

Irv Smith Jr. - We have not recommended Irv Smith Jr. once this season and for pretty good reason. Not only is he the third target at best on the team behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen but he’s really not playing all the snaps. He’s 21st in routes run amongst tight ends which is less than Cade Otton. But this time around there are a three reasons to be hopeful. First, they face the Cardinals which are the second worst team vs. the tight end (the Cardinals are allowing 21 DK points per game to the tight end and no other team besides the Seahawks is above 17). Second, the game is expected to be high scoring with an over under of 48.5 points. And third, he’s pretty reasonably priced among a group of mid tier guys that aren’t appealing. He might not light the world on fire but I expect him to bring back positive value if you need the money elsewhere. He’s cheapest on DraftKings so that’s where I’d go (he’s most expensive on FanDuel). 


Value Tier

Juwan Johnson - FanDuel seems to have figured this one out as they have bumped him up to 8.7% of the budget but Yahoo and DraftKings still have him at ~6%. Jarvis Landry, Michael Thomas, and Adam Trautman are all dealing with various ailments whether they play or not. Johnson is a converted wide receiver who plays a huge chunk of his snaps at slot or split wide and he has a solid 9 yard average depth of target on the season. In fact, this guy has run the 11th most routes of any tight end this year. And he just found paydirt twice last week. Another solid option in the lower tier as he gets the Raiders. The Raiders are allowing 16.6 DraftKings points per week to tight ends which is not only fourth but it’s a decent amount higher than the 5th team (Detroit at 15.8).  

Tanner Hudson - In case you missed it, Daniel Bellinger left last week with a serious eye injury. The only other tight end who has been on the roster is blocking tight end Chris Myarick. In fact, though Bellinger leads the tight ends with 113 routes run, Hudson has run 102. As the only show in town, this is his time to shine against the team that is literally dead last vs. the tight end in Seattle. We mentioned how the Raiders are 4th worst at 16.6 points per game allowed to tight end - the Seahawks are allowing 22.1 points per game. He could fall flat on his face as he hasn’t proven much so far but he’s literally the bare minimum price on every platform so you aren’t going to get a better dart throw at that price point. 



George Kittle/Darren Waller -  We mentioned it above but these guys are the two highest priced on DraftKings and they face the two worst possible matchups. Waller has been banged up and is hard to trust while we’ve yet to see Kittle with a fully unleashed Christian McCaffrey. It’s just not a good week to spend up for the top options. 

Dalton SchultzI actually spoke with Cowboys beat writer Calvin Watkins on this one and, despite practicing, Dalton Schultz has been quite frustrated with the knee. Watkins also said that the team likes the young guys Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot so they might deserve a little more work regardless of the knee. You combine that with a matchup against the Bears who have been a top-five team vs. the tight end and there really is no reason to use Dalton Schultz this week. 



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