Week 13 is Byemageddon Part 2 and that is especially true on the tight end position. But these are the slates that really separate the DFS pros from the folks who just get lucky. Of course luck factors in, just like it does in poker, but the great poker players work out all of the percentages so that they can put themselves in the best position to win. And that’s what we do here. So let’s get into this week’s slate!d
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
As a reminder, here is how we separate the groups here. We do it this way so that you have an option no matter how much (or how little) money you have available to spend on tight end.
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
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Top-Tier Picks
Towards the top our hands are a little tied here. Dalton Schultz is dealing with a hamstring injury that saw him split snaps with Brevin Jordan last week. Trey McBride showed up on the injury report with a groin injury. Dallas Goedert probably isn’t going to play. Travis Kelce is off the main slate, T.J. Hockenson and Dalton Kincaid are on bye, Mark Andrews and Darren Waller are OUT. So the options are Kittle or LaPorta at the top. Kittle is going to be quite popular as the Eagles are listed as the 27th team vs. the tight end but they have looked better as of late with the addition of Kevin Byard. And, with everyone healthy, Kittle only has one game with more than three catches. If you have the extra cash floating around and want to pay up for a fairly “safe” option in cash maybe you go Kittle but we prefer the second option.
My plan is to pay down this week in general because I don’t LOVE the matchup with the Saints. Demario Davis and the Honey Badger can cause some problems over the middle. But with Marshon Lattimore out they’ve had to shift guys around in the secondary and LaPorta should be just fine. I actually have LaPorta ranked ahead of Kittle in my weekly rankings and he’s cheaper on all three platforms (Kittle is ~12.5% of your budget on all three while LaPorta is 10.5% on Yahoo, 11.2% on DK, and 11.7% on FanDuel). Even the “down weeks” for LaPorta see him get 5 targets so this is your cash game play, especially on FanDuel where they never give us discounts at tight end.
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Mid-Tier Picks
This late in the season we are looking for catalysts for change. Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown did nothing for 10 weeks until guys got hurt and they changed the playcaller. Well, Pat Freiermuth had yet to have more than four targets in a game so far this season and, the first game after Matt Canada was fired, he got 11. He led all tight ends with 120 receiving yards last week. This week he gets the Arizona Cardinals which are another great matchup. FanDuel jacked him to up 9.7% of your budget and DraftKings has him as a reasonable 8.6% but Yahoo has him at only $14 which is 7% of the budget (bare minimum is $10). So, if you play on Yahoo, you should do a Muth lineup for sure.
Losing Deshaun Watson is bad for the Cleveland Browns. But David Njoku was actually averaging only 5.2 targets per game with Watson. With the backups, he’s averaged 8.6. I don’t really care whether it’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, PJ Walker, or Joe Flacco, Njoku has established himself as a focal point of this offense. And one thing they’ve done to help the shaky QBs is utilize tight end screens. No tight end has gotten more screen passes than Njoku over the last six weeks and he has the second most on the season behind only Evan Engram. Those screens can pay off in full PPR and, conveniently enough, Njoku is actually cheapest (8.2% of your budget) over on DraftKings. He’s 9% and 9.3% on Yahoo and FanDuel so not a bad deal there either. The Rams are a team that tight ends have had a lot of success against.
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Value Tier Picks
Folks are infatuated with Taysom Hill. And I get it - fun player. But he really only actually played tight end while Juwan Johnson was out. Over the last couple weeks Johnson has taken back his role and, last week with Michael Thomas out and Rashid Shaheed and Chris Olave leaving the game with injury, Juwan Johnson led this team in routes run and got seven targets. The Lions really have no been amazing against the tight end since losing CJ Gardner Johnson so Juwan could be in line for a big day out of the slot (he is a converted WR after all). He’s 8.17% of your budget on FanDuel so we’re not using him oer there but at 6.8% on DraftKings and 5.5% on Yahoo, we like him there. He’s $11 on Yahoo when the bare minimum is $10.
This is our cheap cash game play if you want a cheap, safe option. Over the last six weeks, Cade Otton has led all tight ends in route participation. He’s out there. And, outside of the Titans matchup who are the second best team in the league vs. the tight end, he’s caught at least four passes in all of those games. He might not light the world on fire as he’s only surpassed 50 yards one time but this guy is as rock solid as they come. As long as he’s getting his usual work we are playing with house money and a touchdown puts us in the green big time. FanDuel hates us so he’s 8.5% over there but on the other two he’s about ~6.5% of the budget which works.
BONUS DART THROW
Here’s the first time I’ve ever recommended this player. But, as we said in the Freiermuth write up, we are looking for catalysts for change. The Panthers just fired pretty much their entire coaching staff. Clean slate. Hayden Hurst is still in concussion protocol. And Tommy Tremble is dealing with a hip issue. We know Ian Thomas skews blocking while Stephen Sullivan is more of a pass catcher. And we saw him get five targets a week ago before leaving the game with an injury. He’s the bare minimum price on both DraftKings and Yahoo and the closest we’ll get to a paydown on FanDuel (thought we’d rather just pay up over there).
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Fades
Tyler Higbee scored two touchdowns last week. Anytime that happens, you have a good chunk of fantasy gamers chasing. And sometimes, if conditions are right, we will play along. Not this week. The Browns are the best team vs. the tight end and it’s not even closer. The Browns have only let up 25 receptions to tight ends as a whole - the next closest team has allowed 40. Same with yards. They’ve allowed 227 which is 171 fewer than the Patriots who are the next closest. In fact, the Patriots are the only other team who have allowed fewer than 400 and they are at 398. Just don’t do it.
Speaking of the Patriots vs. tight ends, we don’t like this matchup against Kyle Dugger for Gerald Everett. Especially since Everett is not a full time player. In 26 games for the Chargers, he has never played more than 80% of the snaps. He’s only played more than 70% of the snaps in three games. A lot of people are going to say “well the wide receivers are hurt so they have to throw to Everett”. They don’t. They have three tights ends and they rotate them all. In a bad matchup.