Getting eliminated from your fantasy league hurts. No doubt about it. But there is no time for sulking. There is only so much football left this season. We need to cherish every bit of it. And you know what is always there to comfort you in your time of need? DFS. And Fantasy Alarm. We’re here for you. So let’s take a look at the tight end landscape on the main slate and ease your pain with some cash.
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
For Week 2 we now have actual statistical information from the first week to analyze so this is where the real money is made.
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Top-Tier Picks
The Bills have an interesting tight end defense. On the one hand, they have not let up a lot of points. But, on the other, they haven’t really played many good tight ends. Here’s the full list of tight ends they have faced and PPR points scored courtesy of Stathead.com.
Hard to judge a team like that as they are 8th in points scored against but 10th in DVOA. They did however lose their best tight end cover guy in Matt Milano. And even with Matt Milano, Travis Kelce has shown up for every one of these big games. These teams have played five times over the last three years, including playoffs, and Kelce AVERAGED 25.2 DraftKings points against them. And he never scored fewer than 17.7 points. He’s 15.6% of your budget on DK, 14.5% on Yahoo, and 13.33% on FanDuel. FanDuel never gives us a discount on lower-end tight ends so never a bad idea to pay up over there.
Sam LaPorta just played these Bears a couple of weeks ago and they held him in check with only 18 yards. The Bears are a different team against the tight end when they have a healthy Eddie Jackson. Instead, we are going to go with T.J. Hockenson who folks might be off of with Justin Jefferson back. T.J. Hockenson was TE2 in targets last year behind only Kelce after being traded to MIN. In the five games with Jefferson this year, he led all tight ends in targets. And he has a great matchup this week against the Raiders. He’s roughly ~12% of your budget on all three platforms and he’s cheaper than LaPorta on DK so a good play over there.
NFL DFS Week 13 TE Mid-Tier Picks
Much like Hockenson with Jefferson back, the return of Dawson Knox could scare folks off Dalton Kincaid. But we don’t think he goes back in the bottle. The snaps for Knox will largely come from Quintin Morris, Khalil Shakir, and Trent Sherfield as they go back to running more two tight end sets with Kincaid in the slot. This is a juicy matchup with the Chiefs that has shootout potential for both sides. And I expect Kincaid to be heavily involved, as he has for the last seven weeks now. He’s 11% of your budget on DraftKings which is an appropriate price but he’s underpriced on FanDuel (9.7%) and Yahoo (8.5%) so a great deal if you play over there.
I know. We said we were going to stop doing this. But this might not be the same old song and dance. Last week something changed for Kyle Pitts. All year he’s been a part time player and then last week he came out and ran 90% of the routes with a nearly 30% target share. At 6-6, the Falcons are technically leading that division believe it or not so they are playing for keeps these days. And the matchup against Tampa Bay has been one of the best ones for tight ends. Maybe it was just a one-week thing, but we’re willing to see if Pitts is back to being a focal point of this offense like he was his rookie season. He’s about ~7.5% of your budget on DraftKings and Yahoo (8.8% on FanDuel so no thank you over there).
NFL DFS Week 14 TE Value Tier Picks
Mark Andrews is a pivotal part of the Ravens offense. So pivotal, that they carry another player who can step right into his role if he gets hurt. Isaiah Likely. And that’s exactly what has happened. Before the bye, Likely went out and played over 50 snaps, 37 of which came lined up as a wide receiver. We saw him in the last game of the season last year in this role get 13 targets in a game. Jon Harbaugh, when asked about Zach Ertz, told reporters this week they “like the guys they have”. And Likely gets the Rams who, in my rankings, are a bottom-three team against the tight end. He’s only 7% of your budget on DK (7.5% on Yahoo and 8.7% on FD) so we’ll be mixing him in.
Last week we said Cade Otton was a safe cash game play. And then he had zero catches. So sorry about that. It happens. But we are not going to shy away from him after one bad game. In fact, that should help differentiate us. The Panthers are quietly one of the better teams against the tight end this year while the Falcons, who he gets this week, are one of the worst. Otton ran 33 of 35 routes last week, it just so happens that Mike Evans was unstoppable. Coming into last week, Otton had gotten at least four receptions in five of the last six games and I think he gets back on track here. Good cash game option on DraftKings at 6.2% of your budget but I don’t like his price on the other platforms.
NFL DFS Week 14 Tight End Fades
This is one of my favorite players. So this brings me great pain. But conditions are terrible for Engram this week. First off, Trevor Lawrence is hurt so he’ll have a backup QB. And C.J. Beathard is also dealing with a shoulder issue. Second, they are going against the Cleveland Browns who are BY FAR the best defense in the league against the tight end. They are letting up only 5.9 DK points per game and the next closest teams (SF, TEN, NE, NYG) all let up around 8.4-8.5. And on top of all that, there is a crazy storm hitting the Great Lakes region which is partially why the over/under for this game is 30.5 points. Steer clear of this one.
This worked last week as he was bare minimum priced. This week his price is up. And he faces the Jets who are not as bad against the tight end as the numbers dictate. They have done great against TE1s but the numbers are skewed by random TDs for guys like Pharoah Brown, Luke Schoonmaker, and Noah Gray. So it will show them as the 21st defense vs. the TE but they are really a top 10 team against the TE in my opinion. Also, this game is in the same region that is set to get crushed by the storm, that’s why the over/under is so low. I’m honestly out on both Brevin Jordan and Dalton Schultz rest of season given their schedule - I wrote about that here.