Week One is in the books and boy was that atrocious for tight ends. So bad that Donald Parham, Blake Bell, and Harison Bryant finished in the top five. At least our Hayden Hurst (TE2), TJ Hockenson (TE6), and Luke Musgrave (TE10) picks finished in the top 10 for us. Week One presents great value price wise but Week Two is when we can really get an advantage using the information we now have and by jumping on rising stars before they blow up. I made sure to include some “safe” options like Evan Engram and Zach Ertz for your cash games but this is The Week of the Rookie for TE DFS. Let’s get crazy!
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS TE Top Tier Picks
This is going to serve as a placeholder for now then I’m going to come back and update this this weekend. But it’s honestly an important strategy when it comes to DFS, especially in the contests that fill early. If you can put a placeholder lineup in there then go back and start a stud who was questionable early on, you can catch folks off guard as many people make their lineups then don’t go back to make changes. If it turns out one of these guys is a full participant in practice and a full go, I will edit this post and shoot something out on my Twitter letting you know we are updated. We might have to fade them all but maybe we can get an elite option that will be low owned.
Edit: all three are active, Travis Kelce in the potential shootout vs. the Jaguars is the play I would pay up for if we are paying up.
If you want to go with the safest possible pay up option, you can roll with Evan Engram. His route participation in Week One of 86.1% was second only to Durham Smythe. He blocked on zero pass plays. He ran 74.2% of his routes from a WR spot. The only concern this year is that he has a lot of target competition. But his usage is great and he has such a good floor that he’s a very safe cash game option and his speed always offers some upside. He’s about 9.5%-10% of your budget on all three of the major platforms so pick your poison.
NFL DFS TE Mid-Tier Picks
Sometimes we just want that exciting risky upside which is exactly what you get from rookies. LaPorta came out in his first start ever and caught five of five targets vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, despite the game not living up to its shootout potential. He did so while playing 17 snaps at WR, including 13 split out wide which could help in the red zone. The one downfall was blocking on five pass plays but this week he gets more shootout potential in the Seattle Seahawks who were one of the worst teams in the league last year vs. the tight end. He’s slightly cheaper on DK and Yahoo than he is on FanDuel so that’s where to deploy him.
Zach Ertz - This is our “safe” play from this range. Ertz never really was a big catch and run guy - he actually only has one thousand yard season in his career and he needed 150 targets to get there. But earning targets is what this guy does and last week he earned 10 from new QB Joshua Dobbs despite coming off a torn ACL. This offense is depleted of weapons and desperate to simply dump it down so I don’t see a way that he doesn’t offer a decent floor for cash games. Ertz also has a five game streak of scoring touchdowns against the Giants though he hasn’t seen them in awhile.
NFL DFS TE Value Picks
General Manager Brandon Beane told us that Kincaid would play wide receiver more than inline tight end and he wasn’t lying - Kincaid played 47 snaps at WR and only 8 inline. Think about that. We can start the Bills slot wide receiver at our TE spot in a DFS lineup. The Jets were a rough matchup last week but the Raiders are an excellent one. Not to mention, after the criticism Josh Allen got for chucking interceptions downfield last week, maybe we see more action in the mid range. He caught all four of his targets so time to see what he can do. He’s 6.6% of your budget on DraftKings, 6% on Yahoo, and 8.67% on FanDuel so another one where FanDuel isn’t cutting us a break.
Yes, another rookie tight end. We started Musgrave last week, despite his tough matchup with Eddie Jackson, and he had the second most yards of any TE on the slate with 50. In fact, if Jordan Love threw a slightly better pass, he would have scored a TD on his longest play of the day. Now Musgrave gets a much better matchup vs. ATL who just let Hayden Hurst get seven targets on a 58% route participation. Musgrave led the Packers in routes run last week and, once these rookies pop off, their price will skyrocket. So we’ve got to get them in lineups while we can. He’s 6.4% on DK, 6% on Yahoo, and 8.3% on FanDuel.
NFL DFS TE Bonus Dart Throw
Once upon a time, we liked Kylen Granson for dynasty. But things got pretty convoluted at the tight end position, coaches changed, roles got muddied up. Now Jelani Woods is on IR though, Andrew Ogletree is in concussion protocol, and rookie Will Mallory was a healthy scratch last week. Granson quietly played 20 snaps from the slot last week and had four receptions on six targets so I’m definitely making a couple lineups with him in there at his price. He’s priced at 6% on DK, 5.5% on Yahoo, 7.83% on FanDuel but FanDuel doesn’t give us much so he’s probably the best cheap option there. Maybe also Peyton Hendershot who quietly ran 12 routes to 14 for Jake Ferguson though that could be related to the blowout.
NFL DFS TE Fades
It’s wild to me that they continue to price Gerald Everett at the same spot they did last year when Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were hurt. Not only are they healthy but the team drafted Quentin Johnston in the first round in case they do go down. For the price is just far too low upside of a play considering he only played more than 70% of the snaps in two games last year and he didn’t crack that number this week either. Just a low upside, TD dependent option.
There are a number of reasons we are fading Jake Ferguson. First, he has a terrible matchup with the Jets. Second, he played 41 snaps last week and only ran 14 routes. We mentioned this in the Kylen Granson section but Peyton Hendershot ran 12. We might say that is related to the blowout but, last year in games when Dalton Schultz was out, Peyton Hendershot ran more routes in those games too. The third reason we fade him is that he will likely have high ownership, as Cowboys players often do. I need to see what a real game looks like before I start him because that Giants game was not a real football game.