Last week we had some big hits - notable Trey McBride from the value tier with a 14 target monster game! Though the pay up lock of the century, Travis Kelce, fell victim to the Patrick Mahomes flu game and threw us a dud. This week the slate is one of the thinnest we’ve seen at the tight end position. But we dig deeper and work harder than anyone else so that’s actually a GOOD thing for us. So let’s dig in and see what we can find!
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 8 TE Top-Tier Picks
Here is what we mean by thin. Sam LaPorta, Evan Engram, and George Kittle are all on bye. Travis Kelce is overseas so he is off the main slate. Dalton Kincaid is playing Sunday night. Darren Waller is hurt. And T.J. Hockenson just lost his starting QB to an achilles injury. If you can afford Mark Andrews then I suggest you do it because he’s by far the safest bet, especially in cash games. If you play on Yahoo (11% of your budget) and FanDuel (12.5%) he’s fairly affordable compared to DraftKings (13.6%). FanDuel gives us no discounts on cheap guys so I’d build Andrews lineups over there.
Personally, I’m not playing the T.J. Hockenson game with Jaren Hall. There is a narrative that maybe the young QB will lean on him but a lot of times it’s just ugly. I’m also not starting Taysom Hill since Juwan Johnson came back to lead the TEs over there in routes. So it’s either Goedert at $4,800 or Dalton Schultz at $4,200 at the top. Lately Goedert has gotten back to catching screen passes which he lead the league in last year so he’s a pretty decent cash game option, especially on DK which is full PPR. And, oddly, he’s actually cheapest of the three sites on DK at 9.6% of your budget. So on DK for a high end option I would skew Goedert but, if you play on Yahoo (where Andrews is $22 and Goedert is $21 despite it being half PPR), you might as well spend the extra dollar on Andrews.
NFL DFS Week 8 TE Mid-Tier Picks
At times the pricing is DFS is overreactive and after a big game guys shoot way up to where we can’t use them (Trey McBride is the 4th most expensive TE on Yahoo this week at $18 behind Andrews ($22), Goedert ($21), and Hockenson ($20). But they can also be slow to adjust for behind the scenes changes that could benefit players. There is new found upside for Kyle Pitts with the QB change to Taylor Heinicke. Of course, he could be terrible or he might not target Pitts so the floor is low. But we don’t care about floor in GPPs. So I’m throwing Pitts in some lineups to see if the Heinicke era changes the game a bit for the big dog. Pitts has literally the exact same prices this week on all three platforms that he had last week despite the change in conditions (granted, it the prices did come out before the announcement). He’s roughly 7.5% - 8.5% of your budget on all three so pick your poison.
Njoku is dealing with a little bit of an ankle issue so we’ll need to monitor that. If he’s out, maybe pivot to Trey McBride who is similarly priced. But the Browns offense has been fairly consolidated as of late among Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and Njoku. So consolidated in fact that they decided to ship off Donovan Peoples-Jones to the Lions. We don’t love the play on FanDuel where he is 9.17% of the budget and he’s solid on DraftKings at 7.6%. But Yahoo is where we get a crazy discount as he’s only $11 (5.5%) when the bare minimum is $10. In this last two games this guy has eight and nine targets and he’s bare minimum priced? Doesn’t really make sense.
NFL DFS Week 9 TE Value-Tier Picks
Is Cade Otton the sexiest pick? No. But there are no sexy picks down in this price range. What there are are guys who return value at their discount price while we spend up elsewhere. Last week the Buccaneers dropped back to pass 53 times and Cade Otton ran 50 routes. He’s gotten six targets in each of the last two games. He should honestly be able to provide an okay floor in cash games and all he needs is a TD to crush in GPP as well. We already said we are paying up on FanDuel where he is more than 8% of your budget but on DraftKings (6%) and Yahoo (5.5%) he’s a great value.
Kylen Granson - Eventually, Jelani Woods should return and take over the starting TE job for the Colts. We think. Until then though, they have to piece the position together with what they have. And Kylen Granson has easily been the best pass catcher of the bunch. He’s averaged 4.3 targets per game which is about the best you are going to see in this price range. And the touchdown he caught in Week two against the Texans he actually caught from Gardner Minshew. He missed the last two weeks with an injury whcih were conventiently against two of the best defenses in the league vs. the tight end in New Orleans and Cleveland. This week he gets a much more reasonable matchup with the Panthers who have a lot of injuries on that defense. He’s $2,700 (5.5%) on DraftKings and the bare minimum $10 on Yahoo (5%). FanDuel hates us so he’s ~7.7% of our budget over there.
NFL DFS Week 9 TE Fades
T.J. Hockenson - A lot of folks are going to say “okay Jaren Hall is the QB this week and maybe the young QB will lean on the tight end”. If you are thinking that and a bunch of other fantasy gamers are thinking that, don’t you think the Atlanta Falcons will be thinking that. Expect the Falcons to bring a lot of pressure and cover the on the short area, daring Hall to throw the ball down field. We’ll have plenty of chances to start T.J. Hockenson with Joshua Dobbs when he’s up to speed so I’m just not paying the price for Hock this week.
Coming off a 10 reception game there will be a lot of folks looking at Cole Kmet this week. But he scares me for a couple reasons. One of those reasons is that every so often they decide to have him just stay in and block. He blocked on eight pass plays against Maxx Crosby and the Raiders, for instance. The other is that he’s facing Demario Davis and Tyrann Mathieu this week. He got a lot of his receptions in garbage time last week and I don’t like the idea of chasing last week. Especially when the week before was atrocious.