NFL DFS TE Coach: Week 7
Published: Oct 22, 2021
Week 7 was EASILY our best week of the year. We are looking for 2.5X in cash games and every player on our list but one returned over 3x. Here’s how last week looked.
No time for victory laps now though - there’s more money to be made! On to week 7 where the slate is fairly thin given the number of bye weeks.
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
Travis Kelce - There are only 10 games on the main slate this week so the two elite options are pretty obvious. This Chiefs-Titans game currently has an absurd over/under of 57.5 points so they are expecting fireworks in this one. And the 3-3 Chiefs are only favored by 4.5 so it’s not likely to be a blowout either. The only concern with Travis Kelce is that he has an apparent neck injury that has slowed him down ever so slightly and actually had him listed as a limited participant on Wednesday - a rare occurrence for the Hall of Fame caliber tight end. Kelce would account for 15.2% of your budget on DraftKings but only 14% on Yahoo so a slightly cheaper play on the Y platform.
Darren Waller UPDATE - Darren Waller is a game time decision so you may want to pivot to other options regardless - Truth be told, I like this “elite” tier play better this week. Not only is Kelce a little banged up but Kevin Byard is the highest graded safety in the league and he’s become a bit of a problem for tight ends. Waller doesn’t have that concern as he goes against the Eagles who are the 22nd ranked defense vs. the tight end. This has been a perceived “slow” start to the season for Waller but this is a guy who had a 19 target game then games with 7, 7 ,7 and 8 targets after that. The Broncos and Justin Simmons are tough on tight ends so I expect a bounce back game this week for Waller. At $6,700 on DraftKings (13.4% of your budget) vs $21 on Yahoo (10.5%) of your budget, you actually get a pretty significant discount on Waller over on Yahoo this week.
Kyle Pitts - Here is the reality of Kyle Pitts - he’s playing wide receiver, not tight end. He’s lined up in the slot 115 times, out wide 76 times, and in-line 76 times. That means he’s played a WR role 191 times to only 76 at TE. Which is exactly what we wanted him to do. And he really only had the one game with three targets - in the others he’s had 6, 8, 9, and 10. This guy is who we hoped he would be and this week he should get targeted heavily again - especially with Calvin Ridley dealing with Xavien Howard. Yahoo this week seems to have all their high end tight ends valued fairly low as Pitts is once again cheaper on Yahoo (9.5%) than DraftKings (11.8%).
Dallas Goedert - It finally happened folks. The Eagles finally moved Zach Ertz. Goedert is free. This move isn’t so much about Ertz’s targets but rather the alignment. You see, Dallas Goedert is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. So, when the coach has to pick one guy to play in-line and one to play in the slot, Ertz was never going to be that in-line guy. We saw that first hand last year; the tweet below shows some stats from two weeks in 2020 - one with Ertz and one with no Ertz. Drastic difference. This is a good matchup and, if things go the way we think, it’s the cheapest Goedert will ever be. Goedert is priced fairly closely on both DK and Yahoo so he’s a fine start on either.
Ricky Seals-Jones - These platforms really can be slow to adjust. In 2019 we rode Mark Andrews and Darren Waller week after week after week until they finally priced them out properly. Ricky Seals-Jones has literally played every snap except one since Logan Thomas got hurt. And Curtis Samuel is out as well. Meanwhile, the Packers have been a middle of the pack defense vs. the tight end and this game has an over/under near 50 points so scoring is expected. The conditions were very similar last week and RSJ was TE4 overall. So why is he still only $3,700? Sometimes fantasy doesn’t have to be hard. It’s fairly evenly priced between the two apps but this one is actually slightly cheaper on DraftKings. By 0.1% though so I mean slightly.
Cole Kmet - Yes again. And no, I’m not crazy. Cole Kmet only has 24 targets on the season but here’s the thing - they’ve only thrown 149 times. So that’s actually a 16.1% target share. To put that in perspective, the leading fantasy WR on their opponents team, Antonio Brown? He has a 15.5% target share. The Buccaneers are far and away the best run defense in the league - they are only allowing 54.8 yards per game when the next closest team is 79 yards and no one else is below 80. The Bears can’t just run this week like they have been. They HAVE to throw and Kmet is out there for the vast majority of snaps, playing over 100 so far at WR, and you aren’t going to get a better option at this price point. He’s $3,000 on DraftKings and $11 on Yahoo so bare minimum pricing.
BONUS DART THROW
Durham Smythe - I know how it goes when making DFS lineups. Sometimes you have all these guys you want to play and you think to yourself “if I could just find SOME random TE for the very minimum price of $2,500 and PRAY he scores a TD, I can start the guys I want”. Well of all the minimum priced guys, Durham Smythe is the one you’d want. Mike Gesicki, in reality, plays WR. On the season now he’s played 234 snaps at WR and only 16 at tight end. Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen actually play in-line TE. But Adam Shaheen has been banged up - in fact, a lot of Dolphins are dealing with injuries with Will Fuller out and DeVante Parker and Preston Williams battling their own issues. So what’s likely to happen again is Smythe will play in-line and Gesicki will play slot, giving Smythe the best chance of any of these cheap dudes to do something. Anything. And that’s all you need sometimes.
Zach Ertz - People are going to be tempted to do this. The Texans are arguably the worst team vs. the tight end. And, if Maxx Williams could succeed in this offense, why can’t Ertz? He can - once he learns it. I expect Ertz to have a limited snap share which will make him highly TD dependent. If he scores and looks good you will have plenty of weeks to use him.
Anthony Firkser - People are going to see the matchup and think this is a prime spot for the Firk man. The Chiefs are the 31st ranked team vs. the tight end and the over/under for this game is like 57 points. But here is the reality with Firkser - even with the injuries, he’s just not quite playing enough. Last week he only played 15 snaps. Other Titans tight ends Geoff Swaim (38) and MyCole Pruitt (16) played more than that. It’s just too risky of a play for a guy that isn’t even that cheap.