Oh, the woeful tight end position. No one’s favorite when it comes to DFS (unless you’re some kind of sicko, which I might actually be) yet ever so crucial in actual football. Sometimes it feels like pretty much a crapshoot unless you are using one of the select few high-end options. There is, however, an argument to be made that this is one of the most essential roster spots on any DFS lineup. Since there is only one TE hole to fill, getting the top-scoring TE on the slate in that spot is one of the more critical factors for any DFS tournament team. Let’s look at this week’s options.
Darren Waller – DraftKings – $7,600 | FanDuel – $7,000
If you want to pay up and be sure that you will get some production out of the TE slot, Waller is your guy. He’s basically a locked-in number one wide receiver that fills a tight end spot on your roster. At this point, he is right up there just below Kelce and may have supplanted Kittle as the second-best DFS TE in the NFL. Derek Carr targeted him 19 times in week one. The Steelers should be able to limit the Raiders ground game, leading to plenty more for Waller. If you have the money, this is your guy.
George Kittle – DraftKings – $6,400 | FanDuel – $6,700
While Kittle’s perceived fantasy value does seem to be trending down while Waller’s trends up, we shouldn’t forget what he is capable of in a ceiling game. Week one was a letdown, to be sure, but we could be in for a bounce-back spot here and at lower ownership than Waller will garner. Although he is unlikely to get near the targets of Waller, he is very efficient when he gets them. Raheem Mostert being lost to injury may also lead to a bit more offensive load for Kittle.
Kyle Pitts – DraftKings – $5,200 | FanDuel – $5,500
Kyle Pitts was the DFS darling of week one as what looks like the next true offensive power-house tight end coming out of college, at reasonably low prices on DK and FD. He let everyone down big time in week one with a paltry 7.1 DKP effort, but the targets were there. Tampa Bay’s stout run D should force the Falcons to the passing game. The letdown game last week and the more formidable defensive opponent in week two should lower his ownership. It may be lucrative to buy-low in terms of price and ownership on Pitts in what could be an unexpected bounce-back spot.
Tyler Higbee – DraftKings – $4,100 | FanDuel – $5,100
These prices are too low for Higbee with Gerald Everett out of town and Jared Goff replaced by Matthew Stafford. Week two salaries were released before the Sunday night Rams game. It became apparent that Higbee was in for a significant role in this new look Stafford-led Rams offense. He ate in limited opportunity in week one. He should be in for even more work against Indianapolis in a closer game, meaning more passing for the Rams. The Colts also rate worse against tight ends than the Rams’ week one opponents in the Bears.
Noah Fant – DraftKings – $4,200 | FanDuel – $5,700
With Jerry Jeudy unfortunately hurt, Fant should get more looks, and this price on DK is too low. He’s shown that he does have upside in the past, and one might expect strides forward this year. It isn’t an optimal game environment considering that Denver should be content to keep the ball on the ground and control pace as six-point favorites against the woeful Jags. Still, their defense is highly attackable. With one fewer mouth to feed, Fant may take on a more considerable offensive role.
Top Cheap Value Tight Ends
We have some excellent value, particularly on DraftKings with Higbee and Fant, so we may not need to dig this deep. Still, if you really want to save some money, there are some places we could look.
Hayden Hurst – DraftKings – $3,800 | FanDuel – $4,800
Hayden Hurst offers direct leverage against what should be a somewhat owned Kyle Pitts for Atlanta. Interestingly, he paced Pitts in snaps and catches in week one. They often ran both Pitts and Hurst together in 12 personnel. There are clear paths to Hurst being the man in Atlanta this week at lower ownership and price than Pitts.
James O’Shaughnessy – DraftKings – $2,700 | FanDuel – $4,400
If you really want to get fringe and dumpster dive to the max at the TE position to save elsewhere, you might take a look at James O’Shaughnessy. We don’t traditionally see him as a fantasy commodity. Still, he actually had eight targets for six receptions in week one. With a touchdown, his performance would have been more than enough to pay off his meager price tag. Even with his six receptions for 48 yards with no TDs, his 10.8 DKP would be quite welcome in a cash-game format. It could be a fluke that he got that many targets, but if it isn’t, this could be a good buy-low opportunity, and he should be very low-owned. He doesn’t have a ton of tournament upside. Still, if wanting to go bottom of the barrel in terms of pricing, there is some merit considering his substantial target share in week one.