Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 7
The great thing about daily fantasy football is that so much changes every week, with matchups, salaries and projected ownership all varying -- sometimes significantly -- from main slate to main slate.
At numberFire, we have a plethora of tools to help you as you build your lineups, and something we've added this season is an in-depth look at the four core positions. In this piece, we'll break down the tight end slot on FanDuel's main slate.
Here we go.
Well, the tight end position is shallow this week -- worse than usual with Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz off the main slate. That leaves us with just four guys projected for more than 10 FanDuel points, per our models, and Kittle is the lone tight end priced above $7,000.
At a forecast of 11.7 FanDuel points, Kittle doesn't top our projections -- we'll get to that dude in a hot second -- but he has stellar usage numbers this year, pacing all tight ends in air yards share (28%), per AirYards.com, while tying for second in target share (25%). His after-the-catch ability gives him a massive ceiling every time out, and in a matchup with Washington, he could pop. Washington, as you may have heard, is bad, and they are allowing 10.2 FanDuel points per game to tight ends. The San Francisco 49ers' 25.25-point implied total is tied for the fifth-highest on the slate.
Ownership will likely be centered on just a couple tight ends this week, Kittle being one of them, so you're going to have to swallow some chalk unless you go cheap at the position. Kittle is worth eating some chalk for as he could have a huge day in this matchup.
Evan Engram, New York Giants ($6,800)
Engram is looking good to go for this week after practicing Monday. He couldn't pick a better time to get back on the field as the New York Giants are hosting the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has been destroyed by tight ends this season, surrendering 20.8 FanDuel points per game to the position. How bad is that? The next-worst team versus tight ends is allowing 14.7 points per contest to the position.
When healthy, Engram has been a pivotal figure for the G-Men, posting a 24% target share, which checks in fourth among tight ends. Even if Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard return this week to play alongside Golden Tate, Engram should be busy.
Our models have him as the TE1 for this slate, pegging him to rack up 12.5 FanDuel points, and our projections have him topping the position in targets (8.68), yards (66.41) and touchdowns (0.50).
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers ($5,700)
Henry returned to the fray in Week 6, and the Los Angeles Chargers didn't ease him in, playing Henry on 66% of their offensive snaps, per Football Outsiders, and feeding him nine targets. Yes, they were in pass-happy mode early, but Henry looked great, catching eight balls for 100 yards and two scores.
Even in a difficult matchup versus the Tennessee Titans, one of the NFL's better defenses, Henry figures to be a popular play at this salary. While Tennessee ranks in the top seven in overall D and pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers, they have been susceptible to tight ends, allowing the eighth-most FanDuel points (10.8) to the position.
We have Henry as the fifth-ranked tight end on this slate, projecting him to score 9.7 FanDuel points, and he's the second-best point-per-dollar play.
Value Dart Throw
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills ($4,800)
As we say each week in this section, going cheap at tight end is risking a complete dud. There's just not may dirt-cheap tight ends who we can count on for any kind of volume.
This week, Knox and the Buffalo Bills host the Miami Dolphins. This is a great spot for the Bills' offense as they carry the slate's second-best implied total (28.00), and Miami is giving up the 11th-most FanDuel points per game (10.5) to tight ends. Yes, the Bills with a 28.00-point implied total.
Knox's usage isn't great -- 10% clips in both air yards share and target share -- which is why he's priced where he is. But he's got 62 yards after the catch on 10 total grabs, and he's a pretty good-looking athlete. You could do worse if you're looking to get weird at tight end this week.
Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders ($6,200)
Waller, Engram, Kittle, Henry, Mark Andrews, and Austin Hooper should account for a good deal of ownership at the position this week. With the Oakland Raiders on the road versus a stout Green Bay Packers defense, Waller might not be as popular as he should be.
Waller leads all tight ends in target share (26%), and he is tied for third in air yards share (23%). Flat out -- he's seeing elite usage so far in 2019.
While Green Bay has been legit on D (eighth-best, per our numbers) and they have bottled up tight ends (6.4 FanDuel points per game, fifth-fewest), that should help keep people away from Waller, and with the usage he's getting, we shouldn't be too scared of any matchup.
As evidence of that, look at what Waller did versus the stingy defense of the Minnesota Vikings earlier this season, when he caught 13 of 14 targets for 134 yards in a game in which Oakland played from behind. As 6.5-point underdogs, the Raiders could see a similar game script at Lambeau.