FanDuel Fantasy Football Week 13: Evaluating the Tight Ends

By Matt Johnson on Tuesday, November 28th 2017
FanDuel Fantasy Football Week 13: Evaluating the Tight Ends

Thanksgiving is over and we're now in the home stretch of the NFL season. Only five weeks remain in the 2017 regular season and while the playoffs will provide us some DFS opportunities, these final weeks are where the money is made and we really have our last opportunities to cash in on some of FanDuel's biggest contest.

We looked at the quarterback options here and running backs here. At both spots we found several value plays to plug into our lineups and premium options who we can also plug into our starting lineups. Now we'll focus on the tight end position, finding two premium plays, value plays and players to avoid in FanDuel's main Sunday slate.

As we build our lineup, plugging in a mix of elite options and value plays, it will put us on the right path to set us up for a cash-positive reward on Sunday. Now let's get started.

Top Plays

Travis Kelce, KC @ NYJ, ($7,000)

Even as Kansas City's offense grinds to a halt and the team's control of the AFC West slips away, Kelce remains a productive member of the offense. Before his 5.4-point performance last week, Kelce posted three consecutive games with 13-plus FanDuel points.

Kelce, who leads the team in targets (86), yards per game (70.6) and touchdowns (five), finds himself in a great matchup against a Jets' defense that allows the 10th-most FanDuel points in the NFL. Now New York's defense encounters the game's most gifted tight end and simply put, they won't be able to stop him. Make sure to get some shares of Kelce in your DFS lineups this week, especially in GPP contests.

Zach Ertz, PHI @ SEA, ($7,500)

While Ertz is usually an elite play, we highlight him over the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Evan Engram. In the case of Ertz versus Gronk, the edge automatically goes to Ertz given the price differential between the two players. A difference in $600, that money saved can mean the difference between Keenan Allen at $8,100 or Devin Funchess at $7,500.

The price is certainly up there, but Ertz role in Philadelphia's passing attack and his matchup against the Seattle Seahawks make it easily worth it. When opposing teams face the Seahawks' defense, one of the main ways they go after them is with tight ends. Seattle allowed the ninth-most targets to opposing tight ends in 11 games this season and allow the 12th-most FanDuel points to tight ends. Ertz, who is second on the team in targets (81) and leads in receptions per game (5.5), will be the focal point of Philadelphia's passing attack in this matchup. If you can pay up at tight end, Ertz is an excellent option.

Value Plays

Jared Cook, OAK v. NYG, ($5,500)

Yes, last week playing a tight end against the New York Giants backfired. Despite the wonderful matchup, Vernon Davis delivered zero points. Put that in the rearview mirror and lock your eyes on cook, an absolute bargain at $5,500.

Everyone knows about the numbers that speak to the Giants' struggles versus tight ends. New York leads the NFL in touchdowns allowed to tight end (10), third-most receiving yards (768) and fourth-most receptions (62). Cook is third on the team in targets (65) and tied for second in receptions per game (3.8). With Michael Crabtree out for Week 13 and Amari Cooper questionable, Cook should see eight-plus targets in this matchup. He's a top-five play this week and should make up at least 30 percent of your DFS lineups for Week 13.

Hunter Henry, LAC v. CLE, ($5,400)

Like Cook, Henry is another tight end who represents an extreme blessing in terms of value and an ideal matchup. Henry, who is now locked in as the Chargers' top tight end and is seeing a growing role in the passing game, though he is fourth on the team in targets (44). Last Sunday he saw five targets and exploded for 76 yards and a score with Philip Rivers looking to him for big plays and taking advantage of an excellent matchup, that should happen here as well.

New York is the infamous defense for its struggles versus tight ends, but Cleveland belongs in the same discussion. The Browns' defense leads the NFL in receptions allowed to tight ends (69), the seventh-most receiving yards (649) and the second-most touchdowns (nine). Henry is a red-zone threat with the size, athleticism and hands to take catches over the middle and pick up 20-plus yard plays.

A tight end with a reachable ceiling of 65-plus yards and a touchdown is a top-five play on the week and the price is grand theft. He should see at least a 20 percent share of DFS lineups this week.

Players to Avoid

Rob Gronkowski, NE @ BUF, ($8,100)

There is no doubt Gronkowski is the greatest tight end to ever play football, even if injuries don't allow him to reach the milestones. When he takes the field, fans get to witness greatness and Gronkowski almost always finds ways to deliver for fantasy owners. This season especially, Gronkowski delivered for fantasy owners in season-long leagues.

All of those things are true and he is an elite play nearly every week, but he is a player to shy away from this Sunday. The biggest reason is his cost, which is significantly higher than our two top plays on the slate. The money you can save by moving from Gronkowski to Ertz or Kelce can be used more effectively on other positions.

Gronkowski's price isn't made easier with his matchup against a Buffalo Bills defense that allowed the second-fewest touchdowns (two) to opposing tight ends in the NFL and the 12th-fewest FanDuel points to the position. Simply because of the price and the cheaper options available on a great slate for tight ends, Gronkowski is the tight end we will stay away from this week.

Fantasy Alerts

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