Hello friends. After a brief absence, your favorite FanDuel advice columns are back and even more exciting content is coming soon. In the coming weeks, we'll include video content where we'll further breakdown matchups and help build optimal lineups for your weekly FanDuel plays. But for now, let's jump on into the upcoming slate of next weekend's games.
Here, we focus on some of tight end options for this weekend's slate. While we'll certainly miss Rob Gronkowski and Hunter Henry this weekend, plenty of high-end options and value plays still exist for everyone to choose from. As always, we tend to favor using value plays at the tight end position and spending more elsewhere, but we're here to present you with an option from every end. So let's take a look at this week's top tight end play, best value play, gamble pick and the player we're avoiding at all cost.
Zach Ertz, PHI v. DEN, $7.600
Given the matchup and consistent output fantasy owners and DFS players know they will get from Ertz, this price is very reasonable. It's only $600 more than Travis Kelce, who is a little more inconsistent but offers great upside, and is just outside the top 10 in pricing amongst wide receivers.
Through seven games this season, the Denver Broncos allowed the second-most receiving yards per game (77.57) and third-most targets per game (8.86). Given Ertz is tied for 12th in the NFL in targets (64) amongst all players, this is exactly the type of matchup we want. Carson Wentz will look Ertz's way quite often with wide receivers covered and it could easily make for a 100-pus yard game with a touchdown. Make sure to get some shares of Ertz this week, he is the easiest definition of a perfect play.
Vernon Davis, WAS @ SEA, $5,400
Fantasy owners with Jordan Reed probably don't like Davis. It seems every other week Davis makes a play or two and Kirk Cousins will look his way four to five times a game. While it can be frustrating for fantasy owners, the 33-year-old continues to play well even at his age and it's demonstrated by his 312 receiving yards on 17 catches this season. That all comes with a healthy Reed, but Davis' role will grow even more with Reed out this week.
As demonstrated by the numbers above from Graham Barfield, Davis is exactly what we want from our value player. When Reed is out, Davis consistently produces at a high level and fantasy owners can usually count on him for five-plus targets when he starts at tight end. He'll face a Seattle Seahawks defensive unit that allows the fourth-most targets per game to opposing tight ends.
Given Kirk Cousins tendency to throw towards the middle, which will be even greater against Seattle's cornerbacks, Davis could post top-five fantasy numbers this week. If you want to plug in some top players at other positions, Davis should be your top tight end value play.
Travis Kelce, KC @ DAL, $7,000
Kelce delivered a monster performance on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos. When a tight end can deliver nearly 23 points to your lineup, whether it's DFS or season-long leagues, it puts you in exceptional position to win. In three games this season, Kelce delivered these types of performances.
The upside is obvious in that. But Kelce's also been limited to single-digit fantasy performances on three occasions this season. Now he faces a defense that allows the fifth-fewest FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends. Instead, opponents look to beat the Dallas Cowboys defense with their wide receivers and a heavy running attack. This game favors Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, but it's hard to ignore Kelce's upside. If you want to take a big gamble, put Kelce in a lineup or two.
Tyler Higbee, LAR @ NYG, $4,500
This is an absolute eyes closed throw, one that could leave fantasy owners with a rock bottom floor but also offers significant upside on the investment. At the bottom of tight end pricing, Higbee stands out entirely due to his matchup this week against the New York Giants.
Through Week 8, no team stacks up to New York in terms of ineptitude against opposing tight ends. In seven games the Giants allowed eight receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Touchdowns are the big problem, but New York also allowed the fifth-most receiving yards (508) and third-most targets (64) to the position. To say it's a weakness would be an understatement, this is an area teams know they can exploit and Yew York can do nothing to stop even when they know it's coming.