Week three was not a great one for tight ends. Sure, there were not really any busts which is a good thing; there also were not any monster games. The lack of big games from tight ends was a stark contrast to the first two weeks. What can we expect from the position this week? Let’s find out…
The Elite Tight Ends
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans||$7,500||Dallas||32nd|
|Martellus Bennett||Chicago||$5,700||Green Bay||1st|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||$5,700||Kansas City||21st|
|Niles Paul||Washington||$5,400||New York Giants||5th|
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $7,500 – I think it is safe to say everyone expected a bigger game from Graham than six receptions for 54 yards at home, against the Vikings. The silver lining in the sub-par game in week three is Graham is only $7,500 this week. Graham draws the Dallas D which has been horrible against tight ends this season; last week St. Louis tight ends – Jered Cook and Lance Kendricks — had 13 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. I expect a big game from Graham this week.
Greg Olsen, Carolina, $5,800 – Olsen was one of the few Carolina players to have a good game against Pittsburgh. In fact, Olsen provided better than triple value last week. I doubt he does so again this week. While I do not doubt his rapport with Cam Newton, I also do not like his match up. Baltimore has been tough against opposing tight ends this season and just held Jordan Cameron to one reception for 23 yards.
Martellus Bennett, Chicago, $5,700 – Like Olsen, Bennett has a tough match up this week. The Packers held Detroit’s tight ends to one reception for three yards last week and have been the best defense against opposing tight ends this season. Bennett also did not do much against the Packers last season managing only five receptions for 51 yards in two games. I do not like Bennett for that price.
Rob Gronkowski, New England, $5,700 – The good news with Gronkowski is he is playing a higher percentage of New England’s snaps each week. The bad news is, he just does not look like the same physical freak he has in the past. Still, he has already scored two touchdowns this season, and the Kansas City defense has not been very good against tight ends. I like, but do not love, Gronkowski this week.
Niles Paul, Washington, $5,400 – Despite a huge increase in his salary last week, Paul provided better than double value. Paul is actually $400 cheaper this week, though he is also facing a much tougher opponent against tight ends too. Say what you want about the Giants defense, but they have been tough against opposing tight ends this season. Paul is pretty expensive and still unproven, so he is not someone I will be using this week.
Middle Priced Tight Ends
|Larry Donnell||New York Giants||$4,600||Washington||4th|
|Antonio Gates||San Diego||$4,400||Jacksonville||31st|
|Jason Witten||Dallas||$4,200||New Orleans||6th|
Delaine Walker, Tennessee, $4,900 – Walker’s failure to score even ten fantasy points against Cincinnati makes him a nice value this week. Even with the sub-par game against the Bengals, Walker has average 18.4 points per game this season. Instead of facing a tough Bengals D this week, Walker plays an Indianapolis D that struggles against tight ends. Sure the Colts did shut down the Jaguars tight ends in week four, but the Jaguars starting tight end was the immortal Mickey Shuler. Walker is a very good play this week.
Larry Donnell, New York Giants, $4,600 – Washington has been tough against the run and opposing tight ends this season. This game is also on Thursday night, and the home teams have a big advantage in the short weeks. I do not hate Donnell this week, but I think best-case is he gets you ten or so points. I would much rather spend the extra $300 on Walker or go for a lesser price tight end.
Antonio Gates, San Diego, $4,400 – The benefit to a horrible fantasy game in daily fantasy is that it means the player who had the horrible game will see a decrease in his salary. Last week Gates was priced at $6,100, this week he is only $4,400. Consider his miserable week three – 1.8 points – a blessing this week. You get Gates cheap when he is facing Jacksonville which has been the second worst team against tight ends this season.
Jason Witten, Dallas, $4,200 – Just say no to Witten this week. I know he is Jason Witten, and he is cheap. The problem is, his best fantasy game this season was only 8.9 points. New Orleans has also been tough against opposing tight ends this season.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore, $4,100 – Honestly, I was hoping to be able to use Daniels in the Value Plays section this week, but he is just priced too high to end up there. With Dennis Pitta done for the season, Daniels will be the starting tight end for Baltimore. Joe Flacco likes targeting his tight ends and it is not like Daniels is some scrub the Ravens picked up off of someone else’s practice squad. Carolina has been average against tight ends this season; Daniels is a nice bargain this week.
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||$3,700||New England||7th|
|Brandon Myers||Tampa Bay||$3,200||Pittsburgh||29th|
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $3,700 – There is no truth to the rumor that I am considering changing the title of the “Value Plays” section to the “Travis Kelce” section. What can I say, I think the guy is way underpriced. In week one he provided better than double value, in week two he provided quadruple value, last week he provided better than triple value. New England has been tough against opposing tight ends this season, but I still like Kelce this week.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis, $3,500 – If you are into risk/reward then Allen is the tight end for you. He has two games with over 14 fantasy points this season and one game with a big, fat zero. Allen has already scored two touchdowns this season, and the Colts might have problems pounding the ball near the goal line against a tough Tennessee defense this week. Allen is far from a sure thing, but there is some potential profit with him this week too.
Charles Clay, Miami, $3,300 – You do not always need to take a risk when you go cheap at a position. Sometimes, you would be quite happy with a lower priced player only getting you five fantasy points. If you just want to make sure you get something from your cheap tight end, then Clay is your guy. Worst case with him is another 4.9 point game like he had week one, and he could easily top ten points against a bad Oakland team this week.
Brandon Myers, Tampa Bay, $3,200 – Quietly, Myers has been a nice daily fantasy play this season. No, he has not had any monster games, but he already has provided days where he had triple and double value. This week he draws a Pittsburg D that has struggled against opposing tight ends. You probably cannot call anyone in this price range a sure thing, but I think Myers is close to a sure thing to provide at least double value this week.
Rhett Ellison, Minnesota, $3,100 – This is a total speculative play. We know that Kyle Rudolph is out, so there are tight end targets to go around. We also know that Minnesota will be starting a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. Rookie quarterbacks tend to rely on their tight ends and Ellison will be starting in place of Rudolph. I will not lie, it would take a braver person than me to start Ellison this week, but I do think he is a nice risk for $3,100.
That is the state of the tight end position this week. Once again, it is a nice place for potential profit. It also provides a good number of values. Good luck with your teams this week! You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.