Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 3
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.
It's another week with Kelce atop the tight end projections. He must be really good or something.
Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs have a 29.00-point implied total, third on the slate, for their home matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, and we project Kelce for 14.7 FanDuel points as well as a position-best 0.61 touchdowns.
Kelce has done what you'd expect through two weeks, seeing 17 total targets with games of 88 and 107 yards and scoring once. He has solid marks of a 22% target share and 23% air yards share, per airyards.com, both of which sit in the top-five among tight ends, and while Baltimore isn't a cake matchup, the Ravens just let Kyler Murray throw for 349 yards in his first career road start.
Yes, Kelce is pricey -- $1,100 more than any other tight end -- but the ceiling is huge on a week-to-week basis, and the floor is as good as it gets among tight ends.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,900)
Ertz is in a money spot this week. The concerns about his season-long volume stemmed from the slew of pass-game weapons the Philadelphia Eagles had assembled. Well, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert are all looking iffy, at best, for this week, putting Ertz in position to be a target monster against the Detroit Lions.
That's the role Ertz saw in Week 2 with DJax and Alshon leaving early, and he garnered a whopping 16 targets, catching eight for 72 yards.
This week, Philly is a 6.5-point favorite with a 26.25-point implied total. Detroit has been a fairly average defense both overall and against the pass, according to our schedule-adjusted numbers. But even in a brutal matchup, which this is not, Ertz would be a top tight end play this week based on expected volume.
We have him making a position-best 6.35 catches this week, and at a huge discount off Kelce, Ertz should be a pretty popular play, especially in cash.
Evan Engram, New York Giants ($6,400)
Investing in a rookie quarterback making his first road start is a bit scary, but this is a good situation for Engram, who leads the New York Giants with a 24% target share through two weeks, the fourth-best clip among all tight ends.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just allowed Greg Olsen to go for six grabs and 110 yards in Week 2, and for the season, the Bucs are giving up 11.7 FanDuel points per game to tight ends, the 11th-most in the NFL.
Overall, Tampa's D has been good this year (third-best by our numbers), so Daniel Jones could turn in a stinker. That's a very real possibility. With that out of the way, the G-Men do have a respectable 21.00-point implied total, and Jones looked pretty darn good in the preseason, going 29-of-34 for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
Value Dart Throw
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,800)
So this can't keep happening -- right?
Howard is an elite athlete playing with a pass-happy coach. He's bound to start seeing some targets.
Coming off a zero-target game in Week 2, the Bucs may game plan to get Howard the ball in Week 3 versus the Giants. This is a get-right game for the entire Tampa Bay offense, and the Giants are giving up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends through two weeks (12.0). It's a continuation from last year, when they allowed the 10th-most FanDuel points per game to the position (10.9).
If you're terrified of Howard, I get it. I'll come to your side if he duds again this week.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers ($6,600)
This week is shaping up a little like last week, when Kittle wound up being the sixth-highest owned tight end. Of course, Kittle is never going to be super low-owned, but with the always-popular Kelce on the slate and Ertz likely to be highly owned at a similar price, there's reason to think Kittle might fly under the radar a little once again.
This is a smash spot for him at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh is allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, telling us this Steelers D is vulnerable to aerial attacks. If the San Francisco 49ers can win through the air, that's likely to benefit Kittle as San Fran is fairly weak at receiver even with Deebo Samuel's emergence.
Kittle has absolutely elite usage through two games, ranking in the top three at the position in air yards share (31%) and target share (25%). Only two Niners have a target share north of 11%, with Samuel (19%) being the other. Kittle has accounted for 44.4% of the 49ers' red zone targets. Gulp.
San Francisco's 25.00-point implied team total is a solid number, and Kittle could go bonkers. We have him pegged for 11.9 FanDuel points. If the Eagles are as shorthanded as it looks like they'll be and the masses flock to Ertz, Kittle could be a real difference-maker in GPPs.