Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 8
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 not a good week for the position -- worse than usual -- as our models project just four tight ends to go for double-digit FanDuel points. Kittle leads the way despite a tough home draw against the Carolina Panthers, a defense that has given up just 7.4 FanDuel points per game to the position, the eighth-fewest.
Kittle's superb usage keeps him near the top of the position every week, though, as he paces tight ends in air yards market share (28%) and is tied for second in target share (25%), per AirYards.com.
He has rare after-the-catch ability for the position, and we project Kittle for a slate-best 11.7 FanDuel points.
Austin Hooper, Falcons ($6,600)
Hooper has scored at least 10.6 FanDuel points in every game but one, and he's flashed elite upside with outputs of 21.7 and 21.6 points. This week, he's at home against the Seattle Seahawks, a defense that's had a tough time with tight ends, surrendering the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to the position (12.3).
The Atlanta Falcons' tight end has made at least four grabs in every game and garnered at least five looks every week, giving him a really nice floor to go with his appealing ceiling. In a game in which Atlanta is a 5.5-point 'dog, volume is no concern for Hooper, and we project him for a slate-high 0.43 touchdowns.
In all, his projection of 11.1 FanDuel points makes him our TE3 for the main slate.
Hunter Henry, Chargers ($6,700)
Over the last two weeks, Henry has logged a 21% target share and 22% air yards share while leading all tight ends in FanDuel points (38.7). It's safe to say he's hit the ground running since getting healthy.
While a road matchup with the Chicago Bears leaves the Los Angeles Chargers with a measly 18.00-point implied total, this Bears D hasn't been great against tight ends, allowing 10.7 FanDuel points per game to the position, the 11th-most in the league. We have Henry scoring 9.3 FanDuel points this week.
Value Dart Throws
Dawson Knox, Bills ($4,600)
Knox is quietly emerging as a weapon for the Buffalo Bills. He's seen at least four targets in four of five games since Week 1, and he's got five targets in each of the last two games. Over those last two, he's second on Buffalo in air yards share (20%) and third in target share (19%).
Is that jaw-dropping volume? No. But when you're fishing for low-cost tight ends, anything resembling a consistently decent workload is noteworthy. Plus, Knox gets to take on a Philadelphia Eagles defense that's getting torched by all comers lately.
If you need to punt at the position, Knox is not a bad dice roll.
Jonnu Smith, Titans ($4,900)
With Delanie Walker exiting early last week, Smith stepped into a bigger role and finished with three catches for 64 yards. If Walker is out this week, Smith is on the value map.
A tight end with some mouth-watering traits, Smith has a nice matchup in Week 8 against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers D that is getting whipped by tight ends this season, allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game to the position (14.7). While it was just one game and it came against a crumbling Chargers team, the Tennessee Titans' offense did have some life with Ryan Tannehill at the helm.
We have Smith projected for just 4.3 FanDuel points as of Tuesday, but if Walker -- who we have pegged for 3.7 points -- sits, that number will rise.
Zach Ertz, Eagles ($6,300)
With the Eagles in a rut and facing a difficult road matchup against Buffalo, Ertz is projected for only 9.7 FanDuel points, according to our models. Among players priced at $6,300 and above, Ertz is the second-worst point-per-dollar play, per our numbers.
He shouldn't be super popular this week, and any time we can get a tight end with elite volume at possibly lower ownership, we should be interested.
Among players with at least 10 targets this season, Ertz paces Philly in air yards share (24%) and is second in target share (24%). He's had just one outing with fewer than seven targets, and that was his five-target game last week. Ertz has also gone for at least 50 yards in every game other than Week 7.
With Ertz's salary tied for the cheapest it has been all year, and the masses likely looking elsewhere, now isn't a bad time to buy in on him.