Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 15
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.
Per our projections, Kelce is in his own tier at the position this week as we peg him to score 15.3 FanDuel points, 1.8 more than any other tight end. We have him pacing all tight ends in FanDuel point-per-dollar value (2.10), targets (9.57), catches (6.28), yards (83.80) and touchdowns (0.58).
While the salary is high -- up $600 from where it was just three games ago -- it's not as expensive as it was earlier in the year as he got up to $8,000. The price tag has risen because he's posted FanDuel outputs of 14.5, 11.5, 18.7 and 17.0 in his last four outings.
He's the most expensive tight end, but his touchdown projection would actually rank third among wideouts, while his points projection would sit fourth. When you compare his salary to the price of the top wideouts (none of the top-seven receivers are cheaper than $7,500), he looks like a value.
The Kansas City Chiefs haven't had their full allotment of weapons for many games this season, but in the five games in which Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins have played the majority of snaps, Hill owns a 28.3% target share, Kelce has logged a 22.8% share, and Watkins is at a 20.7% clip.
That's great volume in one of the league's best offenses, and with KC implied to total 27.50 points, second-most on the slate, Kelce is a great option if you can find the cash to get up to him.
Zach Ertz, Eagles ($6,700)
Given all the injury issues the Philadelphia Eagles have at receiver, it's difficult to imagine a scenario in which Ertz isn't targeted heavily this week.
In the last two weeks, when Alshon Jeffery missed a game and then exited early from another, Ertz has a colossal 37% air yards share and 26% target share, per AirYards.com. He has, for the most part, been the Eagles' aerial attack. No other Philly pass-catcher has more than a 12% target share in that span.
With the Eagles desperately needing a win in a date with Washington, expect them to feed Ertz early and often. He's in play in all formats and may have the best floor at the position this week.
Darren Waller, Raiders ($6,200)
Similar to Ertz's situation, Waller is the Oakland Raiders' go-to pass-game weapon almost by default now as Hunter Renfrow (ribs) and Tyrell Williams (foot) are less than fully healthy, though both could suit up this week.
That's resulted in Waller seeing a team-high 26.3% target share in the two games sans Renfrow. Waller has recorded at least five targets in each of the last five games while leading Oakland in air yards share (30%) in that time.
Oakland is a 6.5-point home favorite this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that has surrendered seven touchdowns to tight ends this year, the third-most in the league. Our models rank Waller as this slate's TE3, projecting him for 12.8 FanDuel points. He's our second-best point-per-dollar play at the position.
Value Dart Throw
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins ($5,200)
When you dip this low at tight end, you're usually risking a dud. While that's certainly in Gesicki's range of outcomes, his usage is promising.
Over the last three weeks, he's tied for the team lead in target share (18%), and he's seen at least five balls thrown his way in each of the past six games. He's getting the high-leverage looks, too, accounting for 18% of the Miami Dolphins' air yards in that time while garnering three red zone targets in Week 14.
While the New York Giants have been tough on tight ends this season, they have given up six tuddies to the position, and it remains to be seen if DeVante Parker will give it a go, although he seems to be trending that way.
Our models love the bang for your buck Gesicki offers this week. He's our TE7 despite being the 21st-most expensive tight end.
George Kittle, 49ers ($7,200)
Kittle has been an absolute beast of late when he's gotten at least six targets in a game, scoring 15.7, 21.9, 16.9, 11.6, 14.3 and 17.8 in his last six such contests. The problem is he's had a low floor when he hasn't been fed. In the two games in that span in which he saw fewer than six looks, he combined to put up 7.7 FanDuel points.
With the San Francisco 49ers a massive 10.5-point favorite over the Atlanta Falcons, there's some volume concern here as the Niners might be very run-heavy on Sunday. That may keep people off of Kittle as those with the coin to pay up at tight end can turn to either Ertz (for $500 less) or Kelce (for just $100 more) instead.
But we project Kittle for a solid 7.84 targets, and the matchup is pretty good. San Fran carries a slate-best 29.50-point implied total, and Atlanta just allowed Ian Thomas to go for 57 yards and a score on 10 targets a week ago.
Kittle leads all tight ends on this slate in air yards share (25%) and target share (25%) on the season. He offers monster upside this week, though the floor is a tad worrisome in a game in which the 49ers may maul Atlanta, making him better suited for GPPs.