Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 16

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.

Let's take a look at some of the top tight end options this week. We'll reference our FanDuel projections, and betting lines come from our heat map.

Here we go.

High-Priced Stud

Zach Ertz, Eagles ($6,900 on FanDuel)

George Kittle and Travis Kelce have been taken away from us on this main slate, leaving Ertz as the top play, per our models.

With the Philadelphia Eagles hurting at receiver, Ertz has been targeted heavily lately, logging a massive 42% air yards share and 25% target share in the last two games, per In that time, no other Philly receiver or tight end has more than a 17% air yards share or more than a 13% target share.

In a crucial game with the Dallas Cowboys, Carson Wentz should be funneling the passing attack through Ertz. The matchup is good, too, as the Cowboys have surrendered the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends (11.0).

If you can find the cash, Ertz offers a superb floor/ceiling combination this week.

Mid-Range Options

Darren Waller, Raiders ($6,500)

Waller has elite usage that keeps him in play in pretty much any matchup. In the three games without Hunter Renfrow, Waller is the only Oakland player to see more than 14.3% of the targets as he's recorded a 28.4% target share in that time while accounting for 35% of the air yards.

The Los Angeles Chargers are allowing the ninth-fewest FanDuel points per game to tight ends (8.7), and the return of Derwin James has this unit playing like the defense people expected prior to the season. But at a thin position, Waller's usage means he's on the radar every week.

We have him as the slate's TE3, and if you're stacking the Bolts, Waller is a good way -- maybe the only good way -- to run it back.

Austin Hooper, Falcons ($6,000)

Hooper's snap rate jumped to 82% last week in his second game back from injury after it was 55% in Week 14. He's seen 16% of the targets and 14% of the air yards in those two games.

Julio Jones isn't likely to see 20 targets again this week, and with Calvin Ridley done for the year, Hooper could get back to a more high-volume role these final two games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have given up 10.1 FanDuel points per game, a number that's slightly above the league average, and the Atlanta Falcons have a 27.00-point implied total, the third-best of the slate. We project Hooper as the main slate's TE4.

Value Dart Throw

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins ($5,300)

The only tight end priced under $6,000 who I can stomach this week is Gesicki.

In the five games sans Preston Williams in which DeVante Parker started and finished, Gesicki has a reasonable 17.3% target share. He's seen at least five targets in seven straight games. That's the kind of consistent volume we almost never find in a tight end this cheap.

The Cincinnati Bengals are not good, particularly against tight ends as they are 26th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position. Miami owns a 22.50-point implied total, and Gesicki is in play in all formats -- even in cash if you need the cap relief.

Tournament Play

Mark Andrews, Ravens ($6,500)

Those wanting to pay up at tight end this week will likely go with Ertz, Hooper or Waller. Andrews could slip through the cracks.

He does have a pair of three-target games over his last four, but Andrews is still the top stacking partner for Lamar Jackson. Six times this year a Baltimore Ravens' pass-catcher has seen a target share of at least 30% in a game; Andrews accounts for four of those instances.

With Baltimore a 10.0-point favorite with a 29.75-point implied total, Andrews checks a few boxes this week. Our models really like him, pegging him to score 12.4 FanDuel points, just 0.2 fewer than Ertz. He's the top point-per-dollar play at the position and shouldn't be too popular.