Daily Fantasy Football Tight End Primer: Week 17

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

Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($7,500 on FanDuel)

Our models love Kelce this week as we project him for 16.6 FanDuel points, 5.7 more than any other tight end. He would actually slot in third among wideouts, per our projections.

The Kansas City Chiefs have an implied total of 27.00 points, the fourth-best on the slate, and they are 8.5-point home favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Kelce has emerged as the clear top option in the KC attack. In the past four weeks, he paces the team in both target share (29%) and air yards share (34%), per, with Tyreek Hill's numbers at 21% and 23%, respectively, in that time.

If you can find the cash to get up to him, Kelce offers a floor/ceiling combination that is unrivaled at the position.

Mid-Range Options

Tyler Higbee, Rams ($6,900)

Higbee has been one of the breakout players of the second half of the season. It all started when Gerald Everett got injured, opening up a full-time role for Higbee, who took advantage of the opportunity. Over the last four weeks, he leads the Los Angeles Rams in air yards share (29%) while sitting second in target share (27%). Both of those clips rank in the top four among all tight ends in that span.

Oh, and the matchup this week is a great one as the Rams host the Arizona Cardinals, who have been pulverized by tight ends all year.

The only concern here is that Sean McVay could opt to rest some of the Rams' key guys this week in a meaningless game, but as long as Higbee is expected to get his usual snaps, he's a great play.

Dallas Goedert, Eagles ($6,400)

Obviously, Goedert's outlook would get a big boost if Zach Ertz sits. It's looking like Ertz may try to give it a go in an all-important game for the Philadelphia Eagles after he practiced Friday. But as things look now, Ertz clearly won't be 100% healthy.

So it'll basically be just like Philly's Week 16 game, when Ertz was banged up and Goedert thrived. In that one, Ertz was more of a decoy after coming back in the game, with Goedert posting a 30% target share and 44% air yards share and turning that workload into nine catches, 91 yards, and a score.

If Ertz is out, Goedert will likely be one of the week's most popular tight ends -- maybe the highest-owned dude at the position -- but if Ertz plays, it could scare off some people from using Goedert. But Goedert is a good play regardless of Ertz's status unless there are reports this weekend that Ertz is 100%.

The motivation will be there for the Eagles, something we can't say about many teams this week, and the New York Giants just gave up a 35 spot to the combination of Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum.

Value Dart Throw

O.J. Howard, Bucs ($5,500)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the game with the highest total (48.0), and they are hurting for pass-game weapons with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out. That should lead to a steady role for Howard.

In this exact same scenario in Week 16, Howard saw seven targets -- a 15% share -- and finished with three grabs for 46 yards.

If you're stacking the Atlanta Falcons, Howard is a great way to run it back, but even if you're looking for a cheap one-off option, Howard needs to be on your radar. We have him as the best point-per-dollar play among tight ends priced cheaper than $6,000.

Tournament Play

Austin Hooper, Falcons ($6,000)

Since coming back from injury, Hooper hasn't seen the same role he did earlier this season, even with Calvin Ridley out. Over the last three weeks, Hooper has accounted for just 18% of the targets and 17% of the air yards in the Falcons' offense as Julio Jones has been the first, second and third option lately (53% air yards share in that time).

That should cap Hooper's ownership somewhat this week despite the smash spot versus the Bucs. Tampa Bay has allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season (11.3), and as we just mentioned, this game has the highest total on the board (48.0).

Julio figures to be super popular, but opting for Hooper instead -- especially in stacks with Matt Ryan -- could be a unique way to get exposure to one of the slate's most fantasy-friendly games.