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What Week 8 performances tells us about Week 9 tight end DFS salaries

The tight end position wasn’t one that broke the slate by any means. Steve Buchanan looks at the performances and upcoming matchups for Ryan Griffin and Darren Waller.

New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

To the surprise of mostly no one, the tight end position was quiet overall in Week 8. Just like it was in Week 7, no one really separated themselves from the field, as only two players came away with more than 20 DKFP. We’ll take a look at a couple of these performances and how they lineup ahead of Week 9. All salaries courtesy of DraftKings.

Ryan Griffin ($3,400) vs. Dolphins

Griffin was the highest-scoring tight end of the week, exploding for 24.6 DKFP by catching all four of his targets for 66 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets’ 29-15 loss to the Jaguars. At a salary of $2,700, Griffin was a steal for anyone who paid down at the position for him despite not reaching more than 11 DKFP in six prior games. For the most part, Griffin carried almost no ownership but a game like this will certainly draw attention in Week 9 against the Dolphins. Is it sustainable or simply a flash in the pan?

The biggest knock for Griffin is the impending return of Chris Herndon ($4,000) who is reportedly close to returning. When Herndon was on the field last year with Sam Darnold ($5,900), he only drew a 9.2% target share but the 18.2% red-zone targets were the highest amongst the Jets’ tight ends. If Herndon is active, it’s a huge hit to Griffin, who should see a drop in his snaps and route running. If not, Griffin is still a fringe option at best as the Dolphins haven’t necessarily been burned by opposing tight ends this season. They’ve allowed an average of 12.3 DKFP and only scored upon once, which was back in Week 1. I think you can do better at this position.

Darren Waller ($6,300) vs. Lions

If you paid up for Waller after he went off in Week 7 for 126 yards and two touchdowns, you were likely not too pleased with his 9.1 DKFP against the Texans. He was targeted heavily, per the usual but only caught two of his eight targets for 11 yards and a touchdown. It was very unlike Waller, who prior to last week caught all but one of his targets each and every week this season. At a position that is struggling to really find someone who runs away from the rest of the field with a big performance, paying up may not be the answer anymore, right?

Fortunately for Waller, he’s in a tremendous bounce-back spot against the Lions. This has been one of the worst teams against opposing tight ends and enter allowing an average of 13.1 DKFP. While it’s hard to gauge how defenses do against tight ends, we have seen teams who do perform well against the Lions. The Chiefs, for example, fed Travis Kelce and he made seven catches for 85 yards and 15.5 DKFP. The Vikings combined for 118 yards on 10 receptions and a touchdown against them. With how much the Raiders use Waller, especially in the red zone now, this is a fantastic get right spot for their shiny new toy. Don’t be afraid to pay back up in Week 9.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.