When discussing tight end options for DFS contests we always face the same problem: pay top-dollar and (most probably) get a good trove of fantasy points, or go with a cheaper option and leave it all in the air hoping for some breakout performance. Luckily for us, Week 1 is already in the rearview mirror and that combined with past seasons’ history has given a somewhat clear picture of who’s who at the position. Here are three of the best players you can put in your lineup entering DraftKings’ Week 2 Sunday/Monday 13-game slate.
Travis Kelce, KC (at OAK) - $7,300
I already warned you. If you want a top-tier tight end you’re going to pay for him. But in this case, the return on investment will be well worth it. It can’t be said that Kelce raved against Jacksonville last weekend (he ended with 11.8 DKFP) but that is reason enough to expect a rebound from him. Also, his situation entering the game against Oakland this week can’t be more favorable.
Much has been said of Mecole Hardman’s upside rocketing up given Tyreek Hill’s injury. But let’s be honest, who is going to benefit the most from Hill’s absence? Kelce was targeted eight times last week, but only caught three passes. If he comes back to his career catch rate of 70.4 percent and sees around 12 targets, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kelce end with a large number of yards along with one or two touchdowns. Oakland’s secondary is carrying multiple injuries, too, so expect fireworks from a Chiefs’ offense that will function around Kelce.
George Kittle, SF (vs CIN) - $6,800
You might not like paying this much for a tight end, but in an offense where he is the only reliable option for QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Kittle already paced the 49ers attack to the tune of 10 targets and eight receptions for 54 yards in Week 1. He could have scored two touchdowns, but both were taken away from him due to penalties—none of them Kittle’s foul.
Cincinnati looks like a good matchup for San Francisco and Kittle. They allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2018 and below-average Seahawks’ tight ends caught three of four targets last week against the Bengals. Kittle will be the main target of Garoppolo’s attempts on Sunday. He will catch at least 75 percent of the balls thrown his way and it is reasonable to expect at least one touchdown from him. Kittle shouldn’t have it hard to reach at least 20 DKFP this Week.
Delanie Walker, TEN (vs IND) - $3,500
Consider this a gift from the folks coding salary-assignment algorithms at DraftKings, because you won’t find bargains like Walker often. Of course, we’re talking about a long-time veteran here, and it is not that 35-year-old tight ends offer high upside: from 2010 to 2018, only Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Ben Watson have averaged at least 10.0 PPR points per game. But you know what Walker is right now? Hot, that is. Walker comes from scoring 22.5 DKFP in Week 1. He did it on five receptions for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Find me a better oldie, I dare you.
By picking Walker you’re putting a high floor point producer into your lineup, and more than anything you’re saving money for other positions. The Titans face an ugly defense in that of Indianapolis this weekend. The Colts gave up the third-most DKFP to tight ends and allowed a league-worst Catch% of 79.8. Even if he doesn’t put up a great performance such as he did in Week 1, Delanie is one of the best picks of the slate by far.
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