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Top 3 tight end plays in Week 1 DFS

Tight end is never an easy position if you don’t pay top dollar. We break down three tight ends to consider rostering in Week 1 DFS.

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram runs with the ball after a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rostering a tight end on a week-to-week basis is usually not a favorite activity of mine. As the season goes on, the pool of players to choose from becomes less and less. Luckily for us, we are (mostly) healthy for Week 1, giving us a number of options to choose from! I’ll give three of my favorites for this 12-game slate on DraftKings starting on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Evan Engram ($4,800) vs. Dallas Cowboys

The case can be made for George Kittle ($6,600) to be thought of as the top option on this slate and I don’t disagree with that notion. However, Engram is in a spot where he’s realistically the top receiver in this Giants offense for Week 1. With Golden Tate serving his suspension and Sterling Shepard ($5,000) nursing a thumb injury, Engram feels like the top option here. Sure, Saquon Barkley ($9,000) will get his looks in the passing game but Engram should see a healthy does as well. Of course, the loss of Odell Beckham Jr, ($8,100) can’t be overlooked either. When Beckham was off the field last season, Engram saw his target share bump up from 7.7 percent to 19.7 percent. I’m no math wiz but that’s quite significant.

I don’t really take into account how a defense performs against opposing tight ends too seriously. To be fair, some teams utilize their tight ends much more than others, so I don’t think the overall numbers are all that helpful. For what it’s worth, the Cowboys allowed an average of 55 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, both of which were slightly above the league average. Two of Engram’s best games came against the Cowboys last year, where he combined to catch 12 of his 15 targets (!) for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Truly, what’s not to like here?

George Kittle ($6,600) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Editor’s note: Different authors means different opinions on Kittle’s value. Consider both as you decide on the 49ers tight end.

In a game that’s going to be highly popular because of the high 50.5 game total, Kittle should be amongst the highest owned at the position. All he did last season was set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377. Did I mention this was all backup QB’s? Now Kittle can see what he can do with Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,800) at the helm. They certainly have a good matchup to start their connection.

The Buccaneers aren’t exactly known for their stellar defense. They allowed an average of 14 DKFP to opposing tight ends, which ranked the ninth highest in the league. They allowed an average of 66 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season. Kittle was part of those numbers, scoring 11.8 DKFP in Week 12 with six receptions and 48 yards. If we think Jimmy G will play like we all expect, he should be in for a stellar start of the year. If you have the salary to spare, which could prove to be difficult in Week 1, he should be worth it.

Hunter Henry ($3,900) vs. Indianapolis Colts

One of the best values on the slate, the door is open for Henry to explode and remind everyone why he was so hyped before injuries took over. With the Chargers looking to get past the Melvin Gordon drama, Henry has the opportunity to really flourish against a team that was downright abysmal against opposing tight ends last season. Just how bad were they? Let’s get into it, I’m going to need a new paragraph for it.

The Colts allowed the most receptions (113), receiving yards (1316) completion percentage (76.4 percent) and smiles (infinity) to people who rostered the tight ends going against them. With all this in mind, and no Antonio Gates to stand in his way, Henry could be on the brink of a monster Week 1. Henry should end up being a popular play because of roster construction, as we have so many running backs/receivers we want to pay up for. Henry at $3,900 makes that much easier but it’ll come with high ownership. Regardless, he’s one of the “can’t miss” plays at this position.

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.