With Week 1 already in the books and the Week 2 games just a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about our next DFS lineups. It’s all about matchups in daily sports, but we should also pay attention at what different teams showed in the first game to get a sense of the chances and opportunities different players will have going forward.
At the tight end position, with the exception of elite-level players such as George Kittle or Travis Kelce, salaries aren’t that high. There is not a lot of risk involved in making the wrong decision, but even with that, here are three names you should avoid at all costs for Week 2.
You can’t afford a bad performance from anyone if you really want to win your contest, so fade these tight ends and look for better values!
Vance McDonald (PIT) - $3,900
Don’t get yourself caught in McDonald’s super-small sample from Week 1. Yes, he caught two passes for 40 yards, but that is as unsustainable as it gets. In fact, McDonald was only targeted four times and the first pass that went his way came in the final two minutes of the game (!). Not even playing catch-up to the Patriots helped McDonald receive more looks.
The next matchup for the Steelers doesn’t paint a good picture for McDonald, neither. The Seahawks’ defense ranked fourth-best in points allowed to tight ends last season with 10.0 so even if McDonald gets more targets he might not be able to produce anyway. Hard to understand how he came away with the sixth-highest price of tight ends in the slate.
Eric Ebron (IND) - $3,800
You already know this, but let me remind you: Ebron will regress this season. And things didn’t help change the narrative in Week 1. Against a Chargers team missing important defensive players, Ebron saw a paltry three targets and only caught one pass for eight yards. Even worse for him and his value, Jack Doyle caught a single pass on two targets for 20 yards. The two Colts TE will share the field and the targets and neither has the ability to put up good numbers.
Although I thought Jacoby Brissett could rely on short passes to his TE early, it wasn’t the case. He went with T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess heavily, and even Nyheim Hines out-targeted Ebron. And the one red zone throw he saw, Ebron couldn’t hold on to it through the motion preventing Indianapolis from scoring. Tennessee comes next and they only allowed 646 yards and two touchdowns to the position last season. Expect Ebron to not make any headlines for the second week in a row.
Kyle Rudolph (MIN) - $3,200
What Minnesota did in Week 1 was unprecedented. I believed in Kyle Rudolph because the Vikings re-signed him to a four-year deal this offseason, but after a 10-pass outing from Kirk Cousins in Week 1 I can only fade Rudolph going forward. If Minnesota is going to run the ball so heavily (and Dalvin Cook truly merits it), there is just not a single iota of value in Rudolph.
Rudolph played every single offensive snap (53 in total) in Week 1 and was targeted once. Both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are ahead of Rudolph in the pecking order (by far) and even them saw three and two targets respectively. Cook was also targeted two times. Putting Rudolph in your lineup would be the closest thing to throwing away $3,200 in DK salary.
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