DFS Tight End Analysis: Week 12
DFS is a game of exploiting a lot of small edges, therefore all options at each position should be explored every week. Below is an analysis of this week’s tight ends on the main slate, including the upside and downside of the most viable players on the slate with explanations for how you might adjust your approach to the position depending on the game type.
The separation in ownership between the top two studs and the other high-priced tight ends should be noticeable this week, as Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz have tough positional matchups. All of the studs are on teams favored by a significant margin with respectable point totals, so there could be some opportunity to pivot to the less popular plays in GPPs.
- Even in the Chiefs’ worst offensive game of the season, Travis Kelce ($7,500 FD/$7,300 DK) put up a monster game and will be among the most popular tight ends every week. Kelce is the only tight end to account for at least a quarter of his team’s targets this season and Kansas City is a 10-point favorite this week with an implied point total of 28. Buffalo ranks in the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but only three teams have allowed fewer touchdowns to the position and the Bills have allowed the second-lowest red zone touchdown rate through the air this season.
- Only five players have seen more red zone targets than Rob Gronkowski ($7,700/$6,900) this season, but he ranks sixth among tight ends in targets per game and ninth at the position in target share. Some of those volume concerns should be alleviated this week as the Patriots are favored by 17 at home and projected to score over 32 points against a Dolphins team ranked 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to tight ends. Only one team has allowed more receptions to tight ends than Miami and the Dolphins allow the second-highest red zone passing touchdown rate.
- After dominating targets early in the season, Zach Ertz ($7,600/$6,600) has gone four straight games without seeing more than 6 targets and faces a Bears defense this week ranked eighth in tight end aFPA. Though it’s a tough matchup, the Eagles are favored by 13.5 at home with a projected point total over 28, generally a favorable situation for tight ends.
- Seattle is favored by a touchdown and projected to score 25 points in San Francisco. Jimmy Graham ($7,000/$5,800) leads the league in red zone targets and, despite leading all tight ends in touchdowns, is actually scoring below expectation, according to Red Zone EV. From a season-long point of view, the 49ers are a tough tight end matchup, ranked fourth in aFPA, but San Francisco has allowed a touchdown to the position in every game since safety Jaquiski Tartt went on IR.
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