DFS Tight End Analysis: Week 2
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 each relevant player and how you might adjust your approach to the position depending on the game type. The chalk and any referenced ownership percentages are derived from the 4for4 DFS Ownership Projections.
With an eye-popping 54.5 projected points in the Saints/Patriots game, players on both sides of the ball will be popular in all formats, and that holds at the tight end position. As an affordable option on both FanDuel and DraftKings, Coby Fleener figures to be the most popular play across the board, while Rob Gronkowski is expected to match Fleener’s popularity on FanDuel. With such a wide gap in pricing between the two most popular options at the position, fortunes are going to swing not just on which tight end performs better, but on the overall impact of each player's salary on overall roster composition.
- In the Thursday Night season opener, Gronk posted pedestrian fantasy numbers on just six targets, but that’s come to be expected against shut-down safety Eric Berry, even for the best tight end in the world. No points came from it, but Gronk’s two red zone targets did account for 40% of Brady’s red zone passes in Week 1. Because tight end is generally the most volatile position in fantasy, taking on a high price tag is always a risky endeavor in cash games, but Gronk is the top value on FanDuel, where red zone work supersedes volume. In addition to his burdensome price tag, New England’s versatile offense will always keep me from going all in on Gronk in GPPs. The Patriots ran nearly twice as many times as they passed in the red zone last week. While that could flip against New Orleans’ vulnerable secondary, there are too many weapons on this team to make any player a lock.
- The volume was there for Coby Fleener to put up big numbers in 2016 and that trend continued into 2017, as only one player in the league bested his three red zone targets in Week 1. The sample size is admittedly minute, but in the two games Fleener has played as a Saint without Willie Snead, the tight end has averaged a 6/81.5/1 line on 8.5 targets, good for an average of 20.2 PPR points. As Bill Belichick tends to scheme to take away a team’s primary receiver, Fleener should take precedence over Michael Thomas in the red zone once again this week. Priced as the TE15 on the DraftKings main slate, Fleener tops the 4for4 value report at his position, making him a play in all game types. Like New England, though, Sean Payton is fond of using his running backs in the red zone. If Belichick does zero in on Thomas, it could open up Ted Ginn for some quick strike scores, which would eliminate some potential red zone opportunities. Fleener has tournament-winning potential this week, but his range of outcomes may be wider than some suspect.
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