FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
George Kittle (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,400): Kittle hit on an 82-yard TD last week leading to his best game (6/125/1 on eight targets) of his career. Over four games, George has 18 catches for 316 yards and one TD on 28 targets. He’s on pace for 76 catches for 1,264 yards and four TDs on 112 targets, which looks like a great opportunity. TEs have 13 catches for 143 yards and two TDs on 18 targets against the Cardinals. Jordan Reed had the best game (4/48/1) against Arizona. Tempting based on his path and matchup, but he could be a trap.
Jared Cook (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,900): Cook had his second impact game of the year in Week 2 (8/110/2). Jared has 26 catches for 370 yards and two TDs in 35 targets, which puts him on pace beat his career high in catches (52) and receiving yards (688) halfway through the season. Last week Cooks struggled vs. George Kittle (6/125/1) after playing well against TEs over their three games (1/6, 5/43. and 3/38) with their best outcome being their success vs. Travis Kelce (1/6 on six targets). Just like Kittle, Jared’s ticket came in last week. Excellent opportunity at this level with some signs of upside again in a possible chaser game with LA having talent at CB.
Austin Hooper (DK – $3,000/FD – $5,000): Hooper continues to struggle to get winning targets from the Falcons, Over four games, he has 12 catches for 125 yards and one TD on 15 targets with one mid-tier game (5/59/1). He’s had five targets or fewer in each game this season. Pittsburgh struggled to defend the TE position in each of their last three games (7/1092, 9/106/1, and 10/99) with each team (KC, TB, and BAL) having a willingness to use their TEs. A favorable matchup, but Hooper needs Ryan to throw him the damn ball, which remains tough with the Steelers struggling to cover WRs as well.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Travis Kelce (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,700): Kelce has been impressive over his last three games (7/109/2, 8/114, and 7/78/1) while receiving double-digit targets in each game. He’s the clear number one target for Patrick Mahomes while being on pace for 152 targets, which is about a 30 percent increase in opportunity. The Jaguars held TEs to 14 catches for 135 yards and one TD on 22 targets over four games. Jacksonville played against Evan Engram (2/18) and Rob Gronkowski (2/15). Below par matchup with some questions with his upside.
Kyle Rudolph (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,100): Over his last three games, Rudolph has 17 catches for 177 yards and one TD on 20 targets. Kyle has caught 81.8 percent of his 22 targets on the year. TEs have only 12 catches for 160 yards and one TD on 22 targets against the Eagles. Half of their failure vs. TEs came in Week 2 on a 75-yard TD by O.J. Howard. Not a great matchup, but Rudolph does catch the ball while Philly has to deal with the Vikings’ top two WRs.
Jeff Heuerman (DK – $2,600/FD – $4,400): Heuerman led the Broncos’ TEs in catches (4), yards (57), targets (7), and playing time (88 percent) last week after Denver lost Jake Butt with an injury. Jeff falls in a bigger play class at TE with questions with his targets and scoring ability in the red zone. TEs have 11 catches for 130 yards and one TD on 16 targets against the Jets. The best TE they’ve faced is David Njoku (2/36) which is saying much. Low resume and a false floor in targets would keep me away plus Case Keenum hasn’t thrown a TD pass in three weeks.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
David Njoku (DK – $3,400/FD – $5,200): Njoku did have his best game (5/52 on seven targets) last week with Baker Mayfield behind center, but he still doesn’t have a TD in 2018. Over four games, David has 14 catches for 121 yards on 23 targets. Last year he had three catches for 27 yards and one TD on four targets on the road against the Ravens while being shutout at home on three chances. Baltimore hasn’t allowed a TD to a TE in this year. TEs have 20 catches for 221 yards on 28 targets vs. the Ravens while facing no team (BUF, CIN, DEN, and PIT) with a tier TE. A sneaky option as most Fantasy owners will be drawn more to players with glowing recent resumes.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,600): Seferian-Jenkins has 25 yards or fewer in each game this year while topping out at three catches in three games. He scored his only TD in Week 2 while receiving no more than five targets in any game. TEs have 23 catches for 361 yards and one TD on 31 targets against the Chiefs with one disaster game (8/164/1) vs. the Steelers. Kansas City did allow big plays to both the 49ers (6/86 on eight targets) and the Broncos (5/74 on eight targets) in the last two games. Possible TD, but he can’t be trusted to see a bump in targets or yards. Last week Austin was only the field for 47 percent of the Jaguars’ plays due to a core muscle injury. A boring player with injury concern equals a Sunday donation in the daily games.
NEUTRAL (MME GPP)
Zach Ertz (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,500): Ertz continues to get WR1 targets. He has double-digit targets in each game while averaging just under 12 per game. Over the last three games, Zach has 26 passes for 279 yards on 37 targets. The missing link to his upside is TDs. This season TEs have 16 catches for 246 yards and one TD on 23 targets against the Vikings. Minnesota did show some failure risk in Week 1 (5/90) and Week 2 (7/99) vs. the 49ers and the Packers. Possible top passing option for Carson Wentz, but the Eagles do have depth in their receiving options with Alshon Jeffery back in the starting lineup. Viable if he scores.
Jimmy Graham (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,100): Graham still doesn’t have an impact game in 2018. His best success came in Week 2 (6/95) and Week 4 (3/21/1). On the year, Jimmy has 16 catches for 169 yards and one TD on 25 targets. TEs have 15 catches for 168 yards and two TDs on 21 targets against the Lions while playing two teams with weak TEs (Jets and Cowboys). Detroit did hold Rob Gronkowski (4/51) and George Kittle (2/22) to short games. Green Bay will need to throw in this game, and the Packers are banged up at wide receiver. Graham doesn’t give a Fantasy owner the same juice as the four players ranked above him in salary. More of an endorsement of Aaron Rodgers if you decent to take Jimmy for a ride.
Vance McDonald (DK – $3,700/FD – $4,600): Last week McDonald was on the field for a season-high 62 percent of the TE snaps form the Steelers. Over his last two games, McDonald has nine catches for 174 yards and one TD on ten targets. TEs have 19 catches for 194 yards and one TD on 29 targets against the Falcons. Their best job defending the TE came in Week 1 vs. Zack Ertz (5/48) when Atlanta’s defense was healthy. Gaining momentum as a dump off option as defenses try their best to take away Pittsburgh top two WRs, but he remains target challenged in most games.
C.J. Uzomah (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,700): With Tyler Eifert out for the season, Uzomah looks poised to see a bump in targets. Last year Tyler Kroft assumed the top TE duties in Cinci, but he only has four catches for 34 yards on five targets in four games while being on the field for about a third of the TE snaps on the Bengals. Uzomah has the most playing time (59 percent) at TE for Cinci 2018 leading to seven catches for 74 yards and one TD on eight targets. His best season in the NFL came in 2016 (25/234/1 on 38 targets) while playing ten games. TEs have 21 catches for 228 yards and no TDs on 34 targets vs. the Dolphins with the Titans having the most success (7/101 on 12 targets). The Dolphins did hold Jared Cook (5/31) and Rob Gronkowski (4/44) to short games. With no resume of upside and Kroft still being a possible pass-catching option, I would avoid trying to fit this square into your circle piece of your daily pie.
Ricky Seals-Jones (DK – $2,900/FD – $5,100): Over four games, Seals-Jones has ten catches for 123 yards and one TD on 19 targets. His lack of success could be his fault, but the poor QB in Arizona has to be a big factor. His last three catches have totaled 87 yards and one TD on seven targets, which shows his big-play ability if he breaks free at the second and third level of defenses. This season TEs have a TD in each game vs. the 49ers with 18 catches for 217 yards on 26 targets. San Fran had the biggest problem against Travis Kelce and the Chiefs (9/127/1 on 13 targets). There are enough positive signs here to gamble on Ricky if you trust Josh Rosen on the road.
Ian Thomas (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,000): Over the last two games with starting snaps, Thomas caught five of his eight targets for 30 yards. His window as a starter should be closing fast with Greg Olsen getting some positive press over the last week. TEs have 12 catches for 226 yards and no TDs on 18 targets against the Giants, but New York hasn’t faced a top ten TE all year. With no resume of success, it would be extremely hard to believe in a big game. On the positive side, a TD and three catches for 30 yards does fill him salary bucket.
Mike Gesicki (DK – $2,500/FD – $4,400): Gesicki isn’t projected very high this week, but he did have a season-high 84 percent of the TE snaps for the Dolphins in Week 4. Over the last two games, Mike has four catches for 40 yards on five targets. He comes to the NFL with a passing catches pedigree in his last two seasons at Penn State (48/679/5 and 57/563/9), which does give him a pulse if Miami is forced to throw the ball more than four times. TEs have 25 catches for 254 yards and two TDs on 35 targets against the Bengals with one disaster game (12/124/1 on 16 targets). Only a gamble until we see a bump in targets.
Nick Vannett (DK – $2,500/FD – $4,300): Vannett gets a bump in playing time with Will Dissly out for the season. Nick has eight catches for 56 yards on 12 targets over the last three games. Last week the Seahawks had him on the field for 82 percent of their plays. The Rams have a strong pass rush, which may lead to Vannett being required to block more this week. If LA busts out to a big lead, Nick may develop into a dump off option for Russell Wilson. TEs have 25 catches for 328 yards and no TDs on 34 targets with huge failure defending the TE in Week 1 against the Raiders (11/200 on 15 targets). More of a low-value hookup with Wilson than a smart play.