DraftKings & FanDuel Week 4 TE Report
Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Playing Time Concern
Rob Gronkowski (DK – $6,600/FD – $8,500): The way the 2017 TE pool is shaking out; Gronkowski is shaping up to be a huge edge. Over his last two games, Rob has 19 targets with very good results (6/116/1 and 8/89/1). He continues to make big plays for his position (14.9 yards per catch). TEs only have ten catches for 74 yards on 11 targets in three games against the Panthers while facing George Kittle, Charles Clay, and Coby Fleener. The Panthers did struggle against the TE in 2016 with (78/915/11) with four players posting solid games (Kyle Rudolph – 7/70/1, Coby Fleener – 6/74/1, Lance Kendricks – 7/90, and Jimmy Graham – 6/63/1). Solid floor while being the top options in the Patriots passing game. Multi TDs could be in the cards this week.
Zach Ertz (DK – $6,300/FD – $6,900): Ertz is off to a great start this year. He has 21 catches for 245 yards and a TD on 28 targets while scoring over 14.0 Fantasy points in PPR leagues in each game. Last week he scored his first TD, which came one play after dropping a wide open TD. Carson Wentz looked his way at least eight times in each game. TEs have nine catches for 125 yards on ten targets against the Chargers this season. LA held Travis Kelce to one catch for one yard on one target last week. They did face two weak TEs in Week 1 (Virgil Green – 1/44) and Week 2 (Julius Thomas – 3/26). In 2016, TEs had only four TDs vs. the Chargers with Cameron Brate having the most success (6/86/1). Below par matchup leading to a low percentage own based on the success vs. Kelce in Week 3.
Jason Witten (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,700): After two strong games (7/59/1 and 10/97/1), Witten barely made the stat sheet in Week 3 (1/3 on four targets). He had 22 targets over the first two games, which is the reason why Cole Beasley has been less active in the passing games. TEs have 11 catches for 111 yards and a TD on 15 targets against LA after three games. Jordan Reed (6/48) had the most success this year. In 2016, the Rams allowed six TDs to TEs with Greg Olsen (5/52/1) and Cameron Brate (5/46/2) posting mid-level games. I’d take a week off from Jason.
Delanie Walker (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,500): Walker doesn’t have a receiving TD in 2017, but he did rush one in from the one-yard line. After being active in Week 1 (7/76 on nine targets), Delanie only has eight catches for 92 yards on ten targets over the last two games. Last year he had seven catches for 69 yards on 16 targets in two games against the Texans. Houston struggled Rob Gronkowski (8/89/1) last week after holding the TEs to four catches for 60 yards over the first two games (JAX and CIN). The Texans ranked third in the NFL defending TEs in 2016 with only three TDs allowed and one TE scoring over 15 Fantasy points in PPR leagues (Jack Doyle – 4/53/1). This isn’t the right kind of matchup to look for in the daily games.
Kyle Rudolph (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,300): After three games, Rudolph has eight catches for 75 yards and a TD on 11 targets. This is well below his success in 2016 (83/840/7 on 132 targets), which is driven by the growth in play at WR and the upgrade at the RB position. Last year at home Kyle had one catch for one yard and a TD on three targets vs. the Lions while being more active on the road (9/64). TEs have 11 catches for 132 yards and a TD on 16 targets vs. Detroit this year. The Lions had huge problems covering the TE in Week 2 (7/108/1) even with New York doing nothing offensively. Evan Engram just missed hitting on a second TD as well. In 2016, Detroit ranked 29th in the league defending TEs (93/912/10) with Delanie Walker having the best game (6/83/1). The Lions will be game planning to stop Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook, which will create a winnable window for Rudolph in this game. His salary is now in a favorable area where mid-teen Fantasy points is a good day. His risk only comes from the change at QB as Case Keenum may not look his way as often as Sam Bradford.
Cameron Brate (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,300): Brate caught all four of his targets last week for 33 yards and a TD, but he was out snapped by O.J. Howard (34 to 26) for the second straight game. After two games, Cameron only has seven targets. The Giants have allowed a TD to the TE position in each game (Jason Witten – 7/59/1, Eric Ebron – 5/42/1, and Zach Ertz – 8/55/1), which point to a problem in coverage at the goal line. I don’t expect him to go off, but a TD seems like a likely outcome. Hopefully, it doesn’t go Howard.
Charles Clay (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,300): Clay should be a popular backend TE option in the daily games this week. He fits the profile a Fantasy owner should look for upside (chaser game). Charles caught all six of his targets for 39 yards and a TD last week, which was his second productive game at home (4/53/1). He did come up short on the road in Carolina (3/23). The Falcons allowed 16 catches for 156 yards on 32 targets to TEs this year. Their catch rate (50 percent) points to plus defense in coverage by Atlanta. Tempting due to expected game flow, but I sense a losing trap.
Ben Watson (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,200): After being active in the passing game in Week 2 (8/91 on eight targets), Watson only had three chances vs. the Jaguars. He caught each opportunity for 12 yards and a TD. Ben is listed as questionable for this week’s game with a calf issue. Even with his bump in production, he’s still in a 50/50 split for snaps at TE for the Ravens with game score being the key to his upside. After three games, TEs have 12 catches for 126 yards and a TD on 17 targets against the Steelers. Moving in the right direction and Flacco will use the TE, but I fear his injury status.
Ryan Griffin (DK – $3,600/FD – $4,500): Ryan was nice value option at TE in Week 3. He caught five of his six targets for 61 yards and a TD. Last year Houston completed 113 passes to the TE position for 1079 yards and seven TDs on 172 targets, which is one of the better opportunities in the league. Griffin had about 45 percent of the chances last year with C.J. Fiedorowicz as the starter. The Texans’ TEs had 11 catches for 124 yards and two TDs on 22 targets in two games against Tennessee last year highlighted by their game at home (7/102/1). The Titans shutout the Jaguars’ TE in Week 2 while showing risk in this area last week (10/125/1) with Jimmy Graham (7/72) seeing most of the action. Viable based on offensive structure in the passing game, but the return of Kyle Fuller will shift TE targets back to the WR position.
Hunter Henry (DK – $3,500/FD – $5,600): The bridge jumpers are standing on the Henry ledge headed into Week 4 after delivering two zeros over the first three games of the season. I’ll explain this as I did to Adam Ronis on the radio. After two games, Hunter had seven catches for 80 yards. This gave him 7.5 Fantasy points per game in PPR leagues, which was a TD away from being a top TE score for 2016 NFL season (10.5 Fantasy points per game). His next bad game brings more failure fear into the equation. After three games, Henry has been on the field for 97 of 190 plays compared to 111 by Antonio Gates. Last year Hunter was on the field for 53.3 of the offensive plays while Gates missed a couple of games due to an injury. After three games, TEs have 23 catches for 184 yards and a TD on 25 targets vs. the Eagles with Travis Kelce (8/103/1) posting a big game. I expect a rebound this week, but I can’t trust his chances to play in the daily games. I will not sit him in the season-long games. I believe in his talent and scoring ability.
Jared Cook (DK – $3,400/FD – $5,500): Jared has four to five catches in each game this year while averaging 5.1 targets per game. He had his best game (4/43/1) of the season last week. The Broncos allowed a big game to Jason Witten (10/97/1) plus Charles Clay had success (6/39/1). Denver did contain the Chargers’ TEs (2/17) in Week 1, which may have been an offensive line issue forcing the TE to help in passing blocking. The Broncos have talent at CB so the TE position could be more active this week in this matchup.
Austin Hooper (DK – $3,300/FD – $5,000): The fraud report has Hooper listed on the front page after his last two games (2/7 and 1/9). Over three games, Hooper only has six targets (two per game). Fantasy owners drafted him as an upside TE2 in the season-long games, and he appeared to be on the way after his first game (2/128/1). TEs have 12 catches for 118 yards on 14 targets vs. the Bills. Buffalo played against the Jets (weak TEs), the Panthers (Greg Olsen got hurt), and the Broncos (weak TEs). You could say the Falcons have a poor TE, but that is the case. Hooper has talent. He just needs Ryan to throw him the ball. I would only use Austin if I were stacking Atlanta’s receivers.
Eric Ebron (DK – $3,100/FD – $5,300): Ebron is another TE that gives Fantasy owner’s trust issues. He posted a weak score in both Week 1 (2/9) and Week 3 (2/9) while flashing his talent vs. the Giants (5/42/). Over three games, Eric has 16 targets with a poor catch rate (56.4). Last year he played well in Minnesota (7/92 on eight targets) while getting shutout home on one target. TEs have 15 catches for 131 yards and two TDs on 17 targets against Minnesota with Cody Fleener (5/54/1) having the best game. Unlike Henry, I can’t trust Ebron from week-to-week due to his low output in TDs (one over his last 15 games).
Jesse James (DK – $3,000/FD – $5,100): James proved to be a bench player in the season-long games after his short success over the last two games (4/27 and 2/19) after drawing big free agent bids after his two TD game in Week 1 (6/41/2). Jesse suffered a shoulder injury last week leading to him being listed as questionable for this week’s game. In 2016, James had six catches for 62 yards on nine targets against the Ravens in two games. Low volume player with an injury is a poor investment in the daily games.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (DK – $3,000/FD – $4,800): In his first game back with the Jets, Seferian-Jenkins caught five of his six targets for 31 yards while being on the field for 48nof 63 plays. I’ll take his game in Week 3 as positive going forward. TEs have 18 catches for 177 yards and two TDs on 21 targets against the Jaguars. Possible top option in the passing game for New York with Jacksonville having talent at CB.
Evan Engram (DK – $3,000/FD – $5,200): Engram has four catches or more in each game this year with between 44 and 49 yards receiving. His best game came in Week 2 (4/49/1) while averaging 5.7 targets per game. TEs have seven catches for 46 yards on 11 targets in two games against Tampa in 2017. The Bucs finished 10th in the NFL defending TEs in 2016 (75/870/3). Evan has plenty of talent, which doesn’t match his salary. His floor is higher than most at this level, but he does have plenty of competition for targets. He’s one of the few TEs that could hit on a 50-yard TD.
David Njoku (DK – $2.900/FD – $4,900): Njoku has a TD in two straight games while receiving short targets (2, 4, and 4) on the year. David has fewer than 30 yards receiving in each game. On the year, he’s been on the field for 93 of 214 plays run by the Browns. TEs only have seven catches for 83 yards and a TD vs. Cinci in 2017. Improving talent, but he needs more playing time and targets to be in the daily mix.
Antonio Gates (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,700): Gates has two catches in each in 2017 for 58 combined yards with a TD on 12 targets. Antonio continues to get the most TE snap (111) on the roster, which gives him enough of an opportunity to post a mid-teen score with a TD. He’s done a lot of that in his career, so Gates is worth a flier if you’re looking to cheat the WR position.
Marcedes Lewis (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,500): Lewis had his best game of his career in Week 3 (4/62/3), which came after two zero games on four targets. Marcedes only had one TDs over his previous 28 games. He had fewer than 50 yards in each of those games. More fluke than starting material in any Fantasy format.
Jermaine Gresham (DK – $2,800/FD – $4,500): Carson Palmer looked Gresham’s way nine times last week. He caught five balls for 47 yards. This came after missing Week 2 with a rib issue. TEs have eight catches for 75 yards on 13 targets against San Fran while controlling Greg Olsen (2/18) and Jimmy Graham (1/1). Tough player to trust based on his career path.
O.J. Howard (DK – $2,700/FD – $4,800): In each of the first two games, Howard only has one catch for minimal yards (17 and 12). He leads Tampa in TE snaps (80 to 64 over Cameron Brate), which will result in more chances down the road. O.J. is very talent, but he lacks opportunity (targets) at this point in his career.