2015 Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 15 Tight Ends
It is on to Week 15 of the NFL and Daily Fantasy Football at DraftKings. I’m back to provide recommendations for Tight Ends for your weekly lineup. This week is the perfect week to take a dip into the Daily Fantasy pool as you can win $1,000,000! Daily Fantasy can help you with lineup decision for your season-long league and give you another team to root on during the weekend.
This is a great week to check out DraftKings and pick up a new way to play fantasy football.
DraftKings Tight End Recommendations
If you’ve never played on DraftKings before, you can get a deposit bonus by signing up. And there are different options to pick from at DraftKings for any skill level.
Finally, a gentle reminder on the scoring for Tight Ends – this is a PPR site so remember that when selecting players. The full for scoring for Tight Ends is at the end of this column.
Tight Ends can also be used in the flex position at DraftKings. However, with the entire world of RBs and WRs at your disposal Rob Gronkowski is probably the only TE you’d consider as a flex option. TEs still make a viable option at the flex spot as long as the pricing continues to be soft.
Let’s take a look at a couple of options at each price point. For those who are new to the column, I’ll generally look at a couple of options in each pricing tier broken out based on the socioeconomic status of 1970s sitcom families. And I’ll always cover Rob Gronkowski.
I’ll mention Football Outsiders a lot over the season – the passes per game and yards per game stats I use are from Football Outsiders. Here is the link to Football Outsiders’ 2013 stats. FO stats for 2014 are here and I like to use the defense versus types of receivers to fill out my rosters. And we now have 2015 stats located here.
Teams on bye: None – bye weeks are done for the year.
IMPORTANT: This week we also have a Saturday game and DK has some Saturday games out as well – try them out!
We’ve added a new feature this year highlighting the top totals (over/under) in Vegas for the week.
The top over/under totals for Week 15 (according to Vegas Insider consensus):
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles – 51 points
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (Monday night) – 51 points
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars – 49 points
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants – 48 points
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders – 48 points
Mork and Mindy
We have renamed the Gronk Tier the Mork and Mindy Tier as it’s clear that Gronk is not of this world.
Rob Gronkowski | Patriots | $7,700 – Perhaps the only thing that could hold Gronk back is the return of Julian Edelman this week. But, I’m not terribly concerned. The Titans have given up TDs to TEs in three of the last four weeks and as Gronk showed last week, he’s always an option in the red zone.
Greg Olsen | Panthers | $6,900 – Olsen stays at $6,900 and boy does he have a fantastic matchup against a Giants defense that cannot defend TEs. The Panthers will be without Jonathan Stewart this week and there is a chance that Olsen gets an extra target or two due to Stewart’s absence. His in-game injury last week looks to be a thing of the past. He’s the chalk choice this week.
Jordan Reed | Washington | $5,900 – Reed jumps ahead of Delanie Walker this week on the back of a huge week last week. A huge week I did not see coming, but the Bears struggles at home trumped Washington’s issues on the road. This week, the Bills come to D.C. and they have given up double digit DK points to TEs in each of the last three weeks – to Travis Kelce, Ryan Griffin and Zach Ertz.
Delanie Walker | Titans | $5,600 – Steady Eddie. He’s averaged nearly 11 targets per week over the last four weeks. I’d assume that the Pats will do everything they can to keep the ball out of Walker’s hands. The Pats have only given up 50 yards or more to a TE twice this year and only once since Week 1. He’s a nice chalk pivot as I assume he’ll be low-owned, but he’s such a huge part of the Titans’ offense.
Tyler Eifert | Bengals | $5,600 – Out this week with a concussion. Tyler Kroft ($3,200) gets the start for the Bengals. But, not for you.
Gary Barnidge | Browns | $5,000 – The Manziel curse is over as it seems it doesn’t matter who is at QB now for Barnidge. He continues to be like a metronome. Consistent as always. The Seahawks matchup looks good, but they have been better in recent weeks. However, like Jordan Reed, Barnidge is such a huge part of the Browns’ offense that he’s going to get targets no matter what.
All in the Family
Benjamin Watson | Saints | $4,800 – Watson has averaged just over nine targets per game in the last three weeks. The Lions have given up TDs to TEs in three of the last five weeks (though one of those was the Richard Rodgers’ Hail Mary catch). But, just like Drew Brees, Watson is much better at home where he averages 16.4 DK points while scoring just 9 DK points on the road.
Julius Thomas | Jaguars | $4,700 – JT is slowly creeping up the salary ranks as Blake Bortles throws the ball all over creation. With no T.J. Yeldon, it’s possible the Jags look to throw more, but I don’t think that will be the case. Denard Robinson looked solid and is fresh having played very little this year. Thomas has a TD in his last four games, so his floor is pretty high for a mid-tier option against a Falcons defense that can be had by the TE.
Antonio Gates | Chargers | $4,600 – The Dolphins aren’t a pushover for TEs and Gates’ friend Ladarius Green ($2,700) should be able to play through his ankle injury. But, if he doesn’t, Gates’ targets jump a bit more. He’ll be a part of the offense no matter what as the Chargers WRs are guys even their families haven’t heard of. The problem is, the Chargers just aren’t very good right now. There seems to be so little upside with Gates and the Chargers at this point in the season.
Travis Kelce | Chiefs | $4,400 – One double-digit DK point output in his last five, puts Kelce squarely in the doghouse. And a matchup against a Ravens team that’s really only struggled with Gary Barnidge this year (15 catches in the two games). There just isn’t much here to recommend Kelce.
Richard Rodgers | Packers | $4,300 – Remember, the Raiders look bad against TEs on paper, but nearly all of that damage was before their Week 6 bye. They’ve given up TDs pretty regularly (but almost always to the backup TE). I don’t think I’ll pay for Rodgers this week as he’ll be too heavily owned based on the Raiders’ season-long rank versus TEs.
Jason Witten | Cowboys | $4,300 – Saturday night game. Matt Cassel still at QB. New York Jets on the other side of the ball. Nope.
Scott Chandler | Patriots | $3,900 – Gronk back. Chandler bench.
Heath Miller | Steelers | $3,700 – The Broncos have a stingy defense everywhere but against the TE. Shhh…don’t tell anyone. Miller’s ribs seemed to be healed and he could be in for a big day if the Broncos are able to limit the effectiveness of Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant.
Ed Dickson | Panthers | $3,700 – Um, no. Olsen is just fine, thank you very much.
Zach Miller | Bears | $3,600 – Miller put up a nice game last week and I was remiss to not talk about him. He’s questionable with an illness so it’s assumed he’ll be OK, but watch the news this week. The Vikings’ defense shuts down TEs quite nicely, though they are dealing with some injuries at LB and safety. That said, I’d rather spend $100 more for Heath Miller at this range.
Kyle Rudolph | Vikings| $3,600 – Rudolph has been a steady performer over the last four weeks with double digit points in three of those four games. The upside isn’t there as the Vikings offense isn’t exactly dynamic. The Bears were torched last week by Jordan Reed and have been pretty friendly to TEs, though they’ve only given up three TDs on the year. Rudolph has a solid floor of 10 points, but not much more than that as a ceiling.
Vernon Davis | Broncos | $3,300 – Finally out of the salary basement, Davis gets a great matchup against a shaky Steelers’ defense. Now, they’ve been better against TEs since their Week 11 bye and digging a bit deeper into the numbers, we see that the Steelers have been torched a couple of times by Gronk and Antonio Gates skewing the numbers a bit. He’s certainly had his chances in the Denver offense, so he could be up for another solid game, but know that his floor is close to zero as well.
Jacob Tamme | Falcons | $3,300 – I have trouble trusting this Falcons offense at this point in the season. Along with Tamme’s back injury (which he’ll be fine with it seems), I don’t find a lot to recommend him even though he has a great matchup. The recent Jags’ games have been shootouts so he does have that going for him.
Zach Ertz| Eagles | $3,200 – So, even with Brent Celek ($2,500) around Ertz put up a nice game last week. The matchup with the Cardinals is OK and I still struggle to recommend Ertz highly when Celek can steal red zone touches.
Will Tye | Giants | $3,100 – Tye has become a pretty integral part of the Giants’ offense over the last four weeks. He’s scored ten or more DK points in each of his last four games and offers a similar floor in a matchup that may allow him to roam a bit in the secondary. With Josh Norman potentially shutting down Odell Beckham, Jr., Tye makes a nice option this week.
Charles Clay | Bills | $3,000 – Out this week. Chris Gragg ($2,500) gets the start.
Crockett Gillmore | Ravens | $3,000 – Out again this week. Maxx Williams ($2,500) gets another start, but isn’t an option.
Eric Ebron | Lions | $3,000 – So, if you want to risk it this week, Ebron makes an interesting choice. He’s done well when Brandon Pettigrew was out of the lineup. And Pettigrew is done for the year with a torn ACL. Ebron has done nearly nothing over the last few weeks with his last double digit output coming in Week 7. The matchup is fantastic against a Saints team that gets picked apart by TEs every single week.
Sanford and Son
As we strive to give you more and more each week, we’ve added a new tier. The Sanford & Son tier. If you want to go dumpster diving hoping to find that gem, let Sanford & Son be your guide. You hear that Elizabeth? I’m coming to join ya!
Coby Fleener | Colts | $2,700 – If you are going to dumpster dive, go all out. And skip down to the last two guys on the list. Fleener’s QB situation is murky at best.
Clive Walford | Raiders | $2,600 – Solid matchup and he’s near the minimum. Just needs to get into the end zone to offer profit at this price.
Vance McDonald| 49ers | $2,500 – Out of the concussion protocol and a solid option as he and Blaine Gabbert had a bit of mojo before McDonald’s injury.
DraftKings Tight End Scoring
10 Receiving Yards = +1PT (+0.1PT per yard is awarded)
Reception = +1PT
Receiving TD = +6PTs
100+ Yard Receiving Game = +3PTs
Fumble Lost = -1PT
2 Point Conversion (Pass, Run, or Catch) = +2PTs
Offensive Fumble Recovery TD = +6PTs
The full DraftKings scoring system is here.