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2015 Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 17 Tight Ends

It is on to Week 17 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 – it’s the final week of the regular season!

Over/Under

IMPORTANT: All games are Sunday with the majority at 1pm EST.

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 17 (according to Vegas Insider consensus):

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (52.5 points)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (51.5 points)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (47.5 points)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (47.5 points)

Another quick, but important note – it’s Week 17 and so we’re going to see some teams play the “young guys” and other teams trying to stay healthy for the playoffs. The only team in the playoffs that can’t improve or lose their place in the playoffs is Washington. So, Jordan Reed is off my radar completely as I can see Jay Gruden sitting him or at least playing him on only a limited basis.

Our friends at Rotoworld have the full rundown of those in and out of the playoffs. And keep tabs on Twitter and other news during the week to

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 | $7,400 – Three straight weeks of less than DK points for Gronk and I just can’t recommend him. The matchup isn’t great (though Gronk put up 6 catches, 113 yards and a TD in the earlier game with the Dolphins) and we could see Belichick pull Gronk if the Pats get up early. The Pats do have something to play for (the number 1 seed), but they’d only lose it with a loss to Miami (unlikely) and a Denver win.

The Jeffersons

Greg Olsen | Panthers | $6,800 – After one week at the $7k mark, Olsen drops $200 and it’s probably not enough to warrant rostering him. I believe Olsen will play a full complement of snaps as the Panthers still have to do work to clinch the number one see (and need the Cardinals to lose), but there are better values down the list. Olsen has a high floor, but we can find some other safer players.

Jordan Reed | Washington | $6,500 – I just can’t see a reason to recommend him this week. He may not play and even if he does he likely will have Colt McCoy throwing him the ball and I can’t see him finishing the game. The only problem is I’m not sure who plays TE for Washington if he sits.

Delanie Walker | Titans | $5,600 – Walker showed that he’s the safest play around right now even with Zach Mettenberger at QB. Much like the Raiders, the Colts have improved against the TE since their bye week (Week 10). But, they also haven’t really faced any legitimate TEs. Walker is the crux of the Titans’ passing game so he’s the chalk play this week.

All in the Family

Julius Thomas | Jaguars | $4,900 – It was a disappointing week for JT as the Jags lit up the Saints secondary, but it was the Robinson & Hurns show. The Texans have given up 14 or more DK points to TEs in three of the last four weeks. I like Thomas for a solid bounce back this week.

Antonio Gates | Chargers | $4,800 – Gates laid an egg last week, but maybe with Ladarius Green out and the shutdown Broncos’ DBs, Gates has a shot at redemption. Gates had six catches on nine targets for 50 yards in the Week 13 showdown. I think he’s a GPP option this week.

Gary Barnidge | Browns | $4,700 – I was right about Barnidge finishing below 10 DK points for the first time since Week 9. Barnidge’s Week 10 performance against the Steelers netted six catches, 65 yards and a TD. But, the Steelers have been quite stingy since with the best performance Jimmy Graham’s four catch, 75 yard performance in Week 12. There is some question about who is going to QB the Browns this week so listen to the news this week, but I don’t think you need to consider Barnidge this week.

Travis Kelce | Chiefs | $4,700 – I will say this again, the matchup with Oakland looks great, but all of the damage was done up until Week 7. Since Week 7, the Raiders have only give up 10 or more DK points twice. They haven’t given up a TD to a TE since Week 12 and only one TD to a starting TE since Week 7. I’ll fade Kelce this week as I believe too many will be on him based on the 30th ranking against TEs on DraftKings.

Tyler Eifert | Bengals | $4,700 – Eifert missed another game with a concussion. There isn’t any news at this point either way. The matchup with the Ravens is tough and A.J. McCarron may be injured as well. I don’t think Eifert or fellow TE Tyler Kroft ($2,500) are considerations this week.

Zach Miller | Bears | $4,600 – If Alshon Jeffrey sits out again this week, Miller (even at this price) is a solid option. Miller has averaged just over seven targets per game in the last three games. The Lions have given up TDs to TEs in three of the last four so Miller looks to have a great matchup and the opportunity to exploit it.

Benjamin Watson | Saints | $4,600 – I was surprised to see Watson suit up last week and he barely registered with one catch for five yards. Watson exploded against the Falcons in Week 6 with 10 catches (on 12 targets) for 127 yards and a TD. But, that was at home and the Saints’ offense (and Drew Brees) are much worse on the road than at home. I’ll pass on Watson this week even though the matchup looks great.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins | Buccaneers | $4,200 – TDs in back to back weeks puts his name on the radar. The problem is, you can’t count on TDs and you can’t count on him catching another Hail Mary. There isn’t much to recommend him this week. Maybe he’ll get healthy this offseason and be back in 2016 with a vengeance.

Will Tye | Giants | $4,000 – Tye like most of the rest of the Giants’ offense was M.I.A. last week. Jordan Reed’s explosion notwithstanding, the Eagles are tough on TEs. Odell Beckham is back this week so there should be more room to roam for all of the Giants’ receivers, but Tye shouldn’t be on your roster at $4,000. His ceiling is probably 12 points this week.

Good Times

Richard Rodgers | Packers | $3,800 – Nope. Three catches in the LAST THREE WEEKS! The Packers are a mess on offense and Mike McCarthy might be the worst coach currently employed in the NFL.

Zach Ertz| Eagles | $3,600 – One of the worst defenses against TE in the game and Ertz has clearly emerged as the TE1 in Philly. The release of Chip Kelly shouldn’t have much of an effect on Ertz’s role. Ertz’s DK points totals the last four weeks? – 8.9, 14.8, 21.8 and 27.2. He’s my number one option this week.

Kyle Rudolph | Vikings| $3,500 – Rudolph put up a six catch, 106 yard, one TD line against the Packers in Week 11. That was in the middle of a streak of five TDs in five weeks against the Packers. The last three weeks the Pack has faced Jason Witten, Clive Walford and Jermaine Gresham. So, there isn’t much to be gathered from those matchups. Rudolph makes a reasonable play in a matchup the Vikes exploited just a few short weeks ago.

Jason Witten | Cowboys | $3,400 – See you next year.

Heath Miller | Steelers | $3,300 – The Browns had a hiccup in Weeks 8 and 9 giving up five TDs in those two games. But, outside of those issues, the Browns have been quite tough on TEs. And the Steelers (and Big Ben) have similar home/road issues to the Saints (and Drew Brees) so I’m off Heath this week on the road.

Jacob Tamme | Falcons | $3,300 – There isn’t a better matchup on the slate this week, but Tamme has been disappointing with Leonard Hankerson gone. I’ll sprinkle him in a few lineups this week as the matchup is too good to pass up, but his floor is quite low.

Charles Clay | Bills | $3,100 – Doesn’t play last week and his salary increases $100? Hmmm…he’s on injured reserve so he won’t be playing this week.

Vance McDonald | $3,000 | 49ers – Ok. So, maybe McDonald IS the TE to own in San Francisco. He bounced back with five catches, 61 yards and a TD last week. McDonalds makes a nice GPP option based on a solid matchup, but our friend Blake Bell ($2,500) could cut into McDonald’s production.

Eric Ebron | Lions | $3,000 – I don’t know. Do you know? I don’t know and I’m paid to know. Ebron SHOULD be so much better than he is especially with Branden Pettigrew done for the year. But, the Lions just don’t seem to incorporate the TE into their offense regularly. I’d rather head into the junkyard than roster Ebron.

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!

Vernon Davis | Broncos | $2,900 – Nope. Got five snaps last week. He’s now in another doghouse.

Maxx Williams | Ravens | $2,700– I wonder if the Ravens will suit up Vinny Testaverde this week at QB. No thanks on Maxx.

Colts’ Tight Ends – HA! Josh Freeman might be starting at QB this week.

Owen Daniels | Broncos | $2,500 – Welcome back? Daniels had seven targets last week – his most since Week 9 against the Colts where he put up his only 100 yard game of the season. There’s no reason to think he won’t get similar volume this week. He’s my punt play of the week even though the Chargers represent a tough matchup.

Blake Bell| 49ers | $2,500 – See Vance McDonald above. He was Pipp-ed last week, but who knows about the Niners.

Nick O’Leary and Chris Gragg| Bills | $2,500 – Impossibly tough matchup and two dudes splitting time. No thanks.

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.

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