Daily Fantasy Football Strategy: Divisional Round Tight Ends
The NFL playoffs continue and so does Daily Fantasy Football at DraftKings. I’m back to provide recommendations for Tight Ends for your weekly lineup for NFL DFS games. 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.
DraftKings Tight End Recommendations
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: A lot of teams are golfing right now.
IMPORTANT: Again, we have two games Saturday and two games on Sunday. And, like last week, DraftKings has slates to mix and match these games.
The top over/under totals for the second week of the NFL Playoffs (according to Vegas Insider consensus):
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots – 43 points
Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals – 50 points
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers – 44 points
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos – 41 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 | $7,500 – He’s back! And so is Julian Edelman. In fact, it looks like the Pats will be healthier than they’ve been in weeks. And is that a good thing for Gronk? Well, is he healthy? He missed Tuesday’s practice and was limited on Wednesday. He got an injection in his knee on Thursday.
His results lately have been poorer than we’d hoped. He hasn’t crossed 20 DK points since week 12 (when he snuck across for 20.8 against the Broncos. And the Chiefs are the stingiest defense against TEs. I don’t know if it’s Gronk’s health, the offensive line issues or the lack of other weapons, but Gronk’s recent work (along with questionable health) has me off him again this week.
And Scott Chandler ($2,700) doesn’t offer much if Gronk doesn’t play.
Greg Olsen | Panthers | $6,900 – Now, if I want to spend, I’m spending here. Olsen faced the Seahawks in Week 6 and he put up 29.1 DK points on 7 catches, 131 yards and a TD. His recent numbers have been as disappointing as Gronk’s, but the matchup is much better. J-Stew will likely be back at full strength and the Panthers don’t have WRs who can beat the Seahawks CBs consistently.
Travis Kelce | Chiefs | $5,100 – It looks like Jeremy Maclin might give it a go this week as the reports are he doesn’t have a high-ankle sprain. I’m not sure I believe the reports, but even if Maclin ends up as a decoy, he’ll take some heat off Kelce. Still, I imagine Bill Belichick will do everything he can to take Kelce away. And Kelce will still be targeted heavily. When Maclin missed Week 7, Kelce had five catches for 73 yards so that’s a reasonable proxy for what he could do this week.
All in the Family
Richard Rodgers | Packers | $4,000 – Rodgers laid an egg against the Cardinals in Week 16 and I imagine we’ll see something similar this week. He’s got a hip injury, though it’s been deemed a minor injury. With Aaron Rodgers saying he needs to open up the offense a bit, I don’t think that Rodgers has a big role. He’s probably only an option in the red zone (since the Packers can’t run the ball).
Heath Miller | Steelers | $3,200 – The Broncos can control WRs (well, most WRs not named Antonio Brown), but they struggle (comparatively) with TEs. The problem is who will be at QB for the Steelers and even if it’s Big Ben, will the Steelers keep Miller in more to protect him. If it’s Big Ben, I think we saw from last week’s game that there will be a lot of short passes in the flats and WR screens. And that’s not Miller’s game. Miller had three catches for 12 yards in the Week 15 matchup against the Broncos. The upside is limited this week. You could squint and see value here and perhaps he’s the punt play, but the Steelers offense could be ugly this 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!
Vernon Davis | Broncos | $2,900 – The last we saw VD, he got six snaps (9%) in Week 17. No thanks.
Chase Coffman | Seahawks | $2,800 – Coffman was targeted three times (and had no catches) against the Vikings. And that’s the best stat line for the Seahawks’ TEs last week. He’s probably the choice among Seattle TEs if Willson is out. If Willson plays….
Luke Willson | Seahawks | $2,600 – Willson missed last week as he continues to recover from a concussion. Watch the reports out of Seattle, but I’d still likely stick with Coffman. I don’t like any of the Seattle TEs other than a punt option.
Cooper Helfet | Seahawks | $2,500 – No targets last week. No Bueno.
Owen Daniels | Broncos | $2,500 – Looks like the starting TE in Denver again so you could do worse than him especially if noodle-armed Peyton Manning his to throw the ball
Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham & Troy Niklas| Cardinals | $2,500 – I write about TEs every week and I had to look up who the TE for the Cardinals is which is probably not too good. It seems that Fells is listed as the starter. His best game of the season was in Week 1 where he had four catches for 82 yards and a TD. Gresham’s top game was Week 7 against the Ravens – four catches 62 yards and a TD. Niklas best game was in Week 8 – two catches, 12 yards and two TDs.
The three have combined for 43 catches on the year. There isn’t much to recommend here – Fells gets most of the playing time (80% or more of the offensive snaps), so he’s the punt play if you’re desperate. The Pack did get shredded by Jordan Reed this past week.
So, for this week, Greg Olsen is the chalk, Travis Kelce is a reasonable pivot and if you want to punt I’d go with Heath Miller. Owen Daniels could offer some salary relief for those who want to save from Heath Miller.
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.