In week eight we saw some of the leagues most productive tight ends take a step back. Zach Ertz and Rob Gronkowski managed to score, but only produced 11.4 and 14.2 respectively. While that’s great for seasonal fantasy teams, those point totals don’t get it done in DFS given their high price. Other players like Hunter Henry and Austin Seferian-Jenkins came up short. Let’s figure out which land mines we need to avoid in the tight end edition of week 9 DFS don’ts.
Travis Kelce: FanDuel Price $7,000
Kelce is in a unique position. He plays on a great offense crafted by Andy Reid and executed to near perfection by Alex Smith. This offense features one player at each position that is fantasy relevant; however, that doesn’t always mean they will produce. For example, Kelce had a great game Monday against Denver. For most DFS players, we knew it was a great spot for him. The way to beat Denver is to attack the middle of the field and avoid their corners.
Conversely, Kelce had a great matchup against the Raiders and their weak secondary and did not produce. Instead, it was Tyreek Hill’s turn to produce. Essentially, Reid designs new plays each week for certain players instead of just targeting them in the normal context of their offense. For example, they would continually flex out Kelce and have three wide receivers to the opposite side. This would force a safety to play one-on-one with Kelce and that’s the formation that he was able to score on.
Statistically, Kelce has been inconsistent week to week. He has three single digit point outings, including a 0.6 point game against the Chargers. He’s gotten more consistent since week five; however, he faces a Cowboys secondary that has been stingy against tight ends. Byron Jones, will likely be guarding Kelce this weekend. He’s currently ranked as a top 50 safety overall according to Pro Football Focus, but is a top 25 safety purely in coverage. This is more of a gut feeling than anything else. After quiet games from Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, I think those players see the majority of the production this weekend. Travis Kelce makes his first appearance in this series on my week 9 DFS don’ts.
Jimmy Graham: FanDuel Price $6,200
Ughh Jimmy Graham. He was the bane of my DFS existence in week 7. He should have posted a 20 plus point game, but his hands did not allow him to. In week 8, Graham managed to benefit from an awful chop block by Thomas Rawls, which also took away points from my Rusell Wilson to Paul Richardson stack. So, without a fluke penalty, Graham is only targeted four times and loses at least 6.5 points as a result of that one play.
To be fair, Graham is immensely talented as a pass catcher despite his recent woes with drops. And, he plays on an offense with absolutely zero threat of a run game. His placement on the week 9 DFS don’ts list is simply because there are better options in this price range.
Evan Engram is only $100 more expensive and is the number one pass catching threat on his team. You could also pivot down to a Jack Doyle or Jared Cook. It’s evident that Doyle has earned the trust of his quarterback, and Cook has a great matchup Sunday night against the Dolphins.
Ryan Griffin: FanDuel Price $5,200
This pick falls in line with my Cody Parkey reminder in yesterday’s piece. If you are paying down at tight end please don’t waste your time with Ryan Griffin. Deshaun Watson has established that he wants to throw the ball down the field to his wide receivers. Since DeAndre Hopkins see more than 30% of Watson’s targets, there simply isn’t enough opportunity for Griffin at this point. Yes, he has a great matchup against this Colts secondary, but then again, so does every Texans pass catcher. Better options in this price range include Vernon Davis at $5,400 and Ed Dickson at $4,900. Griffin joins Kelce and Graham on my week 9 DFS don’ts list.
Featured Image Courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs
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