Last week I was extremely high on Jared Cook and also recommended you play Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Cameron Brate and Julius Thomas. Travis Kelce and Cameron Brate were the #2 and #3 tight ends on the week, while Ertz came in at #9. Jared Cook almost came through against the Broncos, dropping a touchdown pass from EJ Manuel, and I think it’s safe to say Julius Thomas can be removed from start em sit em discussions for the remainder of the 2017 season, and possibly beyond. This week, the higher end tight ends actually have some fairly tough matchups and you may be better served with some lower end guys.
Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals – $5,700 Fanduel – $4,800 DK – Charles Clay is quietly the #4 tight end in fantasy football. The Bills lack talent at the wide receiver position and Clay seems to be reaping the benefits of Rick Dennison’s horizontal passing attack. The Bengals have been OK against the tight end so far this year, but that stat is deceiving. In week 2, they played the Houston Texans who had to sign a guy off the street the day before the game just to have a tight end on their active roster, but he failed to even see a single target. Clay should be able to get some short yardage catches against George Iloka and if he’s able to break a tackle he could get loose for a big one. Clay is the best bet on the Bills offense to score a touchdown outside of LeSean McCoy especially with Jordan Matthews out.
Austin Seferian – Jenkins – NY Jets @ Cleveland Browns – $5,500 Fanduel – $3,500 DK – In his first two weeks back from suspension, ASJ saw 10 targets from Josh McCown who should continue to be conservative in his passing decisions this week since the Jets lack any other serious threat on offense. Browns Linebacker Joe Schobert has been a pass coverage liability for the Browns who have surrendered 2 touchdowns to the likes of Jesse James and Tyler Kroft. Look for the bleeding to continue this week and get ASJ in some of your DFS lineups. With several solid tight ends on bye this week, ASJ is also a solid streaming option in season long leagues. If he can get it done again this week, it’s time to start considering him as a weekly starter given the Jets wide receiver situation.
Hunter Henry – LA Chargers @ NY Giants – $5,200 Fanduel – $3,800 DK – Start tight ends against the New York Giants. Last week, both OJ Howard and Cameron Brate scored on the Giants. So far this year, the Giants have surrendered a touchdown to the tight end position in each game they’ve played. The only thing standing between Hunter Henry and the end zone this weekend is a poorly timed substitution for Antonio Gates.
Evan Engram – NY Giants vs LA Chargers – $5,400 Fanduel – $4,000 DK – Evan Engram is quietly the second most targeted tight end in football behind only Zach Ertz, and tied at 30 targets with Rob Gronkowski. Engram is an overgrown wide receiver and safety Jahleel Addae shouldn’t be able to keep up with him in pass coverage, fresh off a game where he surrendered 81 yards receiving to Zach Ertz.
Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders vs Baltimore Ravens – $5,300 Fanduel – $3,900 DK – I am not terribly confident in Jared Cook this week but EJ Manuel did look Cook’s way in the redzone last week. Having EJ Manuel under center could work in Cook’s favor if he looks to check it down and play it safe, or it could be devastating if he implodes. I am likely to stay away from Cook this week but he is worth consideration. Manuel did hit Cook in the hands in the endzone last week but Cook dropped it once the defensive back hit him.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans – $7,000 Fanduel – $6,000 DK – Travis Kelce needs to be started in season long leagues and is a roll of the dice in DFS this week. So far this season, it appears the Chiefs have looked to exploit matchups in the passing game versus peppering certain players no matter what like the Eagles do with Zach Ertz. Last week was a Kelce game as the Chiefs exploited DJ Swearinger in coverage, and this week Kelce does have a good matchup, but Tyreek Hill may have a solid matchup himself if he faces Johnathan Banks in coverage. That being said, Kelce may be a wild card this week because both Hill and Kelce have good matchups and they have yet to both come through in the same game. It will be interesting to see which player the Chiefs showcase this week in light of the trend, so I wouldn’t go all in on Kelce in DFS.
Week 1 @ Patriots: Kelce 5 catches, 40 yards, 0 TD’s – Hill 7 catches, 133 yards, 1 TD
Week 2 vs Eagles: Kelce 8 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD – Hill 4 catches, 43 yards, 0 TD
Week 3 @ Chargers: Kelce 1 catch, 1 yard, 0 TD – Hill 5 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD
Week 4 vs Redskins: Kelce 7 catches, 111 yards, 1 TD – Hill 5 catches, 35 yards, 0 TD
Zach Miller TE – Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings – $4,900 Fanduel – $2,800 DK – Mitch Trubisky will get his first professional start this week against the Vikings. The Vikings aren’t horrible against the tight end, but Trubisky may rely heavily on Zach Miller if he wants to be conservative in his first career start. I wouldn’t play Miller in season long leagues unless you’re desperate, but he may be worth a cheap, big tournament play in DFS.
Be Careful – Zach Ertz may be a risky play this week against the Arizona Cardinals who are giving up 3rd fewest points to the TE position. The Honeybadger is really good in coverage and he may slow down Ertz. This will be the first week I shy away from Ertz in DFS, however, I am still rolling him out there in season long leagues.
Last week, I recommended you play Trevor Siemian, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott and Jay Cutler. Siemian didn’t come through against Oakland. This was a surprise given Oakland’s suspect pass defense and it’s really hard to trust Jay Cutler at all anymore after he came up very small against the Saints. The performances we saw from Siemian and Cutler last week were both a little bit of a surprise. Dak, Dalton and Rivers, however, all finished inside the top 12 at the quarterback position in standard scoring formats. Three out of five isn’t bad, but hopefully we can be a little better than 60% this week with Kurt Cousins, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, all likely weekly starters in season long leagues on bye.
Eli Manning – NY Giants vs LA Chargers – $7,000 Fanduel – $6,100 DK – The Giants cannot run the ball and they have several viable targets in the passing game. The Chargers aren’t bad on defense but they aren’t that great either opposite Casey Hayward. Manning hasn’t had the greatest start to 2017 but he’s quietly the 9th highest scoring QB in fantasy football and is available in 29% of Yahoo leagues. With four viable quarterbacks on bye this week Manning is a solid option and offers tremendous upside given the Chargers ability to put up points.
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots – $7,700 Fanduel – $6,000 DK – If you play in a slate that starts on Thursday night, get Winston in there. It was once thought that you don’t want to start opposing quarterbacks against the Patriots but lately, opposing QB’s have been shredding them. I know the Patriots generally try to take away the opposition’s best weapon, but with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate and now Doug Martin, I am not sure who they can try to slow down without getting burned somewhere else.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys vs Green Bay Packers – $7,700 Fanduel – $6,800 DK – Dak Prescott is fantasy football’s #5 scoring QB through 4 games and as long as Dez Bryant stays healthy and Zeke Elliott continues to struggle, Prescott figures to continue this pace. Prescott is like a Tyrod Taylor who is more rounded at throwing the ball, giving him a lot more upside. The Packers aren’t horrible on defense but they do have problems in the secondary, especially covering the slot. The Packers can put up serious points on offense so the Cowboys should be throwing the ball early and often on Sunday to keep pace.
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals – $7,200 Fanduel – $5,000 DK – If you look at straight fantasy points against, the Bengals defense gives up the 9th fewest points to the QB position this year. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will see that 2 of the 4 QB’s the Bengals faced so far this year were DeShone Kizer and Joe Flacco, both of which combined for about 12.5 fantasy points. The Bengals struggled a little against Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, both of which have mobility. Tyrod Taylor has mobility and although I think the Bengals will contain him for the most part, I think he will do just enough with his legs to give him a decent fantasy day. All he needs is one big throw or run to come through.
Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts vs. SF 49ers – $7,000 Fanduel – $5,600 DK – The 49ers are weak in the secondary and if Jared Goff can shred them on the outside, then Brissett has the potential to do so as well. TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief have decent matchups this week against Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson and if one can break loose for a big one, Brissett will pay huge dividends. Brissett doesn’t really have a discount on the daily sites this week, but he may offer streaming value in season long if you have a QB on bye or were bit by the injury bug with Marcus Mariota or Derek Carr.
Josh McCown – NY Jets @ Cleveland Browns – $6,800 Fanduel – $4,500 DK – Everybody is slinging passing touchdowns on the Browns this year who have been somewhat solid against the run. If the Jets are going to advance the ball this week (and advance to 3-2) they will need to do so through the air. McCown is a sneaky streaming option in season long leagues and is a good bet to stack in daily with Austin Seferian-Jenkins. McCown and Seferian-Jenkins are my DFS stack of the week. Hopefully McCown and ASJ do a little bit better than Cutler and Thomas did last week.
Be Careful – Carson Palmer has a great matchup this week against the horrible Eagles secondary but he has been horribly inconsistent. I don’t feel confident trusting Palmer on the road, traveling across the country to face a rabid Eagles pass rush. Palmer could hang 5 TD’s on the Eagles but he could just as easily hang a donut if the Cardinals O line is unable to give him enough time to throw. Palmer is a good bet to take a lot of sacks this week given the current state of their offensive line and the talent level of the Eagles defensive line, but the Eagles secondary is so bad it warrants some consideration for Palmer. I am not going to trust Palmer in season long unless I’m desperate, but I will enter a few DFS lineups with Palmer this week.
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