Week 9 TE Report
Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Zach Ertz (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,600): Ertz has a TD in four straight games (five total over this span). His targets (5, 5, and 6) have been short in his last three matchups after averaging 9.6 targets per game over his first five games. He's on pace to set career highs in catches (86), yards (1056), TDs (12), and targets (128). Zach popped up on the injury report on Thursday with a hamstring issue. Denver allowed over 20 or more Fantasy points to a TE in four of their seven games in 2017 (DAL – 10/97/1, BUF – 7/70/1, NYG – 6/88/1, and KC – 7/133/1). The Broncos have strength at CB so Ertz should be active in this game. If his injury ends up being minor, he could be poised for a day in line with Travis Kelce (7/133/1) last week. One of the top TE plays of the week, but his salary requires an elite game.
Travis Kelce (DK – $6,700/FD – $7,000): Kelce deliver his third impact game in Week 8 (7/133/1 on ten targets). His other two strong games (8/103/1 and 7/111/1) came at home. Travis has been a lot less productive on the road in 2017 (5/40, 1/1, 8/98, and 4/33/1). He averages 7.4 targets per game while being on pace for 88 catches for 1,112 yards and eight TDs. Dallas hasn't allowed over 15 Fantasy points to a team at TE this year. TEs have 29 catches for 341 yards and a TD on 44 targets against the Cowboys. Overall, Dallas only played one team with an elite TE (Washington), but Jordan Reed was hurt in the game. I don't fear this matchup and Kelce's chances could be high if this game ends up being high scoring. In my thoughts if I can fit in a top TE option.
Evan Engram (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,300): Engram has been very good in his last two games (5/82/1 and 6/60/1) while receiving 19 combined targets. He’s become the top option in the Giants' passing game with Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall out for the season. Other than being shutout in Week 5 by the Chargers on four targets; Evan has four catches or more in each game. He has 34 targets in his last four starts (8.5 per game). Even with elite speed for a TE, Engram gains only 11.4 yards per catch with five catches going for more than 20 yards. The Rams rank fourth in the NFL vs. TEs (23/235/2 on 37 targets) while doing a good job against Jordan Reed (6/48), Jimmy Graham (6/37/1), and Jason Witten (1/9). New York has no choice to look his way based on their weak WR options behind Sterling Shepard. In play based on opportunity, but he’ll need a TD to reach his salary bucket.
Jimmy Graham (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,200): Last week Graham dropped another easy long pass early in the game, which may have been the reason he finished with only five targets in a game where Russell Wilson passed for 452 yards. He made up for his recent mistakes by scoring the game winning TD while also scoring his other TD earlier in the fourth quarter. Jimmy finished four catches for 39 yards and two TDs. He's scored four TDs in his last three games while gaining fewer than 55 yards receiving in each game. Graham averages 6.4 targets per game. Washington is 29th in the league vs. TEs (41/568/3 on 52 targets) with four teams having a high level of success from the TE position (PHI – 9/104, LAR – 4/104, KC – 7/111/1, and PHI – 7/99/1). This is a favorable matchup and the spark showed by Jimmy last week late may lead to his first stud game of the year as far as catches and yards.
Delanie Walker (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,600): Walker hurt his ankle before the bye week and he remains on the sidelines in practice this week. He's trending toward a do not play, but the Titans maybe just being cautious. Delanie doesn't have a passing TD in 2017 while gaining fewer than 65 yards receiving in his last six games. He did have 18 targets in his last two games, which may be a sign of a breakout game. The Ravens allowed over 20 Fantasy points to three teams at TE (CLE – 6/108/1, JAC – 5/74/3, and CHI – 5/75/2). Overall, TEs have 33 catches for 387 yards and six TDs on 47 against Baltimore. Possible, bit his lack of health would keep me away.
Jason Witten (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,900): Witten has short scores in three of his last five games (1/3, 1/9, and 3/31) with low targets in four of his last five games (4, 2, 4, and 5). Jason has two games of value (7/59/1 and 10/97/1), which came against two of the three weakest teams defending TEs. The Chiefs are 18th in the NFL defending TEs (30/546 on 53 targets) with no team scoring a TD from the TE position. Three teams gained over 100 yards from the TE position (PHI – 6/107, WAS – 5/110, and OAK – 6/107). The loss of S Eric Berry has been the reason for a demise of the Chiefs’ coverage vs. TEs. Doesn’t look like an impactful option.
Cameron Brate (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,100): Brate hasn't scored a TD in his last two games after finding the end zone in his previous four games. Cameron has four catches or more in his last six games. He averages 6.3 targets per game. Last season he had only five catches for 59 yards and a TD on seven targets in two games against the Saints. New Orleans is third in the league defending TEs (22/260/3 on 38 targets). Their only bad game against TEs came against the Patriots (7/121/1). Not the best matchup, but he does have scoring ability in a possible shootout game.
Jack Doyle (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,700): Doyle was a pass catching machine in Week 8 (12/121/1 on 14 targets). Over his last three games, Jack has 25 catches for 216 yards and two TDs on 32 targets (10.7 per game). He's on pace for 84 catches for 756 yards and four TDs on 110 targets. Doyle gains only 9.0 yards per catch, which lowers his ceiling in yards in most games. Three teams have over 20 Fantasy points from their TEs vs. the Texans (NE – 9/108/1, KC – 13/145, and SEA – 5/47/2). TEs have 38 catches for 420 yards and four TDs on 56 targets against Houston. Still priced to pay off with a favorable matchup.
Vernon Davis (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,400): With Jordan Reed expected to miss this week's game, Davis will get the start for the Redskins this week. Vernon played well in four straight games (5/58/1, 2/89, 3/65, and 4/67) while receiving starting TE snaps in two of those games. Seattle is league average against TEs (33/384/2 on 59 targets) with three teams having mid-teen value (TEN – 6/58/1, LAR – 5/106, and NYG – 6/60/1). The Seahawks are banged up at safety with Earl Thomas expected to miss this week's game. Kirk Cousins like to throw to the TE and the Seahawks have talent at CB. Worth a flier.
Tyler Kroft (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,500): Kroft caught five of his six targets last week for 46 yards. Over his last four games, Tyler has 19 catches for 175 yards and three TDs on 22 targets. He's gaining 9.0 yards per catch while gaining over 20 yards on only one catch. Only one team gained over 20 Fantasy points against the Jaguars (TEN – 6/91/1). TEs have 34 catches for 308 yards and three TDs on 52 targets. Jacksonville has will attack the QB (33 sacks) and Cinci will give up sacks (22) pointing Kroft being need in pass blocking. Avoid.
Austin Hooper (DK – $3,700/FD – $4,700): Hooper scored his second TD last week leading to a mid-teen score (4/47/1). It was his best game since Week 1 (2/128/1). Over his last four games, Austin had 17 catches for 151 yards and a TD on 23 targets. The Panthers have shown some risk vs. TEs have the last three games (DET – 3/30/2, PHI – 3/27/2, and TB – 6/80). TEs have 28 catches for 320 yards and four TDs on 40 targets. Not the best matchup.
Jonnu Smith (DK – $3,400/FD – $4,500): If Delanie Walker can't play this week, Smith will be bumped up to starting status against the Ravens. Jonnu has two TDs in 2017 with 11 catches for 1hh 07 yards on 16 targets. Possible backend filler.
George Kittle (DK – $3,200/FD – $5,000): Kittle hasn't done much over his last three games (4/46, 1/16, and 2/22) after breaking through in Week 5 (7/83/1). He averaged 5.8 targets over his last four games. In Week 4, he had two catches for 35 yards on three targets against the Cardinals. Arizona struggled against the TE in three games (IND – 9/99, PHI – 9/82/1 and TB – 8/96/1). TEs have 34 catches for 337 yards and four TDs against Arizona. With Pierre Garcon out for the year, Kittle may get a bump in chances. I don’t trust his QB to deliver TDs in the goal line.
Ed Dickson (DK – $3,100/FD – $4,900): Over the last five games, Ed has 19 catches for 315 yards and no TDs on 27 targets (5.4 targets per game). His only game of value came in Week 5 (5/175). TEs have 35 catches for 400 yards and TD on 59 targets with one TE delivering a playable game (Charles Clay – 5/112). Cam Newton lost Kelvin Benjamin as an option in the passing game so Ed could be the second option in TDs at the goal line.
Ryan Griffin (DK – $3,000/FD – $5,200): Griffin has only eight combined catches over his last four games for 97 yards on 19 targets. His only game of value came in Week 3 (5/61/1). This week Ryan has been limited in practice with a hip issue. The Colts are 22nd in the league vs. TEs (37/440/4 on 56 targets) with the 49ers having the most success (8/89/1). The dropped in QB to Tom Savage is a huge negative.
A.J. Derby (DK – $2,900/FD – $4,500): Over the last four games, Derby has 13 catches for 173 yards and two TDs on 21 targets. A.J. had the most TE snaps on Denver in two of the last three games, but they are rotating in two other TEs. Philly struggled in two games vs. TEs (KC – 8/103/1 and WAS – 13/163/2). In their other six games, no team has over 60 yards receiving from the TE position. Poor matchup.
Tyler Higbee (DK – $2,800/FD – $4,500): Higbee hasn't done much over his last two games (1/0 and 3/13) with his best game coming in Week 5 (4/98). I'm only mentioning him this week due to the Giants struggling vs. TEs (43/508/8 on 64 targets). New York allowed a TD to a TE in all seven games this season. Tyler leads LA in snaps in 2017 (350 to 139) over Gerald Everett. Hail Mary swing with plenty of failure risk.