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NFL DFS Week 17: Tight Ends Report - Mike Gesicki Value in Likely Chase Game

An in-depth NFL DFS guide to the Week 17 tight ends to target and fade when setting your daily lineups.

Week 17 NFL DFS Reports

Darren Waller, LV (DK – $7,100/FD – $7,800)

Waller outdueled Travis Kelce over the past four weeks (13/200/2, 7/75, 9/150/1, and 5/112), filling his supporter's pockets with cash in championship games while adding multiple overall championships. He already set a career-high in catches (98), with his next target being receiving yards (1,145 – 1,079 in 2020). Over his uptick in play, Waller gained 15.8 yards per catch compared to 8.5 yards over his first 64 catches. The Broncos held him to three catches for 37 yards in Week 10. Denver ranks 11th defending tight ends (72/808/4), with disaster in one matchup (KC – 9/151/1). Over the past 14 contests, the Broncos allowed only two touchdowns to tight ends. Waller has a top-shelf salary at DraftKings, requiring an 8/100/1 type game. Worth a dance if value can be found at the other positions in your daily lineup.

George Kittle, SF (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,800)

After missing six games with a foot injury, Kittle returned to action in Week 16. He caught four of his five targets for 92 yards in Week 16 while only being on the field for only 50 percent of the plays run by the 49ers. Kittle struggled in his first matchup against the Seahawks (2/39) while posting his top outcome at home (15/183/1 and 7/109/1). Seattle moved to eighth against tight ends (67/788/4) while struggling twice (PHI – 10/128/2 and WAS – 13/101) over the previous five matchups. San Francisco will be without their top two wide receivers with a downgrade as well at quarterback. Kittle should be active with a reasonable chance at a score.

Mark Andrews, BAL (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,200)

The Ravens gave Andrews a season-high 10 targets last week, leading to only a steady game (6/76). His play has been improved over his last five starts (28/377/2). On the year, he scored over 20.00 fantasy points in three matchups (22.80, 20.70, and 20.60). Andrews had six catches for 56 yards and one touchdown against Cincinnati. The Bengals can be beaten by tight ends (78/969/8), highlighted by struggles in five matchups (7/87/1, 6/76/3, 6/129, 11/104/1, and 7/93/1). Reasonably priced, but Andrews needs his best game of the season to fill his salary bucket.

Robert Tonyan, GB (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,300)

The five-week scoring streak by Tonyan ended in Week 16 when he finished with only one catch for 17 yards on two targets. The Packers have looked his way only 30 times over the past eight weeks, with a peak of five targets in four of those matchups. Tonyan had an impact game (6/98/3) in Week 4 while settling into a mid-teen player in games when he scores at least one touchdown. He had five catches for 67 yards and one touchdown in his first contest vs. the Bears. Chicago gave up over 20.00 fantasy points to three teams (8/88/2, 8/93/1, and 6/94/1), pushing them down to 29th in tight end defense (84/891/10). A low-volume player who earns his success by scoring (10).

Jared Cook, NO (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,700)

It was surprising to see Cook have a jump in his salary at DraftKings when considering his lowly path over his past 10 games (22/295/4). Over this span, he averaged only 3.7 targets, peaking in his production coming in Week 8 (5/51/1). The Panthers allowed double-digit fantasy points to 13 of their 15 opponents, with the most damage coming in three matchups (10/159, 5/82/2, and 8/73/1). Carolina ranks 24th vs. tight ends (85/853/6). Overpriced, but Cooks does have scoring ability with a chance of at least 10.00 fantasy points.

T.J. Hockenson, DET (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,800)

The Lions struggled to get Hockenson the ball over the path weeks (2/18 and 4/23). His stock slid last week after the injury to Matthew Stafford, which may be a factor as well in Week 17. Hockenson remains third in tight end scoring (11.39 FPPG) while falling to score over 17.00 fantasy points in any game. He had five catches for 39 yards and one touchdown vs. the Vikings. Minnesota is league average against tight ends (67/848/4), with one team (GB – 8/125) scoring over 20.00 fantasy points. Only a steady option, but Hockenson needs Stafford behind center.

Rob Gronkowski, TB (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,100)

Despite a slow start to the year over his first four games (9/88), Gronkowski moved into ninth in tight end scoring (9.63 FPPG). Last week Tampa only gave him two targets, but both catches resulted in touchdowns with 58 yards receiving. Over the previous 10 games, Gronkowski scored between 13.10 and 19.80 fantasy points in six games. The Falcons held him to three catches for 29 yards in Week 15. Atlanta has the second-worst defense against the tight end position (88/916/10), with four teams scoring 25.00 fantasy points. The Bucs’ offense looked sharp last week, which points to a high-volume passing game again vs. Atlanta. Gronkowski makes the most sense in a Tampa Bay stack.

Noah Fant, DEN (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,700)

Denver gave Fant 20 targets over the last two weeks, leading to 13 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. Over his previous 12 games, Fant only has one touchdown with 49 catches for 487 yards. His top three showings (19.10, 17.70, and 20.80 fantasy points) would fill his current salary bucket. Fant had three catches for 18 yards against the Raiders in Week 10. Las Vegas sits 14th defending tight ends (70/794/5), with struggles in two matchups (8/108/1 and 9/13/1). Fant is trending upward while possibly being a low-value hookup with Drew Lock.

Mike Gesicki, MIA (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,900)

Over his last three games, Gesicki has 18 catches for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 22 targets. His only other game of value came Week 2 (8/130/1), which came against the Bills. He has five targets or fewer in nine of his 14 starts. Buffalo is 27th vs. tight ends (83/921/8) despite not allowing a catch to the Patriots’ tight ends in Week 16. Tight ends drilled the Bills in four games (9/134/1, 12/114/1, 7/114/1, and 8/68/1). Miami should chase in this matchup, giving Gesicki a chance to be active.

Irv Smith, MIN (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,600)

Over the previous three weeks with Kyle Rudolph injured, Smith produced two playable games (4/63/1 and 6/53/2) with a combined 17 targets. With limited playing time over 12 contests, he only has 28 catches for 335 yards and five touchdowns. The Lions regressed against tight ends (14.70, 16.20, 15.20, and 27.50 fantasy points), but they still rank 10th in tight end defense (56/610/9). Fant will get minimal chances while offering some scoring ability.

Jonnu Smith, TEN (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,300)

After Week 5, Smith has 22 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns with only 36 targets. His season started with 18 catches for 221 yards and five touchdowns over the first four weeks. Houston is just below league average in tight end defense (72/800/6) while struggling in three contests (8/87/1, 1/136/1, and 8/64/1). Smith has a slight rebound in value over the last two weeks (5/52 and 3/30/1). Dull option with only play-action value at the goal line.

Austin Hooper, CLE (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,200)

Hooper turned in a playable game (5/41/1) in Week 15 while seeing a massive opportunity (15 targets) against the Jets due to the Browns playing without their whole wide receiving core. He finished with seven catches for 71 yards, which worked for his salary level at DraftKings. Over his first 10 games, he only had 30 catches for 286 yards and two touchdowns on 44 targets. Pittsburgh has the second-best defense against tight ends (58/588/2), but they will rest some players this week.

Evan Engram, NYG (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,400)

Engram has been battling a calf issue over the last few weeks, leading to empty stats over three starts (4/32, 2/18, and 4/46). He played better in Week 16 (7/70) while receiving 10 targets. Engram gained fewer than 50 yards in 11 of his 15 games. His only receiving touchdown came in Week 9 while adding one game of value (6/129). Dallas allows 11.82 FPPG to tight ends (63/624/7). A better player than his salary when adding in his 7.8 targets per game over his last nine starts. 

MORE DFS: Week 17 DFS Hub