FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Rob Gronkowski (DK – $7,000/FD – $8,100): The Jaguars took away Gronkowski in Week 2 (2/15 on four targets) and time of possession by the Patriots worked against him last week (4/51 on five targets). Rob posted a winning score (7/123/1) in his only home start. Last year Gronk had a nice game at home vs. the Dolphins (5/82/2). TEs have 16 catches for 188 yards on 25 targets vs. Miami this year after ranking last in the league defending TEs in 2017. The Patriots will pick on LB Kiko Alonso in coverage. Gronkowski tends to play well in division games giving him a chance at 20+ Fantasy points. He'll need either 100+ yards receiving or two TDs to fill his salary bucket at this level. If you want a piece of TomBrady, Rob should be holding his hand. Gronk did miss some this week in practice with an ankle issue.
Jimmy Graham (DK – $4,500/$6,000): Graham should be the go-to guy at TE in Week 4 at DraftKings. His salary is favorable while playing at home against a weaker opponent. Over the first three games, Jimmy has 13 catches for 148 yards on 19 targets with his best success coming in Week 2 (6/95). The Bills allowed 18 catches for 213 yards and one TD on 23 targets to TEs. LB Tremaine Edmunds has struggled in coverage, which will give Grahan an edge on some plays. I expect his first TD while being active in the passing game. Possible 6/60/1 games, which works well for his salary.
Tyler Eifert (DK – $3,800/FD – $4,600): Last week Eifert looked closer to his 2015 season (52/615/13) than any part of the previous three years. He caught six of his eight targets for 74 yards while being on the field for a season-high 65 percent of the plays run by the Bengals. Cinci will still rotate in two other TEs, which does hurt his upside and opportunity. Atlanta has had multiple injuries to starting players at the second and third levels of their defense, which invites a high scoring game. This season TEs have 14 catches for 150 yards on 23 targets vs. the Falcons. With two good options at WR, Tyler may be the player who sneaks through with the best game for the Bengals in Week 4 while offering multi TD upside.
Eric Ebron (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,500): Ebron fell short of expectations last week, but he did have four targets in the red zone plus a couple of chances to score TDs. He finished with five catches for 33 yards while receiving a season-high 11 targets. Over three games, Eric has 12 catches for 110 yards and two TDs in 20 targets. With Jack Doyle out again this week, Ebron should have another upside chance in targets. TEs have caught 13 of their 14 targets against Houston for 196 yards and two TDs with most of the damage coming from Rob Gronkowski (7/123/1). Ebron needs to do a better job catching the ball, but he does have scoring ability along with a chance to see a bump in chances. Underpriced for his opportunity, which means I have to have him in the mix at this level. The Colts do have a couple of injuries to their offensive line, which may force him to block on more plays.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
George Kittle (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,700): Kittle has two steady games in catches and yards (5/90 and 5/79) while receiving 16 combined targets in those two outings. He's still looking for his first TD of the year while coming up short in Week 2 (2/22). The 49ers tend to have him on the field for just under 80 percent of their plays. TEs have nine catches for 87 yards on 18 targets against the Chargers. LA did a nice job against Travis Kelce (one catch for six yards on six targets) while facing two teams (BUF and LAR) with weak options at TE. A chaser game should work in his favor for targets, but this is a below par matchup especially when adding in the downgrade at QB.
O.J. Howard (DK – $3,500/FD – $5,600): Howard had the best opportunity of the year in Week 3 (eight targets) with Tampa chasing on the scoreboard. He finished with six catches for 72 yards, which brings his season totals to 11 catches for 222 yards and one TD on 14 catches. Tampa had him on the field for two-thirds of their plays compared to 42 percent by Cameron Brate. TEs have 11 catches for 130 yards and two TDs on 20 targets against the Bears while facing one top tier TE (Jimmy Graham). Beast of a man with upside going forward, but a lower scoring game will lead to fewer balls in the air by the Bucs. More an against the grain play even with bottom tier salary.
Ricky Seal-Jones (DK – $2,900/FD – $5,300): Seals-Jones caught only one of his three targets last week leading to a 35-yard TD. He has eight catches for 71 yards and one TD on 15 targets on this season. Last year Ricky didn't have a catch on one target in Week 17 in Seattle. TEs have 12 catches for 111 yards and one TD on 17 targets against the Seahawks with the best TE faced being Tre Burton. Seal-Jones has more risk than reward in a floundering Cardinals' offense.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Will Dissly (DK – $3,100/FD – $5,300): The fun ride of Dissly ended with a train wreck in Week 3 (one catch for four yards on three targets) while being in the field for 57 percent of the plays run by the Seahawks. TEs have 11 catches for 132 yards and two TDs on 15 targets against the Cardinals. Blocking TE who outperformed his skill set in Week 1. Fade for me.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (DK – $3,000/FD – $4,600): Seferian-Jenkins has three catches and five targets in each game this year while falling to gain over 25 yards in any game. He's averaging only 7.3 yards per catch. The Jets have held TEs to five catches for 67 yards and one TD on seven targets while also facing three teams with weakness at TE (DET, MIA, and CLE). Wrong kind of upside with minimal big play ability.
Jonnu Smith (DK – $2,600/FD – $4,200): Despite starting snaps in the last two games, Smith only has one catch for nine yards while receiving two combined targets. The Titans will throw to the TE, but Philly can shut down the TE position in weaker matchups. I need to him walk before playing Jonnu in any format. Buy low candidate in the season-long games.
PLAYING TIME / INJURY RISK
Cameron Brate (DK – $2,600/FD – $4,500): Brate rose from the dead last week leading to three catches for 34 yards and one TD on four targets. His playing time rose to 41 percent in Week 3 compared to 36 and 24 percent over the first two games while O.J. Howard remains the clear top TE dog in Tampa.
NEUTRAL (MME GPP)
Zach Ertz (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,000): Ertz has double-digit targets in all three of his starts, which is a great opportunity for a TE. Even with a high level of chances, Zach only caught half of his targets in both of his games at home. On the year, he has 21 catches for 215 yards on 33 targets while still looking for his first TD. Over the last two games with issues with their depth at WR, Philly completed 27 of their 36 targets to the TE position for 296 yards and one TD. Ertz was on the field for 80 of 82 plays last week and 220 of 231 on the year giving him plenty of playing time to make plays. He's going to lose some chance to the highly talented Dallas Goedert who saw his playing time jump to 67 percent in Week 3 with the Eagles running a ton of two TE sets. This season TEs have seven catches for 69 yards on 11 targets against the Titans giving them the number 1 TE defense in the league. As good as it may seem, Tennessee played three teams with weakness at TE (MIA, HOU, and JAC). Ertz should score his first TD this week, but his targets will fall below winning value if this game is played with a high volume of runs.
Jared Cook (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,400): The Raiders have taken turns featuring different receiving options each week in 2018. Cook was the man in Week 1 (9/180 on 12 targets) while Amari Cooper (10/116) and Jordy Nelson (6/173/1) has success over the last two games. Jared has two short games on the road (4/49 and 5/31), but he did catch nine of ten targets while having a TD called back last week. Cleveland did a nice job defending TEs over the first three games (10/97 on 15 targets), but they haven't faced a top TE in 2018. Cook is viable at this level as he could score or have a bump in targets.
Trey Burton (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,600): When Fantasy owners were looking for the next Tre Burton in 2018 in the season-long drafts, it should have been Dallas Goedert as offensive systems produce opportunities rather a player switching to a less pass favoring team. On the year, Burton has nine catches for 90 yards an one TD on 15 targets. He's on pace for fewer than 50 catches and fewer than 500 yards, which was expected at ScoutFantasySports, but not by Fantasy owners who continued to draft him over better TE options. Tampa had a tough time defending TEs in the last two games (PHI - 15/151 and PIT - 5/119/1), but a big part of last week's failure come on a big play when Vance McDonald TKO'd him at mid-field. Priced low enough where a mid-teen score works, but he needs Tampa to score to make the Bears throw.
Ben Watson (DK – $3,300/FD – $5,200): Watson caught five of his six targets last week for 71 yards, Over three games, Ben has 12 catches for 134 yards on 15 targets while being on the field for about 70 percent of the plays run by the Saints. This year TEs have eight catches for 140 yards on 12 targets against the Giants while facing three teams (JAC, DAL, and HOU) with weaker talent at TE. Certainly worthy of a play action TD at the goal line, but he needs an up and down game to create more looks his way. Not a bad matchup as the Giants did struggle vs. TEs last year while coming into this week's game with some injuries on defense.
David Njoku (DK – $3,200/FD – $5,200): Njoku gained momentum in the high-stakes draft season in September after he scored two TDs in a preseason game. He's failed to provide an impact in his first three games (3/13, 4/20, and 2/36) while receiving 16 combined targets. The change at QB should help his value even with no real bump in looks in the second half vs. the Jets (two targets for the game). Oakland hasn't been tested in three games at TE (0/0, 6/58, and 4/47) while facing three teams with emptiness at the position (LAR, DEN, and MIA). Sneaky backend TE with scoring upside.
Austin Hooper (DK – $2,900/FD – $5,000): Hooper continues to deliver more short outings than games of value in the Fantasy market. Over three games, he has 11 catches for 106 yards and one TD on 13 targets while producing one mid-tier game (5/59/1) for his salary level. Cinci struggled vs. the TE in Week 1 (12/124/1) while showing improvement in their last two games (8/74 and 3/20). In Week 3, the Panthers lacked a viable option at TE. The Bengals will give up catches to RBs and TEs while offering talent at CB. Worth a piece of a Ryan dance.
Dallas Goedert (DK – $2,800/FD – $4,600): Goedert has a chance to be treated as a top three receiving option for the Eagles until Alshon Jeffery returns to full strength. After two no-show games while losing TE2 snaps in Week 2, Dallas emerged from his cocoon last week. He caught all seven of his targets for 73 yards and one TD while being on the field for a season-high 67 percent of the Eagles' play. The Titans' linebackers will give up catches at a high rate, which points to follow through for Goedert. His playing time will fluctuate from week-to-week, but I'd still want him on a ticket or two.