NFL Week 17 TE Report

Shawn Childs

Week 17 TE Report

Codes:

Favorable Matchup

Neutral

Matchup Risk/Against the Grain

Tough Matchup with Limited Upside

Rob Gronkowski (DK – $7,000/FD – $8,500): Over the last four games, Gronkowski has 28 catches for 464 yards and three TDs on 39 targets. He went over 1,000 yards receiving (1,084) for the fourth time in his career. Over 101 games in the NFL, Rob has 76 TDs. He dominated the Jets in Week 6 (6/83/2). New York is 23rd in TE defense (61/776/9 on 103 targets) with three bad games (NE - 6/83/2, KC - 4/94/2, and LAC - 8/107/1). The TE options in the daily games look extremely weak headed into Week 17 with Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz expected to see minimal if any playing time. Clear edge this week as long as the Patriots don't decide to give him some rest for the playoffs. Gronk is the most important piece of New England's passing game going forward.

Greg Olsen (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,400): Olsen had Fantasy owners running to the daily ticket window in Week 16 after his big game vs. the Packers (9/116/1), but Greg ended up being a black hole. He caught three of his six targets for 27 yards leading to a donation by all supporters. His game is trending upward, and he's been on the field for 137 of 141 plays over the last two weeks. Last year Olsen had 12 catches for 135 yards and a TD in two games against the Falcons. Atlanta is 13th in the league defending TEs (70/751/4) with three teams scoring over 20 Fantasy points in DraftKings’ scoring (BUF - 5/112, SEA - 9/57/1, and TB - 7/116). Viable for sure as he should see close to ten targets in this matchup.

Jimmy Graham (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,700): Graham score his tenth TD last week on a three-yard pass, but he didn't have another target in the game. This gives him empty stats in his last three games (0/0, 1/-1, and 1/3/1) just crushing teams in the season long championship rounds. Even at his best this year, Jimmy struggled to get 60 yards receiving. He's been battling an ankle issue most of the year, which is part of the reason he lost his explosiveness. Graham beat the Cardinals for six catches for 27 yards and two TDs in Week 10. Arizona is league average against the TE position (70/662/5 on 113 targets). Real tough to trust his value even with Seattle needing a rebound in offense to have a chance at the playoffs.

Jack Doyle (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,400): Jack was part of a $5,000 championship squad I drafted in 2017. He has the second most TE catches (76) this year while gaining only 8.6 yards per catch. He works as a late dump off option on most plays with strength in his hands (73.8 percent catch rate). Doyle has one impact game (12/121/1) with a decent outing in Week 9 (8/63) against the Texans. Houston ranks 26th vs. the TE position (77/884/8) with one poor game (KC - 133/145). Nice floor, but he needs a TD to reach his salary bucket in the daily games.

Eric Ebron (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,600): After struggled to get open and catch the ball early in the season, Ebron started to showcase the upside Fantasy owners expected from him over the last three games (10/94, 5/33/1, and 5/83/1). Over this stretch, Eric has 25 targets. This week he's listed as questionable with a knee issue. The Packers were one of the better teams in the league defending TEs over the first 11 games (no TE scored over 13.10 Fantasy points), but they did show risk in two of their last four games (TB - 5/80/2 and CAR - 9/116/1). This week the Lions should be able to feature their WRs, which will lower Ebron's targets. Like his direction and he’s priced favorably. Just follow his injury news over the weekend to make sure he's going to play.

Delanie Walker (DK – $4,400/FD – $6,100): Maybe Walker is top safe TE in Week 17 with a reasonable price. He tends to have a five-catch floor (seven times in his last eight games) while gaining over 60 yards in eight games in 2017. He's scored three TDs in his last five starts to help his value in the daily space. Delanie averages 7.1 targets per game. In Week 2, he caught four of six targets for 61 yards against the Jaguars. Jacksonville plays well against TEs (8th - 57/603/5) with one team having success (ARI - 8/107/1). The Jaguars don't need to win this game, but they still would like to knock Tennessee out of the playoffs. In the mix as this level with more support if Jacksonville sits some of their defensive stars.

Vernon Davis (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,800): Davis only had three targets last week, but he caught one of his passes for a TD setting up a decent day (2/42/1) for his price level. Vernon has two catches or fewer in five straight games with only 18 combined targets. Over last four starts, he did play against four decent defenses (DAL, LAC, ARI, and DEN). Davis was a major bust in Week 12 against the Giants when he didn't catch a ball with only one targets. Headed into that game, New York gave a TD to a TE in nine of their first ten games. The Giants have the worst TE defense in the league (78/945/13 on 122 targets) along with issues in the secondary. Based on matchup, Vernon should be one of the better backend TE options in Week 17. The weather could be a factor in New York as it is expected to be extremely cold.

Antonio Gates (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,700): Gates was reborn in Week 16 (6/81/1) when given a starting opportunity. He had a season high eight targets while being on the field for 56 of 73 plays. Week 17 could possibly be his last regular season game in the NFL. The Raiders struggled to defend the TE in most games (11 teams scored 12.5 Fantasy points or more in PPR leagues) Oakland is 28th vs. the TE position (86/991/5 on 126 targets) with three of their last five opponents gaining over 90 yards from the TE position. I'm sure Rivers will try his best to get him a TD in this game. The side bar action is just enough for me to be attracted to Gates in this matchup.

Jared Cook (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,900): Cook has been a lost cause in five of his last six games (2/36, 1/2, 1/9, 2/17, and 1/15) with one game of value (5/75/1) while averaging 5.4 targets per game. This week Jared is listed as questionable with a wrist issue. The Chargers held him to two catches for 14 yards on three targets in Week 6. LA is 9th in the NFL against TEs (65/731/3 on 103 targets) with one team having an impact game (6/107/1). The Raiders aren't playing well offensively, and he has some injury risk in this tough matchup. Fade.

Benjamin Watson (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,100): Over his last two games, Watson has nine catches for 114 yards and a TD on ten targets. Over his previous four games, Ben had seven combined catches for 86 yards and a TD on ten targets. The Bengals shut him out in Week 1 on no targets. Cinci is 21st in the league vs. TEs (74/828/5 on 18 targets) with a TD allowed in three straight games. More boring than explosive, but Flacco will look for his RBs and TEs in this matchup with the Bengals having the edge at the CB position vs. WRs.

Charles Clay (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,600): Clay doesn't have a TD in his last nine games with short results in his seven games (2/13, 3/27, 4/60, 3/20, 2/11, 5/68, and 4/37) since returning from the DL. Over his last two games, Charles does have 19 targets pointing to more upside. Miami allows the 3rd most Fantasy points to TEs (87/944/9 on 125 targets) with four teams beating them for more than 100 yards receiving (LAC - 10/101/1, OAK - 8/126, BUF - 7/101, and KC - 9/116/1). A knee issue continues to limit him during practice, but he should play on Sunday. Decent price point for his matchup that has some upside if he scores.

Jason Witten (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,700): Witten was a little more active in the last two games (4/47 and 5/39 on 14 combined targets), but he still hasn't scored over 15 Fantasy points in PPR league since Week 7 (4/54/1). Over his last 13 games, Jason has six games with only one catch including his matchup against the Eagles (1/7). Philly is about league average against TEs, but they will sit some of their starters at some point in this game. Witten has a great NFL career, but the end is near.

Cameron Brate (DK – $3,300/FD – $5,000): Even with O.J. Howard inactive for last week's game, Cameron was only on the field for 45 of 67 plays due to his lingering hip issue. Over his last eight games, Brate has 14 catches for 149 yards and two on 28 targets with only one playable game over this span (2/39/2). In Week 9, he had one catches for nine yards on four targets against the Saints. New Orleans has the best TE defense in the league with their last five opponents scoring fewer than ten Fantasy points. Not healthy with a tough matchup is bad combination in the daily games.

Stephen Anderson (DK – $3,100/FD – $4,800): After showing a spark in a relief role in Week 13 (5/79/1 on 12 targets), Anderson only has two catches for 16 yards on ten targets in the last three games. Over the last two games, Stephen was on the field for 60 of 118 plays as the Texans choose to play without a TE on many plays. If DeAndre Hopkins truly doesn't play this week, Anderson may have a nice step up in opportunity. The Colts are 24th against TEs (66/767/7 on 97 targets), but there is too much downside risk to make this kind of investment in the daily games.

Austin Hooper (DK – $3,100/FD – $4,900): Hooper has three catches or fewer in six straight games with 21 targets. On the year, Austin has one good game (2/128/1) while averaging 4.1 targets. In Week 9, he has three catches for 36 yards. Carolina has the fifth best in the league against TEs (72/796/6 on 107 targets). Only viable as low-priced hookup with Matt Ryan in the daily games.

George Kittle (DK – $2,800/FD – $4,600): Kittle scored his second TD of the year last week while seeing a slight bump in chances over the last two games (4/52 and 3/42/1 with eight combined targets). George led the 49ers in TE snaps (35) in Week 16 for the first time since Week 9. Over the last four games with Jimmy Garoppolo as the start QB, TEs have 18 catches for 284 yards and three TDs on 24 targets. Not quite a full-time starter, but he could see more plays if Garrett Celek is unable to play. More of gamble as this level.

Tyler Kroft (DK – $2,600/FD – $5,500): Over his last eight games, Kroft has 13 catches for 64 yards and two TDs on 27 targets. His only game of value came in Week 4 (6/68/2). Baltimore is 20th in TE defense (72/796/6 on 107 targets). The Ravens haven't allowed a TD to a TE over the last nine games. Moving in the wrong direction with minimal upside.

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