Tight End Story Lines for Week 10
- Is Travis Kelce an auto-start for cash games?
- If Rob Gronkowski is on track to play, do you trust him?
- Vance McDonald and Jordan Reed have optimal matchups - is either a strong DFS play?
- Jack Doyle vs. Eric Ebron with similar salaries
- Ben Watson coming off two strong games but concerning snap counts
James Brimacombe: If you are playing cash games, then yes Travis Kelce is the guy you want to insert into your lineup every single time, especially if Zach Ertz is not an option on the main slate of games. The Chiefs just move the ball so fast and pile up the touchdowns. Kelce has benefited with six touchdowns so far this season and should end the year in the double-digit range. He is safe for about 8-10 targets each game and hasn’t had a game below 5 catches or 61 yards since his dud in Week 1.
Right now I can’t trust Rob Gronkowski because of his high price and the fact that he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1. All the rumors before the start of the season about him possibly getting traded or retiring seem to have some truth to them as it just hasn’t clicked for the superstar tight end this season. He could very well be in line for one of his Gronk Smash type of games but at the price, I will have to pass once again.
- Vance McDonald is a strong play in all formats. Coming into last week's game, opponents had targeted tight ends against the Panthers on 25% of their attempts -- the highest rate in the league -- and their 63% pass success rate allowed to the position ranked third-highest. O.J. Howard exploited the matchup for a season-high 21.3 PPR points in Week 9, and McDonald fits Howard's profile as an athletic seam-stretcher. If you are playing in contests that include the Thursday night game, make sure you have exposure to McDonald.
- We're back to Jack Doyle being the high-floor option for cash games and Eric Ebron being the touchdown-dependent, high-ceiling option for tournaments. In his first game back from a multi-week hip injury, Doyle out-snapped Ebron 73% to 22%, while also running twice as many routes. At about the same price, it's probably a better idea to chase Doyle's opportunity in both formats.
Justin Howe: Jordan Reed is a solid Week 10 play, thanks to his matchup. The Buccaneers can’t cover anyone, tight ends included, and they’re allowing 71 yards a game to opposing starters. Reed has been as low-impact as they come while playing pitch-and-catch with Alex Smith, but he projects to strong upticks this week in both volume and efficiency.
I’m always down to play a Colts tight end because I’ve never seen a quarterback favor the position quite like Andrew Luck. Dating back to Stanford, he’s looked for his tight ends to a wildly disproportionate degree near the end zone. Coby Fleener put up big numbers in school, and a host of little-known Colts tight ends have produced touchdowns with him on this level. The Colts wideout corps is a mess, and Luck sent 32% of his Week 9 targets to Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. Doyle will draw more exposure, but Ebron looks like the call, coming cheaper and likely lower-played.
Travis Kelce is definitely an auto-start in cash games. Without Zach Ertz on the main slate and questions with Rob Gronkowski, Kelce is a full tier better than any other option. The lone concern is Kansas City taking their foot off the gas being such heavy favorites over Arizona.
Jordan Reed has been a tepid performer overall this year, but his role atop the Washington passing game is secure with Chris Thompson still recovering from injury and Paul Richardson Jr now out for the season. The good news is Tampa Bay is the second-best adjusted tight end matchup of the week and Reed has 31 targets over the past four games.
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