DFS Roundtable: Tricky Tight End

Do you pay up for Rob Gronkowski this week?

Tricky Tight End - Rob Gronkowski is back after serving a one-game suspension, and is in the game with the highest point total this week. He is clearly the top tight end play on the board this week but comes at a high price. Tight end is a position that you only get a single roster spot for (Flex also on DK), so it feels extra important this week with Gronkowski in such a good game script. Will you be paying up for Gronkowski (GPP and Cash) or will you look to save money with another tight end that is in a good spot? If you were to fade Gronkowski in GPP games who would be your guy?

Phil Alexander: I'm never one to give too much weight to opposing defensive matchups for top-tier tight ends, but when deciding whether or not to pay WR5 pricing for Gronkowski (DraftKings), all angles have to be considered. The Steelers have allowed the fewest fantasy points to enemy tight ends, which is supported by their number one overall DVOA ranking against the position. Jack Doyle (2-9-0) and Travis Kelce (4-37-0) were both held in check by Pittsburgh despite ranking as the cumulative TE8 and TE1 this season, respectively.

I'll probably end up matching the field on my GPP exposure to Gronkowski, but there's not enough obvious value on the slate that makes him a plug-n-play (at this point anyway). Assuming he's back this week, I'd rather take the $1,300 discount to play Zach Ertz in the mother of all tight end match-ups against the Giants. On the lower-end, Ben Watson is interesting vs. the Browns, who have allowed the most normalized fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. And Ricky Seals-Jones, despite his limited snaps, is in a great spot at Washington. The Redskins allow the third-most yards per pass attempt and fifth-highest pass success rate to opposing tight ends.

Chris Feery: While I agree that Gronkowski projects out as the top play on the board, I’m not viewing him as a must play. He costs an arm and a leg, and you can find better value on both of the major sites. That said, there’s enough flexibility over on FanDuel to fit him in if you’re so inclined, but it’s a bit more challenging over on DraftKings. That’ll probably be the way that I lean when all is said and done: Play Gronkowski on FanDuel lineups, but pass on DraftKings. For other options this week, Ertz is an excellent play if he’s back as Phil already mentioned. Cheaper options such as Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph also deserve consideration, and I’m not opposed to going bargain shopping with a player such as Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Ricky Seals-Jones for GPP purposes. 

Dan Hindery: I am probably rostering Gronkowski in cash games and will have plenty of exposure in GPPs as well. There are enough strong values at running back (Kenyan Drake, Alex Collins, etc.) this week to fit Gronkowski in without taking too many wild risks at other positions. 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins is too cheap this week (especially on DraftKings) and is the only player on the Jets with a favorable matchup on Sunday against the Saints. With Josh McCown out and the brutal road performance but the Jets last week, it is tough to trust Seferian-Jenkins in cash this week but he makes sense in tournaments due to his touchdown upside, solid matchup and a game script that should see the Jets forced to throw while playing from behind. 

John Mamula: Rob Gronkowski is my top option on the main slate if you can make his salary fit. I agree with my colleagues that Zach Ertz is a strong play against the Giants. Ertz ownership percentage will be deflated due to two factors. Many people prefer to take a "wait and see" with a player's first game back. The second factor is the loss of Carson Wentz and the uncertainty of Nick Foles. However, the Giants inefficiencies against opposing tight ends trump both of these factors and is a strong reason to load up on Ertz this week. 

A couple other tight ends that I am interested in are Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Devin Knotts: At tight end this week the guy I’m looking at is Delanie Walker coming back to San Francisco for his first time since leaving the team back in 2012. The 49ers over the past seven games have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Walker has been extremely consistent this season as he has five or more receptions in six of his last seven games. This is a prime spot for Walker who has been the best receiver in Tennessee and is my top guy this week. 

James Brimacombe: I initially was all about trying to fit Rob Gronkowski in at the tight end spot regardless of his price. The more roster construction that I started to do this week the less I was rostering him as he is so expensive. On FanDuel it makes sense with the one tight end position and the heavy weight to touchdowns. He is almost a cash lock type of play this week but in GPP's it might be better to pay down at the position and look to higher priced running backs and wide receivers to spend you money on. 

In a GPP I don't mind fading Gronkowski for a Kyle Rudolph or Delanie Walker as both players have showed that they can find the endzone and are playing in offenses that rely on the position. Walker is probably the better play out of the two as he is almost averaging 5 catches a game and has a pair of touchdowns over his last 3 games.


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