In this piece, I highlight tight ends who stand out in our large suite of analytical fantasy tools, most specifically, our FantasyLabs Player Models. While the models are built for DFS contests, this is an all-purpose fantasy article with actionable information for all formats.
As news breaks throughout the week and we adjust our projections (powered by Sean Koerner), player ratings in our Player Models will change. For updates, visit the models directly.
Top NFL DFS Tight End Picks in the FantasyLabs Models
On DraftKings, there are three tight ends near the top of the individual Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Cash Game, and Tournament Player Models.
- Travis Kelce
- Evan Engram
- Tyler Conklin
We’ll discuss why these three are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other tight ends.
Top Model NFL DFS Tight End Picks
Travis Kelce ($8,100 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel): Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5) vs. Denver Broncos (45 total)
Welcome to the weekly part of the article where I remind you of how good Travis Kelce is and how much better he is than the rest of the tight ends.
Kelce had a pretty average showing for his standards last week, catching six of eight targets for 113 yards, en route to 20.3 DraftKings points. It was his second game in a row getting the 100-yard bonus, and his sixth on the season. It was also his ninth time this season eclipsing 20 DraftKings points, which is unheard of at the tight end position (outside of Kelce himself).
Kelce has a career-high 12 touchdowns on the year, but he hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 12, suggesting he may be due to find the end zone. Denver did a good job limiting Kelce in Week 14, as he caught just four balls for 71 yards. However, the Broncos were just shredded by the Rams’ tight ends for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches.
He’s the top tight end in our tournament model, as he has a ceiling that usually blows out the rest of the position.
Evan Engram ($4,400 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel): Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans (43 total)
Evan Engram is riding a heater as of late, with 14.0, 42.2, 14.2, and 21.3 DraftKings points in the last four weeks. This Jaguars offense is rounding into form, and Engram is an essential part of it.
His usage seems steady, with seven, 15, 10, and eight targets over the past four weeks. They like to scheme him the ball in space, as he’s athletic and has the ability to create after the catch. This gives him an edge over most of the tight ends, who aren’t able to move that well and serve as possession receivers on check downs.
Engram caught six of 10 targets for 69 yards when these teams played in Week 5. Houston has allowed 7.7 yards per target to opposing tight ends, giving Engram some room for big catches this week.
This game is practically pointless for Jacksonville, although their Wild Card odds improve slightly with a win. They’ll likely lean on the gas pedal to get a win but may pull back on the starters late.
Engram is the top tight end in our Cash Game Model and Sean Koerner’s Pro Model.
Tyler Conklin ($2,900 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel): New York Jets (-1.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (42.5 total)
Tyler Conklin ran a route on 72.5% of dropbacks last week, which was a good sign after just a 50% clip in Week 15. We can likely expect Conklin to run a route on about three-quarters of the dropbacks with Mike White under center.
Conklin doesn’t do much after the catch, as he’s cleared 50 yards just once all year. His targets aren’t insanely valuable, with just a 7.9-yard average depth of target, and seeing 17% of end zone targets on the year.
Conklin is cheap and doesn’t need much work to pay off his price tag, and if he can fall into the end zone, he’ll surely pay off the cheap salary. He saw 17 total targets in White’s three starts, catching eight balls for 44 yards.
He’s the top tight end in Chris Raybon’s Pro Model, where his cheap salary makes a lot of roster construction work.
Other Notable NFL DFS Tight End Picks
T.J. Hockenson ($5,400 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel): Minnesota Vikings (+3) at Green Bay Packers (48 total)
T.J. Hockenson exploded last week, seeing 16 targets and catching 13 balls for 109 yards and two touchdowns. His acquisition has surely opened up the offense for teammate Justin Jefferson, but it has added another talented pass-catcher to his offense who can soak up work. Hockenson has had six or more targets in every game since becoming a Viking.
Green Bay has been stingy to opposing tight ends, giving up the eighth-fewest DraftKings points to the position on the season. However, after Jefferson destroyed this defense in Week 1, he’ll likely be the focal point of Green Bay’s defensive game plan. This could allow Hockenson to slip through the cracks and be a piece that Minnesota leans on come Sunday.
Noah Fant ($3,400 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel): Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) vs. New York Jets (42.5 total)
Noah Fant didn’t see too much usage last week, seeing just three targets despite Tyler Lockett being sidelined. However, he caught his fourth touchdown on the season and turned in a meager 9.2 DraftKings points. Will Dissly has been placed on injured reserve, which can open up Fant to run some more routes and be one of the team’s main red-zone threats.
The Jets have a stout defense overall, but they are allowing the seventh-most catches per game to opposing tight ends with 5.3.