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 two tight ends near the top of the individual Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Cash Game, and Tournament Player Models.
- George Kittle
- Pat Freiermuth
We’ll discuss why these two are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other tight ends.
Top Model NFL DFS Tight End Picks
George Kittle ($6,000 DraftKings, $7,600 FanDuel): San Francisco 49ers (-14) vs. Arizona Cardinals (39.5 total)
The change to Brock Purdy under center has benefitted Kittle, as he’s produced some of his best games of the season. He caught four balls for 93 yards and two touchdowns in Week 15 and six balls for 120 yards and two touchdowns in Week 16. Last week was somewhat of a “down week,” supposedly, where he caught four of eight targets for 23 yards and a touchdown.
He has five trips to the end zone over the past three games after catching just four touchdowns over the first 14 weeks of the season. Kittle can be infuriating at times, but he still has a high ceiling that is uncommon at the tight end position. He has four games of 20+ DraftKings points on the season and has the big play upside to get useful fantasy outputs on limited volume.
The matchup is great, as Arizona is allowing the fourth-most yards per target and second-most DraftKings points to opposing tight ends on the year. Kittle caught four of six targets for 84 yards and two touchdowns when these teams played in Week 11.
Kittle has the highest ceiling projection on the weekend, and he rightfully leads our Tournament Model.
Pat Freiermuth ($3,800 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel): Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) vs. Cleveland Browns (40.5 total)
Pat Freiermuth has been a consistent producer with Kenny Pickett under center, and he has an important role in this Pittsburgh offense. He’s run a route on 88% and 93% of dropbacks over the past two weeks, and he has a 23% target rate per route run.
He’s usually in the six to eight target range, with upside for double-digit targets if Pittsburgh is forced to go very pass-heavy. He has a sub-par average depth of target at just 8.4 yards, so he’s reliant on volume and touchdowns to reach value. He has just two touchdowns on the year and is seeing merely 13% of the team’s end-zone targets, which leaves his touchdown upside fairly low.
The volume is stable, and his price is very cheap. He comes in at his cheapest DraftKings price of the season despite his role not changing. The matchup is difficult, as Cleveland has allowed the sixth-fewest DraftKings points to opposing tight ends on the season.
It was with Mitchell Trubisky under center, but Freiermuth didn’t do much the last time these team’s matched up. He caught two of four targets for 41 yards in a Week 3 loss to Cleveland.
Freiermuth leads the position in Projected Plus/Minus and Points/Salary.
He’s the top tight end in our Cash Game Model, as well as Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon’s Pro Models.
Other Notable NFL DFS Tight End Picks
Mark Andrews ($5,400 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel): Baltimore Ravens (+9.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (39.5 total)
Mark Andrews had been struggling and saw his price tag plummeting, but then produced his best performance since Week 6. Andrews caught all nine of his targets for 100 yards against Pittsburgh. He has his second-lowest price tag of the season, and is facing a Bengals defense who he touched up for 89 yards and a touchdown on eight catches in Week 5.
Andrews struggled against Baltimore in their first matchup last year, catching just three of seven targets for 48 yards. He tortured them in the second matchup, catching eight of ten targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. He makes for a nice bring-back option on Joe Burrow stacks this weekend as well.
Hayden Hurst ($3,100 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel): Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens (39.5 total)
Hayden Hurst returned to action in Monday’s game against Buffalo, which was eventually canceled. In the limited game time, he was utilized heavily and was efficient. Looking at the whole season, Hurst has very low-value targets. He’s averaging just 8.3 yards per catch and 6.3 yards per target, so he’s reliant on volume and touchdowns to reach value. His price is very cheap, so he doesn’t need much to pay off.
Hurst caught six of seven targets for 53 yards and a touchdown when these teams played in Week 5. He’s cheap enough to pay off his salary with his existing role and could smash his volume if he’s utilized like he was on Monday Night.