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.
- Dallas Goedert
- Irv Smith Jr.
We’ll discuss why these are popping in our models, as well as take a look at some other tight ends.
Top Model NFL DFS Tight End Picks
Dallas Goedert ($6,400 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel): Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) vs. Miami Dolphins (44.5 total)
Dallas Goedert has had a quietly efficient start to the year, with 9.0 and 13.2 DraftKings points through two weeks. Goedert has flashed a massive ceiling in the past with Hurts. with scores of 23.5 and 31.5 last year. Washington has been fairly stout against opposing tight ends to start the year but have given up 16+ DraftKings points four times since the start of 2021, including one of them to Goedert.
Goedert isn’t operating as most tight ends do, averaging a whopping 14.2 yards per target on the year. With tight end being a barren position, rostering a talented guy who can put up a high score is always a good idea. Goedert has played on 88% of the snaps through two weeks, operating on nearly an every-down role.
Goedert gives you some of the upside from the expensive tight ends but doesn’t break the bank in roster construction.
He leads our Tournament Model this week and is an appealing play in all formats.
Irv Smith Jr. ($3,100 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel): Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (51.5 total)
After battling injuries to start the year, it appears that Irv Smith Jr. is getting healthy and rounding into form. He went from playing on 31% of the snaps in Week 1 to 56% in Week 2. Irv had two fruitless targets in Week 1 but was able to snag five balls for 36 yards in a touchdown on eight targets in Week 2.
His DraftKings price is quite cheap, as he comes in cheaper than he was before his 14.6-point performance last week. Detroit has given up the twelfth most DraftKings points to opposing tight ends this year. They also gave up some big performances last year, giving up 15+ on four separate occasions in 2021.
Irv also dropped a deep would-be touchdown against Philadelphia, which would’ve led to a monster performance. He could barely partake in training camp due to injuries, and as he gets more up to speed, his role should only increase. Irv looks like a great play this week and has a very affordable price.
Smith Jr. leads our Cash Model, as well as both of our Pro Models.
Other Notable NFL DFS Tight End Picks
Travis Kelce ($3,700 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel): Denver Broncos (-10) vs. Houston Texans (45.5 total)
Travis Kelce had to deal with Derwin James last week, who held him to 51 yards on five catches. Last week broke Kelce’s touchdown streak, as he had scored in seven straight games prior to last week’s contest. He has 90+ yards in four of his last five games and 100+ in two of his last five. The Colts haven’t had to deal with anyone near Kelce’s caliber yet, but have gotten touched up by opposing tight ends.
They gave up two touchdowns on two targets to OJ Howard in Week 1 and 46 yards and seven catches on eight targets to Evan Engram last week.
Kelce has an insane ceiling, and having a ceiling game at the tight end position is quite valuable, as not many people can match Kelce’s score.
Darren Waller ($2,500 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel): New Orleans Saints (+2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (44.5 total)
With Hunter Renfrow set to miss this week’s contest, more targets may funnel in Darren Waller’s direction. Waller has had a quiet start to the year but has 14 targets through two games, including three red-zone targets. He has 129 yards and a touchdown through two weeks and could put up a bigger performance with more potential work coming his way.
Tennessee was stingy against tight ends last season, giving up the fifth fewest DraftKings points per game to opposing tight ends. They haven’t faced anyone of Waller’s caliber so far this year, but if last week taught us anything, teams may be able to do whatever they want against the Titans.
Kyle Pitts ($2,500 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel): New Orleans Saints (+2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (44.5 total)
If we keep banking on Kyle Pitts’ immense talent, it’s bound to pay off. Pitts has 10 targets through two games so far, posting two catches for 19 yards in both games. The Seahawks allowed the eighth most DraftKings points to opposing tight ends in 2021 and are a very beatable defense.
Nothing stands out in this matchup, but a guy of Pitts’ caliber is someone that you bet on. After two disappointing performances, we may be getting Pitts at a floor price.
Marcus Mariota fed Delanie Walker for years in Tennessee, and there’s no reason he can’t feed Pitts going forward.