Last week T.J Hockenson was an easy player to identify at tight end after the Lions ruled out Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark for their matchup against the Seahawks. Even with a bump in chances expected, no one saw him having an impact game (8/179/2 on 12 targets) of that magnitude. He outscored the second-highest tight end by 16.40 fantasy points in DraftKings scoring. The only other options to finish with more than 20.00 fantasy points were Mo Alie-Cox (6/85/2) and Travis Kelce (9/92/1). Hockenson doubled his previous stats (10/82/1), moving him to third in the tight end rankings.
Tyler Higbee continues to be the Los Angeles Rams’ second receiving option (10/73 – 26/244 on 38 targets) at the expense of Allen Robinson (9/95/1 on 18 targets). Pat Freiermuth (7/85) should see a bump in chances with Kenny Pickett starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (DraftKings – $6,900/FanDuel – $7,800)
Based on salary compared to Travis Kelce ($7,700/$8,300), Andrews remains a better play at the top end of the tight end pool in the daily games. After two impact games (9/104/1 and 8/89/2), the Bills’ top-tier tight end defense (5.55 FPPG) held him to only two catches for 15 yards on five targets. Last season, he played well at Cincinnati (8/125/1) while coming up empty at home (3/48) against the Bengals. Cincy ranks 17th defending tight ends (20/245/0 on 29 targets), but Pittsburgh (7/115) and the Jets (9/89) had success moving the ball with their tight ends. Andrews should have a bounce-back game with at least one score on Sunday night. Ideally, Andrews needs Rashod Bateman (missed practice this week with a foot issue) to play to draw some attention away in coverage.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (DraftKings – $4,700/FanDuel – $6,100)
The Eagles continue to give Goedert short targets (five per game), but he has caught 80 percent of his chances while making longer plays (15.0 yards per catch with six receptions of 20 yards or more). His output over the past three games (5/82, 3/26/1, and 5/72) puts him more in the steady category, which works better in the season-long games. Arizona improved defending tight ends over the past two weeks (LAR – 5/89 and CAR – 4/40) after two disastrous showings (KC – 10/132/1 and LV – 9/80/1). Overall, the Cardinals rank 31st in tight end defense (28/341/2 on 38 targets). Goedert should be more active in this matchup, as the Cards will have their hands full defending Jalen Hurts and the run game, plus the Eagles’ top two wideouts (A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith).
O.J. Howard, Houston Texans (DraftKings – $2,600/FanDuel – $4,500)
Howard should be a viable flier for someone looking to punt the tight end position in the daily games in Week 5. The Texans released Pharaoh Brown this week and Brevin Jordan continues to miss practice with an ankle injury. Last week, Howard was on the field for 75 percent of the snaps (only 17, 29, and 31 percent over the first three weeks), but he only caught two of his five targets for 27 yards. Howard surprised in Week 1 (2/38/2) despite being on the field for only 12 plays. Before the start of the year, the Texans claimed him off waiver from Buffalo. The Jaguars sit eighth in tight end defense (14/188 on 25 targets). I don’t expect a high number of targets for Howard, but he is capable of hitting on a long play or a touchdown while being overlooked by a defense. In 2017, Tampa thought enough of him to select him in the first round.