Other than Travis Kelce (8/121/1), the top 10 tight ends in Week 1 was full of players with no expected fantasy value. Only 12 tight ends scored more than 10.00 fantasy points in PPR formats. Here’s a look at the five surprising players:
· O.J. Howard (2/38/2)
· Taysom Hill (83 combined yards with a touchdown and a catch)
· Will Dissly (3/43/1)
· Colby Parkinson (2/43/1)
· Tyler Conklin (4/16/1)
This result rarely happens as far as depth of options with minimal salaries, but someone looking for a tight-end cheat just above every week. Unfortunately, the payoff rate tends to be low.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (DraftKings – $5,400/FanDuel – $5,900)
Marcus Mariota struggled to get the ball to Pitts in Week 1, leading to a disappointing showing (2/19 on seven targets). His ceiling is extremely high once he adds more scoring to his stat line. Last year Pitts posted two impact games (26.90 and 23.30 fantasy points). The Rams struggled against tight ends (22nd – 13.35 FPPG), with failure in three matchups (24.60, 29.60, and 23.40 fantasy points). Los Angeles gave up only one catch for five yards to the Bills’ tight ends, but Josh Allen didn’t need Dawson Knox to beat the Rams' defense in Week 1. I have two Falcons players listed this week in the daily game reports, but I only expect one of the two to come in with solid production.
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (DraftKings – $4,500/FanDuel – $5,200)
Entering Week 1, there was plenty of doubt on whether Ertz would suit up against the Chiefs. Arizona had him on the field for 60 percent of the plays, but he finished with only two catches for 14 yards and one touchdown on four targets. The Cardinals desperately need someone to step as the second receiving option, with Rondale Moore battling a hamstring issue and A.J. Green struggling to create separation. The Raiders ranked 28th vs. tight ends in 2021 (15.12 FPPG) with a similar failure in Week 1 (19.80 fantasy points). Ertz should be Arizona’s No. 2 receiving option in this matchup, giving him an excellent chance of paying off in the daily games.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (DraftKings – $3,800/FanDuel – $5,500)
In 2021, Knox finished 11th in tight end scoring (164.10 fantasy points) while setting career highs in catches (49), receiving yards (587), and touchdowns (9). His glowing strike was a low number of targets per game (4.7). Scoring drove his playable value, but Knox also produced five empty showings (3/25, 1/17, 2/14, 0/0, and 2/9) over 17 games. He posted two touchdowns in three matchups. Buffalo thought enough of his game to pay him $53.6 million for four seasons before the start of the year. Tennessee had a top-five defense vs. tight end in 2021. After a dull showing in Week 1 (1/5), Josh Allen should find Knox in the end zone at least once with a bump in targets. His low salary plays well in roster development this week.