Many times, in the first week of the NFL season, tight ends will have better than expected weeks. Defenses game plan to defend top wide receivers while communicating and switching coverage assignments at the goal line can lead to mistakes favoring tight ends. Using this theory can lead to cheating the position in Week 1 of fantasy daily games if someone is willing to play multiple low-priced options.
Here are my top choices at three different levels at tight end:
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (DraftKings – $5,700 / FanDuel – $6,000)
In his rookie season, Pitts delivered a WR3 type season (68/1026) from the tight end position except for touchdowns (1). He gained an impressive 15.1 yards per catch with only four drops over his 110 targets. He ranked third at tight end in the season-long drafts despite playing in a subpar offense. Pitts should be Atlanta’s top receiving option in 2021 unless Drake London comes on quicker than expected in his rookie season. The Saints kept him under wraps in both matchups (3/62 and 2/8) in 2021. New Orleans didn’t allow more than 20.00 fantasy points to any tight end last year while ranking seventh in tight end defense (74-714-3). Based on his matchup data from 2021, Pitts looks to be a fade. His talent screams impact upside, so he is a challenging player to fade if your team is shopping at this level in the tight end pool.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (DraftKings – $4,500 / FanDuel – $5,700)
The Eagles barely looked at Goedert in 2021 (five targets per game), but he still finished 10th in tight end scoring (146.70 fantasy points) in PPR formats while missing a couple of games. Adding A.J. Brown should help him see more space in the opposing defense’s secondary. The Lions’ defense ranked 26th vs. tight ends (93/1,127/6 on 131 targets) last season, with three teams scoring over 24.00 fantasy points in PPR formats. I expect this game to have a lot of scoring, giving Goedert a chance to be much more active in the passing game.
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens (DraftKings – $2,500 / FanDuel – $4,100)
Likely is a viable gamble for someone looking for salary cap relief in Week 1. He flashed in one game (8/100/1) in the preseason, highlighting his name on fantasy drafter’s cheat sheets in late August. The Ravens expect to get him on the field with Mark Andrews while suggesting Lively would be their No. 3 option in the passing game. He could be considered a big wide receiver (6’4” and 235 lbs.) with a tight end qualification. I’ll put him in the speculation category in Week 1 with a reasonable chance to fail. If Likely scores more than 10.00 fantasy points, he will be worth his bottom-tier salary.