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Week 1 NFL Fantasy DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Tight Ends

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It’s finally here. The best part of the entire year. For people like myself who live in the Midwest, you can start to smell it in the air, feel it in the breeze, and see it in everyone’s clothing. A new year always brings new hope and goals for each fan, but more importantly, new chances to cash in each week! So before you post up on your couch or lucky chair for 12 straight hours this Sunday, check out my favorite plays for the week and let’s meet at the top of the leaderboards. Football season is BACK!

I’m making my debut here at WinDailySports by bringing you some of my favorite plays at the Tight End position for Week 1 NFL DFS! I’ll send my top plays, value, and an under-the-radar GPP-style play that I’m always hoping will go under owned in tournaments. With all the formalities out of the way, let’s get right to it.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City ($6,600 DK, $8,000 FD)

Even if today is your first day playing DFS, I’d be willing to wager that I don’t need to sell you on Kelce. He is one of, if not THE top play just about every week. I’m going to give you a few reasons to lock him into at least one lineup anyway.

In 2021, Kelce owned the 2nd-highest team target share among all TE at 19.9%, second only to Mark Andrews. Tyreek Hill took his talents and his 23.6% target share to South Beach, and was replaced by the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. That said, I expect Kelce’s target share to grow even more this year as the clear #1 target in the high-powered KC offense.

Kelce also tied for the league lead among TE with 9 TD last year. Want to talk volume? He saw the 14th-most targets among ALL players with 134, averaging more than 8 per game. The Chiefs have an implied team total of nearly 30 points, which is the highest on the slate. Kelce is as safe a play as there is on the slate at TE. He is more than capable of a monster ceiling against the Cardinals as Patrick Mahomes’ top target.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,500 DK, $5,700 FD)

Love them or hate them, the Eagles are going to have a fun offense in 2022. Jalen Hurts is looking to make the next step, and now has a new weapon in town with AJ Brown lining up out wide. I don’t see his presence making much of a difference in the role that Goedert has in this offense. Jalen Hurts targeted WR on less than half (48.8%) of his attempts in 2021, which was the 3rd-lowest in the NFL among qualified QB.

Over his last five games in 2021, Goedert posted the following stat lines:

6/105/2 (6 targets)

7/135 (9)

2/28 (4)

6/71 (7)

6/92 (12)

The lone dud in that time frame was primarily a result of an Eagles blowout win (34-10), but we can’t allow an anomaly like that to deter us from rostering Dallas. He is priced at a ridiculous $4.5K price tag on DraftKings for Week 1. Despite playing only 14 games in 2021, Goedert still amassed 76 targets and had one of the better catch rates in the league among TE at 73.7%.

He isn’t a huge Red Zone threat, as he only saw 6 targets inside the 20 last season (though he did catch 5 of them). That said, he is able to rack up yardage with the best of them. He is always a threat to eclipse the 100-yard mark and earn you key bonus points on DK. The Eagles have an implied total of over 26 points this weekend, making them another appealing target against a vulnerable Lions defense that allowed the 2nd-most yardage to opposing TE in 2021.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears ($3,700 DK, $5,000 FD)

Priced near the bottom on both sites, Kmet is an ideal value play target for Week 1. Behind a dreadful offensive line, Justin Fields and the Bears consistently struggled to move the ball in 2021. Despite those struggles, Kmet was a valuable asset, as he owned the 7th-highest team target share among TE at 17.2%.

He failed to find the end zone a single time last season, but with 93 targets on the season, including 12 inside the Red Zone, I’m betting on a breakout this season. The Bears have a tough matchup against a 49ers team that was one of the best in the NFL against TE in 2021, allowing only 582 yards. That said, they served up 6 scores to opposing TE, and the game script shapes up perfectly for Kmet and the Bears. They come into this one with an implied total hovering around 17 points, and are currently 6.5-point underdogs.

Kmet is due for some positive regression, and the Bears will need all the help they can get as they will likely be playing from behind for much of the afternoon. Justin Fields targeted a TE on 25.9% of his pass attempts last season, 5th-highest in the NFL.

TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($4,900 DK, $5,700 FD)

While the Lions are far from a contender going into 2022, there are plenty of bright spots from a fantasy perspective. The offense took a step back from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff, but that didn’t prevent Hockenson from providing value and upside.

Last season, Hockenson hauled in 61 of 83 targets in only 12 games. He averaged nearly 7 targets per contest, and caught 7 of his 9 Red Zone targets. The Lions have an implied total of just around 22 points, but the line is just 3.5 points, so Vegas is expecting a competitive game here.

Hockenson was an absolute beast when playing at Ford Field in front of the Lions faithful in 2021, averaging over 15 DK PPG compared to just 9 PPG on the road. He is also in a fantastic spot against an Eagles defense that allowed the 6th-most yardage to the Tight End position in 2021, AND the most touchdowns with 14.

A few others in great spots are Mark Andrews at NYJ, Kyle Pitts vs NO, and Darren Waller at LAC. You don’t need me to tell you about them. I expect them all to carry fairly high ownership, so I’ll be focusing most of my attention elsewhere.

Thanks for checking out my thoughts on Week 1 NFL Tight Ends for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s meet up at the top of the leaderboards late on Sunday.

Don’t forget to utilize our tools, including the lineup optimizer and cheat sheets from all of our seasoned experts on the staff! Good luck in Week 1!

Justin has been playing fantasy sports since the beginning of time. He was one of the first on the scene in DFS, back to the days of DraftStreet, DraftDay, and everything in between! He is an avid fan of all things Cincinnati (WHO DEY), and is always around to chat sports on Twitter (@BigItaly42) or in the WinDailySports Discord (Myrtle Beach Mermen).

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