It’s not easy to handicap Week 1 with zero games of data to work with. However, that makes the edge even bigger for those who can logically dissect the slate and get access to as many of the best players as possible. Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.
The pricing at Tight End is pretty soft. You can basically roster any tight end you want without too much salary cap concern.
The most expensive option is going to be Jimmy Graham ($5,600). I think the unknown surrounding Graham certainly lends to him being more of a GPP play. We have yet to see how he will work into the Seahawks offense. I suspect that his total number of catches will decline since the Seahawks are prone to running the ball. I do believe he will quickly be the redzone favorite for Russell Wilson so I don’t think his TDs are in any real danger. Fantasy-wise, he may become too dependent on TDs for scoring, but only time will tell. He’s one of my favorite GPP plays this week, but I wouldn’t touch him in cash games.
On the other hand, the cash game play is Greg Olsen ($5,300). As discussed, the injury of Kelvin Benjamin really opens up a ton of targets (146 to be exact). Olsen is already coming off an 84 catch season and broke the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. He’s certainly in line to improve those numbers as he will take on the vast majority of the red zone targets. Benjamin and Olsen dominated the RZ targets last season, garnering 39 targets compared to 18 combined for the other 7 pass catchers.
One of my favorite sleepers is Owen Daniels ($3,400). I don’t know how popular he will be, but the price is certainly right. The Gary Kubiak/Tight End connection is well documented. Long story short, the tight end in a Gary Kubiak offense sees a lot of targets especially in the red zone. Speaking of targets, former Broncos TE Julius Thomas saw 15 red zone targets last season which a percentage of should now go to Daniels. Many believe that this Broncos team should have plenty of offense to go around and Daniels should have plenty of opportunity to score. This game has one of the highest totals on the board.
My favorite “Boom or Bust” play might be Larry Donnell ($3,200). Donnell provides the combination of opportunity plus a good matchup. Donnell led all TEs in redzone targets last season with 24 (tied with Martellus Bennett) so Eli looks for the big body of Donnell when they get close to the endzone and he had at least one RZ target in every game last season. The matchup with the Cowboys is great on paper, as the Cowboys surrendered the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing TEs last season. Vegas has this game at a 51 point total which is the third highest total of the week.