Finding a tight end in fantasy football that can be relied on every week can be one of the more difficult things to pull off. There is such a wide disparity from the upper-echelons of the position to the 16th-best option who could end up scoring zero points. If you missed out on one in the early rounds of the draft, or have been hit by the injury bug sweeping 2020, steaming is your best option. One of the more surprising options has been Dalton Schultz and his newly-found fantasy value following the loss of Blake Jarwin. Playing the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, can you plug Schultz into your Week 4 fantasy football lineups with confidence?
On a team filled with talent, Dalton Schultz has been able to stand out
2020 was never supposed to have been Schultz’s year. This was supposed to be the breakout year for Jarwin. Who came into the season with all the hype and momentum now that he was the uncontested starter after longtime starter Jason Witten is no longer on the roster.
However, Jarwin’s hype-train derailed before it ever had a chance to leave the station. Sadly, after just one reception for 12 yards, his knee buckled while he was breaking out of a route. After undergoing further evaluation upon the team’s return from Los Angeles, fears turned into reality as a torn ACL was confirmed. Jarwin underwent surgery, which will cost him his entire 2020 season.
However, Dalton Schultz has been able to step up and become a stable replacement option for a Cowboys’ offense loaded with talent.
While Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb will demand their own target share, Schultz has been able to carve out his role on the team. Through three weeks, Schultz has run 95 routes, tied for 10th in the NFL, while targeted on 21% of his routes. His 21% rate is 8th-best in the NFL. With a 14% target share, Schultz has the chance each week to eight or more targets on an offense that leads the NFL passing attempts.
Part of what makes Schutz a valuable player for the Cowboys is that he can be lined up inline as a run blocker or moved into the slot and become a mismatch for a smaller defender. His 45% inline and 45% slot usage shows that Kellen Moore is comfortable asking him to be a versatile player.
Dalton Schultz has been one of the most valuable tight ends in the NFL
The PFN Offensive Value Metric (OVM) measures how much of a player’s statistical production they were actually responsible for. For example, a wide receiver that doesn’t drop passes and breaks a lot of tackles will have a higher grade than one who did the opposite. So, a player with a higher grade was more responsible for their own production than a player with a lower one.
These facts make the OVM useful for gauging an individual player’s actual effectiveness in a game, separate from their teammates’ performances.
Using this tool to examine Schultz’s impact, we can see how important he has been for the Cowboys’ success. His Week 2 score of 43.29 was the firth-highest score for a tight end. He followed this by scoring a 30.2 in Week 3, eighth-best of the week. Other than Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson, Schultz is the only player to have multiple weeks inside the top eight in PFN OVM scoring.
Schultz is a high-end TE2 going against the Cleveland Browns
Dalton Schultz in fantasy has streamer appeal this week against a Cleveland defense that has been lit up by tight ends to this point in the season. The Browns are 29th against fantasy tight ends, and no one throws the ball more than the Cowboys. The Browns defense has allowed 20 receptions on 28 targets for 219 yards and three touchdowns to opposing tight ends through three weeks.
If you are someone who is missing a tight end due to a reschedule (Jonnu Smith, Eric Ebron, Travis Kelce) or are dealing with a recent injury to Dallas Goedert, Schultz could serve as a solid play this week in fantasy.
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