As season-long fantasy football managers join in NFL Wild Card Weekend DFS leagues, new challenges emerge as they attempt to determine the correct lineup every week rather than the team they drafted several months ago. With four more games set to play, what are the NFL DFS values of George Kittle, Dalton Schultz, and Rob Gronkowski for Wild Card Weekend?
Rob Gronkowski will have a high-roster percentage in DFS
We are all well aware of the wide receiver situation down in Tampa. Chris Godwin is out for the season (ACL), and Antonio Brown is no longer with the team (being Antonio Brown). If the Buccaneers want to make it to Los Angeles for the Super Bowl, Gronkowski needs to have a vintage Gronk performance.
The last two games indicate Gronkowski’s importance to this offense and speak to his increased utilization. In Weeks 17 and 18, with Mike Evans hurt, Godwin out, and Brown playing only part of the Jets game, Gronkowski recorded 20 targets, tying his highest total for a two-game stretch at any point in the season (Weeks 14 and 15). He had 14 receptions and 252 yards to close out the year, averaging 18 yards per reception.
Will Gronk find the end zone?
The question is can Gronkowski find the end zone again? While he does have 6 touchdowns on the season, 4 of those came in the opening two weeks. He has not scored since his multi-touchdown game in Week 13 against the Falcons.
Gronkowski is the smash play in the Wild Card round of the playoffs in DFS. He is the player that no matter what my lineup build is, Gronk will find his way onto it. Even if that means running a tight end in my flex. That’s a far more viable strategy than being given credit this weekend. Not only do we have the best QB/TE pairing in NFL history, but he is a player who needs to be heavily utilized and in the best matchup of the weekend.
The Eagles have allowed more points to TEs than any other team in the NFL this season at 17.44 PPR per game and are No. 1 in TDs allowed (14). Gronk will have a high roster percentage when lineups lock on DraftKings, and I am perfectly fine with that as I join the masses.
Is George Kittle the forgotten man in DFS for the 49ers?
Normally, anytime Kittle is playing, we are falling over ourselves to start the People’s Tight End. Yet it seems like he is being almost forgotten about when we talk about the 49ers. All eyes have been on Jimmy Garoppolo (and his thumb), Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk. Perhaps it is due to the sluggish end of the season Kittle went through.
In his final three games, Kittle recorded 8 receptions on 12 targets, finishing with less than 30 yards receiving for three consecutive weeks. This made us all forget about the blowup he had in Weeks 13 and 14 with 22 receptions, 332 yards, and 3 touchdowns on 27 targets.
While no one is quite sure what happened, at least we have a reason in Week 18. Left tackle Trent Williams (elbow) was unable to play in their final game, and the 49ers needed Kittle’s blocking ability more than his pass-catching skills. The good news is Williams is back, and so should be Kittle’s enormous upside.
After the catch, there is no better tight end on Earth than Kittle. And while Dallas could use Micah Parsons to help cover him, I don’t know if that will be enough for a team ranked No. 21 on the season in points allowed to TEs (12.79). At $6,000, Kittle is a steal, and one of several tight ends who are viable DFS plays this weekend. Those wanting to build a lineup around San Francisco should have Kittle as an auto-pick.
Dalton Schultz is one of the best values of all DFS picks this weekend
At the tight end position, few players have been more consistent than Dalton Schultz this season. Playing in 17 games, Schultz hauled in 78 of his 104 targets for 808 yards and 8 touchdowns, finishing as the TE3 in PPR (12.3). What’s interesting is what Schultz has done when Michael Gallup has been absent.
From Weeks 2-9 — when Gallup was on IR — Schultz averaged 6.1 targets, 4.4 receptions, 54.1 yards, and recorded 3 touchdowns. Then, in Week 18, Schultz caught 3 passes for 21 yards with 2 touchdowns. It was his second multi-touchdown game of the season. Over his last four games, Schultz has 25 receptions on 30 targets for 224 yards and 4 touchdowns.
He is just $5,000 on DraftKings, the No. 5 priced TE in DFS. With all the focus on CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, Schultz is who we need to be talking about as well. In a week where multiple tight ends make sense, he is one of my favorite values, alongside Dallas Goedert ($4,500) and Zach Ertz ($4,700).
The matchup is not great. The 49ers allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position all season (9.25). But if you look at their schedule, they didn’t face any great tight ends. The last time they played an upper-tier TE was Ertz back in Week 9. Depending on your thoughts on Tyler Higbee, you should be encouraged as they allowed him to go 6-of-8 receiving for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 18. I will have my fair share of exposure to Schultz in DFS this weekend.