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What Week 1 tells us about formerly under-the-radar TEs and Week 2 DFS salaries

The tight end position saw a rookie set a record and a veteran show he’s got something left in the tank. We break down what it means as Week 2 DFS salaries arrive at DraftKings.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson of the Detroit Lions catches a 23 yard touchdown against free safety D.J. Swearinger of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The tight end position is usually not one to get excited about. On a normal week-to-week basis, it’s usually viewed as one to either save some salary with a bottom of the barrel option or one to roster the top-tier guys like George Kittle or Zach Ertz. However, Week 1 gave us some high scoring players, including four with over at least 22.5 DKFP, all with salaries of $4,800 of below. Can we get more of that in Week 2? Let’s look at two different players.

T.J. Hockenson ($3,000) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Hockenson certainly had his coming out party in Week 1 against the Cardinals. Aided by an efficient Matt Stafford ($5,200) (whew, don’t say that often), Hockenson caught 6-of-9 targets for 131 yards and a touchdown, good for 28.1 DKFP. Now with Week 2 rolling around, Hockenson actually received a $100 discount on his salary and sits with a basement dwelling salary of $3,000. If you don’t think he’s going to be one of the chalk plays at the tight end position, you may want to reexamine your though process.

While the Chargers were one of the tougher teams against opposing tight ends last season, we have plenty of reason to be optimistic. First and foremost, the Chargers will be down S Darwin James, who is on injured reserve with a right foot fracture. The Colts didn’t necessarily take advantage of that last night with their tight ends but they were only targeted a combined six times while making three catches for 31 yards. For what it’s worth, Eric Ebron ($4,100) did catch one in the end zone but was ruled to not be a touchdown as he bobbled it.

While rookie tight ends rarely make their mark in year one, Hockenson is a different breed and is well developed in both his blocking and pass catching abilities. If Stafford is going to rely on his rookie more and more, this should be yet another good matchup to expolit his dirt cheap salary. Even if he doesn’t replicate his 28.1 DKFP performance, it doesn’t take much to reach value on a $3,000 salary.

Delanie Walker ($3,500) vs. Indianapolis Colts

One player who didn’t garner much interest in Week 1 but had a big performance was Walker. Despite his cheap $3,500 price tag, his ownership was very low across the board. Anyone who took a chance with him was rewarded with 22.5 DKFP, as he caught 5-of-6 targets for 55 yards and two touchdowns. A reliable target for Marcus Mariota ($5,000) he very well could post another big performance in his Week 2 matchup against the Colts.

This defense was one of the worst against opposing tight ends last season, leading the league in receiving yards allowed (1316) and catch percentage (76.4 percent). Tight ends also received the second-most targets against the Colts, averaging a whopping 8.2 per game. Despite his age, Walker can still get it done, especially in the red zone. Last week, Hunter Henry ($4,300), although a bust overall, still caught 4-of-5 targets for 60 yards, averaging 15 YPR. For the dirt cheap salary you can get Walker at, which is exactly the same as it was in Week 1, he is yet another cheap tight end you can roll with in their Week 2 matchup.

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