Show Navigation
Show Menu

Draft Strategy

My TE Shares in Early Underdog Best-Ball Drafts

By Matt Schauf 12:40pm EDT 4/12/22

I’ve already showed which QBs, RBs and WRs I drafted most amid 45 entries into Underdog’s Big Board tournament. Now let’s close out with the TEs.

The primary takeaway here: I’m not high on the price tag affixed to this year’s top TEs. Of the top 5 in ADP, George Kittle carries the highest rostered rate at 6.5%. That’s just 3 teams among 46 drafts (including 1 standalone $3 12-team draft).

You will also see some conviction on some later TEs … though that may also have already changed with free agency.

A quick recap on the format:

– Half-PPR scoring
– 20-round drafts
– Large-field tournament with 14-week regular season, then 3 one-week playoff rounds
– Lineup:


Nearly all of these entries included 3 TEs, with a couple stopping at 2. (I might have drafted a 4th one time.)

Dan Arnold, Jaguars – 34.8% (16 of 46 drafts)
Evan Engram, Jaguars – 32.6%
Dallas Goedert, Eagles – 30.4%

I’m not gonna lie, Engram signing with Jacksonville might have hurt me deeper than just about anyone else in the football world. Arnold looked like such a fantasy sleeper going well outside the top 20 after operating as a top target for the Jags shortly after arriving via trade. Why would the team bother spending up or a free-agent TE when so many other roster holes need filling?

Engram was similarly going outside the top 20, which made him easy for me to bet on regardless of free-agent landing spot. The fact that these 2 landed together chips away at the upside for both.

Perhaps the situation with Arnold here should signal me to watch the exposure on an individual player, even with non-obvious downside paths. That said, although I’d alter Arnold’s rostered rate in hindsight, I won’t say I fully regret it. Ten of the 16 times I drafted him were to Lawrence rosters. They still play on the same team, so this end-of-draft TE can still help me – especially if Engram goes down.

Goedert’s rostered rate should stand out more than the other 2, because he has been sitting TE7-8 in ADP. He was – and remains – a common Round 7 selection for me, 3+ rounds after the top 5, behind T.J. Hockenson and with a steep drop-off in upside behind him. That Jalen Hurts has been going at a value level only makes his TE more attractive in these tournament formats.

Noah Fant, Seahawks – 15.2%
Tyler Higbee, Rams – 15.2%
Irv Smith, Vikings – 13.0%
Cole Kmet, Bears – 10.9%
David Njoku, Browns – 10.9%
O.J. Howard, Bills – 10.9%
Hunter Henry, Patriots – 8.7%
Austin Hooper, Titans – 8.7%
Zach Ertz, Cardinals – 8.7%
T.J. Hockenson, Lions – 8.7%
George Kittle, 49ers – 6.5%
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers – 6.5%
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins – 6.5%
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys – 6.5%
Kylen Granson, Colts – 4.3%
Travis Kelce, Chiefs – 4.3%
Kyle Pitts, Falcons – 4.3%
Brevin Jordan, Texans – 4.3%
Trey McBride, ??? – 4.3%
Adam Trautman, Saints – 4.3%
C.J. Uzomah, Jets – 2.2%
Harrison Bryant, Browns – 2.2%
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers – 2.2%
Darren Waller, Raiders – 2.2%
Gerald Everett, Chargers – 2.2%
Dawson Knox, Bills – 2.2%
Robert Tonyan, Packers – 2.2%
John Bates, Commanders – 2.2%
Tyler Conklin, Jets – 2.2%
Mark Andrews, Ravens – 2.2%
Mo Alie-Cox, Colts – 2.2%
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos – 2.2%

I don’t have a lot of strong feelings mixed up in the rest of the TE group – other than that I’d prefer to wait, stack and collect. That Patrick Mahomes has been going too early all best-ball season only makes Travis Kelce less attractive.

My lack of Albert Okwuegbunam shares could be viewed as a reminder to take more shots on late talent without necessarily trying to figure out the path to production.

Rookie Trey McBride is an interesting case. He opened best-ball season going too high for my tastes (TE20 – ahead of Engram and Arnold, among others). But that has already changed significantly. He’s going 30th among TEs in Underdog’s current tournament, 32nd at the position in FFPC drafting and 31st on Drafters.

I don’t mind taking a shot in that range on the guy who should be the top TE in this class.

Related Fantasy Football

Top Plays for Week 13 Underdog Pick Ems

Top Plays for Week 13 Underdog Pick Ems

9:44am EST 11/30/22

The best player-prop lines so far just might reside at RB. Let's get in the money ...

Read More »
Week 12 Recap Fantasy Football Podcast

Week 12 Recap Fantasy Football Podcast

2:49pm EST 11/28/22

Let's talk Josh Jacobs, Travis Etienne and everything else that worked or didn't for your fantasy football lineups in NFL Week 12.

Read More »
Podcast: Week 12 DraftKings Top Picks

Podcast: Week 12 DraftKings Top Picks

1:46pm EST 11/26/22

Is Jeff Wilson Jr. a "must" in your Week 12 DraftKings lineup? We'll talk that and much more on this DFS Podcast.

Read More »
Podcast: Week 12 FanDuel Top Picks

Podcast: Week 12 FanDuel Top Picks

1:41pm EST 11/26/22

Will the Chiefs dominate the NFL Week 12 DFS slate, or do James Conner, Austin Ekeler and the Cardinals-Chargers matchup lie at the center?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Lineup Picks: 49ers-Cardinals

DFS Showdown Lineup Picks: 49ers-Cardinals

1:28pm EST 11/21/22

Will Elijah Mitchell get in the way of Christian McCaffrey being a showdown winner? Can the 49ers passing game be what you need to attack instead? Or are the sneakiest plays for this game Cardinals?

Read More »
Week 11 Fantasy Football Recap

Week 11 Fantasy Football Recap

11:46am EST 11/21/22

Jamaal Williams, Tony Pollard and Travis Kelce dominated Sunday of NFL Week 11. But what were the subtler performances that could shape your season going forward?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Lineup Picks: Chiefs-Chargers

DFS Showdown Lineup Picks: Chiefs-Chargers

5:27pm EST 11/20/22

Keenan Allen and Mike Williams look poised to return. JuJu Smith-Schuster is out. What will that mean for players such as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Kadarius Toney in your showdown lineups?

Read More »

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.
3D Projections

3D Projections

3D Projections: True Dimension of Every Player’s Potential

Based on our award-winning projections, an axis of data points give insights far deeper than a ranking

View Our Accuracy Awards View Our Accuracy Awards »

Advice Draft Strategy

Advice That’s Actionable on Draft Day

Round-by-Round Draft Strategy Guides, Sleepers, Undervalued Players, Busts and Handcuffs

3D Projections

Draft War Room

Draft War Room: Intel Turned Into Killer Picks

Command your entire draft with a dynamic tool synced to your league. Updating and adapting in real time.

3D Projections

Keep Dominating Throughout The Season

Quickly find the free-agent gems, pull the trigger on the perfect trade & make the right start/sit decisions.

Keep Dominating
Draft Sharks

$6/month thereafter, billed semi-annually, one-click cancel anytime.

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play