The Tight End position doesn’t display the flashiest athletes nor stat lines that make DFS players jump off their couch on Sundays. However, Underdog’s props allow for us to bet on a ton of upside with athletes at this position.
While Kyle Pitts and Evan Engram had a few inconsistent seasons, the amount of opportunity and trust within their franchise should elevate their play this season.
Keep an eye on rookie TE Sam LaPorta, as he may very well emerge as the leader among his fellow draftees in receiving touchdowns at his position. This could make for an enticing summer bet on Underdog.
We're starting off with the most decorated Tight End in football, the three-headed monster of Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, and Travis Kelce is the best in all of sports at the moment.
Two Super Bowls and a handful of TE1 fantasy finishes later, Kelce seems to be a smarter route runner, more efficient pass catcher, and a greater asset for Kansas City than he’s ever been.
Topping all players at his position in targets, receptions, and TDs last season, this guy simply hasn’t regressed in a single season since his breakout in 2016.
With a WR room headlined by MVS, Rashee Rice, and Richie James, there’s some added value to Travis this season without a playmaking wideout such as Tyreek Hill or Juju Smith-Schuster among others.
With nine or more trips to the end zone the last three seasons, expect Kelce to find the paydirt over a dozen times this season.
Kyle Pitts was once touted as the top tight end prospect in recent memory. As a TE/WR hybrid type of player, his Falcon career has been off to a bumpy start.
With just three TDs in his first two seasons, Pitts played just 10 games in 2022 before packing it up prior to Week 12’s game in Washington D.C.
With Desmond Ridder in his first full season and other playmakers such as Bijan Robinson and Drake London helping out the offense, Pitts might benefit from the decreased attention on the perimeter which will allow for more red zone targets.
The 6’6 athlete was extremely inconsistent in advanced statistical categories last season. However, ranking 1st in target rate and deep targets out of all tight ends is something to be excited about.
If Pitts wants to reach the 4 TD mark, at least one or two of those will have to come off of deep balls against man coverage. The good news? Pitts led all tight ends in average cushion using that 6’6 frame with elite positional speed.
The bad news? Ridder and Mariota struggled when throwing it his way. With an additional season under Ridder and Pitts’ belt, the Falcons could be a sneaky pick to dominate the NFC South and Pitts should easily produce his best pro season as the Falcons finally have an offensive and defensive identity for the first time since the Super Bowl collapse.
Labeled as one of the top players at Lions minicamp, LaPorta has the best situation out of any rookie tight end this season.
Unlike Michael Mayer of the Raiders and Dalton Kincaid of the Bills, LaPorta has total control of the starting tight end position and a QB willing to target TEs in the red zone.
In his final season as a Ram and last season as a Lion, Jared Goff tossed four or more TDs to the tight end position. Without Jameson Williams to begin the season and Amon-Ra St. Brown as the only valuable receiving option, Goff could look to LaPorta in the red zone a handful of times this season.
Laporta's solid combine which included a sub-4.59 40-yard dash propelled him into the early 2nd round conversation.
After spending a few early selections on playmakers, I’d expect Dan Cambpell to get Gibbs and Sam involved early.
While Amon Ra. isn’t a huge red zone target and with Swift and Hockenson in new homes, LaPorta can easily step into that #1 TE role and make a huge impact.
Underdog isn’t giving the Jacksonville Jaguars enough love this season.
Between Trevor Lawrence’s passing props that we touched on earlier this week and Travis Etienne’s promising amount of opportunity this season, Evan Engram’s yard prop might be my favorite.
Entering his 7th season in the league, the former Giant tight end shouldn’t have as much regression as people believe from Calvin Ridley’s arrival.
In the midst of his prime in 2022, the athletic Engram ranked 1st among all tight ends in slot snaps and top five in average cushion. Both of these statistics tell me that Doug Pederson and the Jags are pushing T-Law to go after Evan Engram down the middle of the field.
Although the team added Calvin Ridley to the roster, they didn’t add another TE nor check down RB, so the small receptions on 3rd down and 1st down are still Engram’s to lose.
Ranking top 10 in every meaningful positional stat last season, a regression that would set him back over 100 yards feels unrealistic.
We are banking on a prove-it year for the former Cowboy tight end. The Texans Offensive Coordinator came over from San Francisco where the team used George Kittle in a variety of ways to help their sub-par quarterbacks.
I expect Schultz to help Stroud ease into the NFL, giving him those 6–7-yard check downs instead of heaving the ball downfield to Robert Woods or Nico Collins.
Schultz has hit the 500-yard receiving mark every season he’s started, including the disappointing 2022 campaign where he had Dak Prescott half the season.
While I’m not comfortable in taking Dalton’s TD prop on Underdog, there’s a ton of value in betting on a veteran tight end’s yard prop alongside a rookie QB that is bound to struggle at times throughout this season.
Although not the flashiest player or team fit in Houston, 75+ targets should get yourself a nice ROI by the end of this season.