NFL Week 13 Fantasy TE Breakdown: Are You Bold Enough to Start Matt LaCosse?
- Broncos back up tight end Matt LaCosse has a ton of upside in his Week 13 matchup against the Bengals.
- In this piece, I'll highlight a few key situations to target this week, but check out the full piece on FantasyLabs for more.
The bye weeks are over, and the 2018 NFL season is still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.2 points per game per team. The action continues with a 13-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
In this positional breakdown, I’m looking at four tight ends at the top of the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news feed.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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Model Tight Ends
Of the tight ends at the top of the FantasyLabs Pro Models, two at opposite ends of the salary spectrum really stand out.
- Travis Kelce: $7,000 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
- George Kittle: $5,900 DraftKings; $6,800 FanDuel
- Greg Olsen: $4,100 DraftKings; $6,000 FanDuel
- Matt LaCosse: $2,500 DraftKings; $4,700 FanDuel
Travis Kelce: Kansas City (-14) at Oakland Raiders, 55.5 Over/Under
UPDATE (12/1): Running back Kareem Hunt (personal conduct) has been waived by the Chiefs and placed on the Commissioner Exempt list following the release of a disturbing TMZ video on Friday. Running back Spencer Ware will now lead the Chiefs backfield. Center Mitch Morse (concussion) will play after practicing in full this week. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is out.
Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (ankle), defensive end Arden Key (knee) and cornerback Daryl Worley (shoulder) are questionable but tentatively expected to play. Cornerback Leon Hall (back) is out.
The Chiefs opened as the largest road favorites since 2007, head coach Andy Reid is 16-3 straight up coming off the bye week and Kelce leads the team with 101 targets and 67 receptions. Game on.
Although they lost to the Rams in an epic Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup, the 9-2 Chiefs still lead the AFC, and on a per-game basis, they have…
- Outscored their implied total by 8.2 points (No. 1 in NFL)
- Exceeded their game total by 10.0 points (No. 1)
- Surpassed their spread by 6.5 points (No. 2)
They rank second in scoring at 36.7 points per game, and the Chiefs have a slate-high implied Vegas total of 35.25 points.
Since 2016, Kelce leads all tight ends with 12.9 FanDuel points per game, and this season he has top-two marks with 101 targets, 67 receptions, 914 yards receiving, 917 air yards, 437 yards after the catch and seven touchdowns. Kelce has been great ever since his 2014 breakout, but this year he’s having the best season of his career.
As I highlight in The Action Network Chiefs-Raiders betting preview, Kelce could have a massive performance this week. I’m talking a full-on #ZeusMode type of game. Kelce has a great matchup against the Raiders, who are in full rebuild mode.
This season, the Raiders have a league-low three wins against the spread, and their -8.1 spread margin is significantly worse than that of any other team (per Bet Labs). Even on the road as double-digit favorites, the Chiefs could exceed expectations.
Matt LaCosse: Denver Broncos (-5) at Cincinnati Bengals, 44.5 O/U
UPDATE (12/1): Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil (knee) will play after practicing on a limited basis this week.
On the Wednesday edition of The Action Network NFL Podcast, there was some enthusiasm for LaCosse as a punt play, and not just because CSURAM88 is a Broncos homer.
With Jake Butt (knee, IR) and Jeff Heuerman (back, IR) out for the year, LaCosse is slated for the bulk of the team’s tight end work, and even as a backup he’s played at least 40% of the offensive snaps over the past six weeks and averaged 2.8 targets per game.
As the starter, LaCosse should inherit a large share of Heuerman’s vacated 4.4 targets per game. Considering that Heuerman had seven targets inside the 10-yard line and six in the end zone, LaCosse could have some high-leverage opportunities in this game, especially since the Bengals have allowed an NFL-high 18.4 DraftKings points per game to opposing tight ends.
Most importantly, LaCosse is cheap, especially on DraftKings, where he’s the stone minimum.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 13 positional breakdowns.
For more in-depth NFL analysis information, check out The Action Network.