Tight end has been the toughest position to roster throughout the preseason, but with 30 teams taking the field on the same night, it provides opportunity for a few tight ends to rise above the rest. Here is our take on this final preseason slate.
Washington-Tampa Bay Buccaneers "Postponement"
For those who might be unaware, an impending tropical storm moved the game back to Wednesday, taking them off the slate on sites like DraftKings. If you have players from this game still in your lineups, get them out immediately.
As for the tight ends Thursday night ...
Jesse James (Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers)
With Ladarius Green now on the PUP list to open the regular season, James becomes the de facto starting tight end. Head coach Mike Tomlin said James would be among the starters who will play in this game, and while his overall playing time is unknown, he should be in long enough to make an impact. Xavier Grimble should also get a long look, as he competes for the backup spot to James.
A.J. Derby (New England Patriots at New York Giants)
Play a Patriots tight end? That’s always a great idea in the regular season, and it might be a really good one to close out the preseason. Derby should get a long look against the Giants in his competition with Clay Harbor, making him an elite play at a position that is largely hit or miss in preseason slates.
Darren Waller (Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints)
Waller has been impressive this preseason and this will be his final game before serving a four-game suspension to start the regular season. With Ben Watson now out for the year and Dennis Pitta not yet practicing, Waller should remain busy against the Saints.
Trey Burton (Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets)
Burton killed fantasy owners in Week 1 when he was highly touted, but he finally broke out last week against the Colts with five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. His opportunities should be there again this week against the Jets, and he is likely to remain low-owned as many owners gave up on him three weeks ago.
Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings)
Like James, Higbee has been a popular name at tight end in DFS this preseason. The numbers haven’t quite justified the hype, but he is getting plenty of targets (six last week) and he should continue to get looks in this final preseason game. His capable of a big game at any moment, and this could be the one in which he finds the end zone.
Troy Niklas (Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos)
This pick is not for the faint of heart, as Niklas has done very little with his playing time, including going without a target last week against the Texans. But after drawing raves all during camp, and with the starters not playing in this game, Niklas should finally get some love from his quarterbacks and could be the super-sneaky play of the week. He figures to be extremely low-owned, so if he makes an impact, he could rocket his lucky owners to the top of the standings.
C.J. Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Maybe by putting him in this category, now he’ll break out, but Uzomah has been one of the biggest preseason busts at any position and hardly seems worth the risk in this final game.
Gary Barnidge (Cleveland Browns vs. Chicago Bears)
Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins)
The Browns and Titans are playing their first-teamers, but probably not for long and probably not long enough to make a big impact. Let the novice players have them and go with the better options above.