Martellus Bennett is a must-start in any format in Week 4. He plays the Oakland Raiders, who have given up career games to three tight ends this season.
For daily fantasy sports owners, getting Martellus Bennett into their lineup is even more important, because the obvious pick each week isn’t available. Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots are on bye in Week 4.
That means you either need to find a sure-thing among the tight ends, or you need to find a cheap player with high upside. Martellus Bennett is going to cost a little bit, since he’s had solid numbers over the past couple of years. I understand he hasn’t had great statistics in Week 2 or 3, but neither did the last couple of tight ends in the situation Bennett finds himself this weekend. In fact, his credentials are far better established than other players I’m about to mention.
DFS isn’t always about chasing the points that were scored last week. Sure, you’ll want to find the players on a streak and ride the hot hand sometimes. You’ll want to play a couple or three blue chip players, to make sure you max out your score. But you also have to project big stats for players who haven’t been hot lately. That describes Martellus Bennett in Week 4.
That’s because, in Week 4, Martellus Bennett has a dream match-up: the Oakland Raiders.
Why the Oakland Raiders?
In Week 1 against the Raiders, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had 9 receptions on 12 targets for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. That equaled at least 31 points in most point-per-receptions league.
In Week 2, the Ravens’ tight end Crockett Gillmore had 5 receptions on 6 targets for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gillmore sandwiched that career game with pedestrian 2-for23 and 3-for-40 performances.
In Week 3, Gary Barnidge of the Cleveland Browns had 6 receptions on 10 targets for 105 yards and 1 touchdown against the Raiders. If you’re not that familiar with Gary Barnidge, it’s because the 30-year old blocking tight end only had 48 receptions and 3 touchdowns in a 7-year career coming into Sunday’s game. Barnidge had averaged 8 receptions for about 100 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in his previous 6 NFL seasons.
The Secret Is Out
Still, it’s obvious the Cleveland Browns John DeFilippo saw the weakness in the Raiders’ coverage unit, because he targeted Gary Barnidge an astounding 10 times on Sunday. Sure, the Browns were behind and needed to catch up by throwing 50 passes, but it also speaks to the fact they saw a weakness and went to Barnidge on 20% of their passing plays on Sunday.
The same weakness was obvious to boom1004, who currently stands at #3 in the $15 Million Fantasy Football World Champion Qualifier Event. Boom1004 started Gary Barnidge instead of an expensive tight end.
Why Tight End Is Important in DFS
Find good tight end play is key in a one-day fantasy football contest. Tight ends are, by their very nature, going to be spotty. Unless you start Rob Gronkowski, you can’t be certain what you’re getting.
Still, it’s important to get production from the tight end position, because it’s a way to get separation from one’s opponents. In the Week 3 NFL $7M Millionaire Maker, which has $1.2 million going to 1st place, all 10 of the Top 10 teams started Greg Olsen, who finished with 8 receptions, 134 yards, and 2 touchdowns for a total of 36.4 fantasy points. You needed to be starting Greg Olsen to have a chance in Week 3. He was cheaper than Gronk (allowing you better players elsewhere), but scored more than the #1 tight end.
Start Martellus Bennett vs the Raiders
That’s the way it’s going to have to be in Week 4. You’ll need to find the best tight end on the board. While many owners will chase the points with Greg Olsen, I’m suggesting you project the best potential points and go for Marty-B.
Maybe the Raiders get their problems with tight ends solved in Week 4. Maybe they sell out and double-team Martellus Bennett. Or maybe John Fox and Adam Case somehow overlook the Raiders’ weak spot.
But if you want the best bet at tight end going into Week 4, you need to start Martellus Bennett.
Post-Game Note: Bennett finished with 11 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders are good-as-gold versus tight ends. Owen Daniels of the Denver Broncos plays the Raiders in Week 5.