Like most weeks, the clear top-tier options for fantasy managers and DFS players at the tight end position in Week 7 are Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. However, there is a player who was one of the top NFL tight end prospects in the 2023 draft class that can be a quick pickup for the week or a long-term stash for those looking to get ahead of a player moving up the ranks: Michael Mayer of the Las Vegas Raiders is someone we may want to pay attention to.
Mayer was selected by the Raiders in the second round (35th overall) of the 2023 draft. He played in 36 games with 28 starts over three seasons at Notre Dame, recording 180 receptions for 2,099 yards and 19 touchdowns. He led all FBS tight ends with nine touchdown receptions in 2022 and became the only tight end in the FBS with 800+ receiving yards in both 2021 and 2022. Mayer holds the all-time records for receptions (180), receiving yards (2,099), and receiving touchdowns (18) among tight ends at Notre Dame.
Mayer has been slowly moving up to the TE1 position in Las Vegas this season, progressing every week and really breaking out in Week 6 with five receptions on six targets for 75 yards. As Mayer has seen an uptick in usage, veteran Austin Hooper has seen a decrease in targets and snaps, making Michael the TE1 going into Week 7, especially against a Chicago Bears defense that ranks in the bottom three against tight ends. They have allowed 297 yards and two TDs to the tight end position this season, which Mayer should be able to take advantage of in his expanded role.
Although Mayer hasn’t reached the end zone yet in the NFL, he is seeing more targets weekly and is a sleeper moving his way up. I see him as a viable option this week in DFS at a discounted salary of $2,600, and fantasy managers with a need at the TE position should consider him on waiver wires without hesitation.