Travis Kelce, KC (DK – $7,100/FD – $8,000)
With all the juice going around in the season-long waiver wires about the Chiefs’ secondary WRs, Kelce is the player who should get the most attention in this offense. Last week he had another WR1 day (7/107/1 on nine targets). Kansas City made sure they got him a late long pass to put him over the 100-yard mark. After two games, Kelce has 17 targets with ten catches for 195 yards and one TD. The Ravens struggled vs. the TE in 2018 (83/965/6 on 115 targets) with the Chiefs TEs having the most success (10/105/1). This year Baltimore played the Dolphins (2/31) and the Cardinals (2/27) with both teams lacking a top TE option. Kelce will be active in this matchup with possible follow-through due to game score, creating an impact day. His high salary will make him a lower percentage own.
Zach Ertz, PHI (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,900)
There are three signs this week, pointing to an explosive game for Ertz. First, the Eagles most likely won’t have the services of number two TE Dallas Goedert. Second, Philly is banged up at WR with a good chance of sitting their top two WRs. Lastly, the Lions have a top cover corner to take away one of the Eagles outside WRs. Last week Ertz had 16 targets, which led to eight catches for 72 yards. His game was flat in Week 1 (5/54) with DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery having big days. This season TEs only have three catches for 29 yards on two targets against Detroit. Their success came against a Cardinals’ offense with a weak TE, and the Chargers who played without Hunter Henry. In 2018, the Lions only had one diaster game vs. TEs (Min – 9/122/2), but they never faced a team with a top-five TE all year. I expect a TD with well over 20 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. Don’t be afraid to wheel out double TDs this week.
George Kittle, SF (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,600)
Kittle had a minimal part (3/54 on three targets) of the 49ers’ offensive explosion last week against the Bengals (572 combined yards). After two games, he has 11 catches for 108 yards with one catch over 20 yards. In 2018, Kittle gained 20 yards or more on 20 of his 88 catches. The Steelers had three disaster game against TEs in 2018 (29.90, 25.60, and 36.80 Fantasy points in PPR leagues) while failing to cover Will Dissly at the goal line in Week 2 (5/50/2 on five targets). Kittle is the top receiver in this offense with a Travis Kelce feel. His salary works well if he delivers a floor of seven catches for 70 yards with a TD.
Evan Engram, NYG (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,400)
After a great game against the Cowboys (11/116/1 on 14 targets), Engram could only muster six catches for 48 yards on eight targets against a Bills’ defense that led the league in 2018 in TE defense (6.73 FPPG). Last year Tampa allowed the second-most Fantasy points to TEs (15.39 FPPG) with most of the damage coming over the first three games of the season (40.20, 30.10, and 22.90 Fantasy points). Over the final 13 games, no TE scored over 16 Fantasy points vs. the Bucs. Tampa has a new coaching staff in 2019, and a different approach on defense. They held George Kittle to eight catches for 54 yards in Week 1 while reviving Greg Olsen’s game last week (6/110). The change at QB in New York won’t create instant offense in the passing game, and it will take some time for the chemistry between Daniel Jones and his receivers to develop. I’ll give Engram a 50/50 chance at a TD while being a top three-option in the passing game for the Giants.
Mark Andrews, BAL (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,800)
Based on the start of the year (8/108/1 and 8/112/1 on 17 targets), greatness lies ahead for Andrews. He’s already caught six passes for over 20 yards. This week he missed practice again with a foot injury, but he should be ready for Sunday’s game. Even with his excellent start to the year, Andrews has been on the field for fewer than 50 percent of the snaps run by the Ravens. Kansas City ranked 27th against TEs in 2018 while getting beat for 17 catches for 145 yards on 21 targets against the Raiders and the Jaguars. This game has a huge over/under (55), which will draw plenty of attention from Fantasy owners in the daily games. His salary is favorable with shiny stats after two games, but I’ve kissed hotter girls that failed to put out. It will be tough to get away from him in this match.
Vance McDonald, SF (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,900)
TDs are such an impact to the value of players in the daily games. Any time a player has multiple TDs, Fantasy owners are drawn to him the following week while ignoring his underlying opportunity. McDonald caught five of his seven targets last week for 38 yards and two TD, which came after a short game in Week 1 (2/40). The Steelers had him on the field for 91 percent of their plays, which was the highest snap rate in his time in Pittsburgh. The 49ers were league average against TEs in 2018 while allowing limited damage to TEs over the first two games (11/74/1 on 15 targets). A change at QB shouldn’t matter as he scored both of his TDs came with Mason Rudolph throwing him the ball in Week 2. San Fran will pay closer attention to him in the red zone, and McDonald will only be the fourth option in the passing game for Pittsburgh. His low salary keeps him in the mix if he scores a TD.
Darren Waller, OAK (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,900)
In 2018, the Vikings’ defense held TEs to 9.85 Fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. Their only struggled came in Week 7 (12/126/1) against the Eagles and Zach Ertz. Minnesota shutout the Packers’ TEs in Week 2 while allowing many underneath passes to Austin Hooper on opening day (9/77). Waller is off to nice start (13/133 on 15 targets) while working as the number two option in the Raiders’ passing game. The Vikings have a top safety in Harrison Smith who will limit the scoring ability and upside of Waller. A chaser game should help his opportunity if game flow breaks that way. I’m fading him this week.
Eric Ebron, IND (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,700)
Last week I knew one of the Colts’ TEs had a chance a TD, and I had their TE core undervalued. Ebron did indeed score while finishing with three catches for 25 yards and a TD and the 9th highest-ranking at TE in PPR leagues. After two games, Ebron only has seven targets while being on the field for 59 of 135 plays (43.7 percent) of the plays run by the Colts. Indy will have a top-six TE output in 2019, but a split role invites some boring scores for Ebron going forward.
O.J. Howard, TB (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,800)
The season-long owners were ready to have a Howard launch party on the waiver wire this week for the likes of Jason Witten, Will Dissly, and Tyler Eifert. After two games, Howard only has five targets with four catches for 32 yards while coming up with a goose egg in Week 2. Tampa had him on the field for 92 percent of their plays last week. Over the previous four seasons with Jameis Winston behind center, the TE position has been active in the Bucs’ passing game (65/814/8, 78/824/11, 84/1124/13, and 73/911/11) highlighted by 43 TDs in 64 games. Howard is a beast of a player who offers big-play and scoring ability highlighted by his 11 TDs and 16.6 yards per catch so far in his career (24 games). The Giants ranked 22nd against TEs in 2018 with two disaster games (28.40 and 39.60). They allowed only eight catches for 80 yards and two TDs on 13 targets over the first two games while facing the Cowboys and the Bills. Howard will score this week while resuscitating the heartbeat of Fantasy owners. Top value TE in Week 3.
Jared Cook, NO (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,800)
Coming into 2019, Cook posted his best season (68/896/6) for the Raiders. The change to a more dynamic offense should have been a huge positive, but his path has been slow out of the gate (2/37 and 2/25 with ten targets). The loss of Drew Brees does damper his excitement. Seattle had a top ten TE defense in 2018 with two teams scoring over 20.0 Fantasy points from the TE position. After two games, TEs have 16 catches for 131 yards and two TDs on 17 targets against the Seahawks. If a Fantasy owner wants to be contrarian from the O.J. Howard crowd, Cook is the natural move based on salary structure.
Jason Witten, DK – $3,700/FD – $5,000)
Witten gained some steam in the free-agent market in the season-long games after his start to the year. He’s caught seven of his eight targets for 40 yards and two TDs. I’m not excited about his 5.7 yards per catch or his four targets per game. His higher than expected ranking early in 2019 is created by his scoring. The Ravens blistered the Dolphins with their TEs in Week 1 (14/175/1 on 14 targets). New England doesn’t have a TE of value in 2019, which led to two catches for 33 yards on two targets last week. After two games, TEs against Miami have caught all 16 targets. Witten won’t be featured in this game, and his scoring streak will come to an end.
Greg Olsen, CAR (DK – $3,700/FD – $6,100)
Olsen was an interesting player to follow last week. He had a short game in Week 1 (4/36) followed up by concerns about his playing time on Thursday’s night due to a short week an a back issue. The injury talk led to him being cut or benched in many Fantasy leagues (as I did). He ended up with a great game (6/110 on nine targets) pushing his season’s targets to 18. This week the Panthers most likely won’t be starting Cam Newton, which is a strike for Olsen. Over the first two games, the Cardinals have been one of the worst teams in the league defending TEs (7/146/1 and 10/127/2 on 23 targets). Tempting if a Fantasy owner believes in the Panthers’ back up QB. At the very least, Olsen should be started in all season-long leagues.
Austin Hooper, ATL (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,800)
As expected last week, the Falcons turned to their WRs to move the ball in Week 2 against the Eagles. This transition led to a short game (4/34) by Hooper. After two games, he has 13 catches for 111 yards on 15 targets. The Colts had the worst TE defense in the NFL last year (15.54 FPPG) with three teams scoring over 20 Fantasy points (34.60, 26.10, and 31.70). Indy held TEs to nine catches for 103 yards on 12 targets in two games in 2019 with Hunter Henry and Delanie Walker being the starting TEs on both opponents. Sneaky backend option as a TD looks like a viable outcome in this matchup.
T.J. Hockenson, DET DK – $3,500/FD – $5,500)
Temptation by a big game can be deadly for a Fantasy owner. Hockenson came into Week 1 with unknown playable value and a questionable opportunity. He hit the gate running (6/131/1 on nine targets) while being on the bench by most Fantasy owners. The following week we the wise guys of the Fantasy world shoved him in every lineup possible. Hockenson rewarded us with one catch for seven yards on three targets. The Lions had him on the field for 79 percent of their plays last week compared to 73 percent in Week 1. The Eagles held TEs to ten catches for 105 yards and one TD on 15 targets over the first two games. In 2018, Philly finished 4th in TE defense. Love the upside here, but I need to see more targets before trusting him in the daily games. His low salary does keep him in play at this level.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (DK – $3,400/FD – $4,800)
With Vikings’ passing game in the tank after two games, Rudolph only has three catches for nine yards on five targets. Fantasy owners struggled to put the Vikings’ top WRs in their lineup, which makes Rudulph almost roadkill in any Fantasy format. TEs have nine catches for 136 yards and one TDs on 14 targets against Oakland with Travis Kelce doing most of the damage (7/107/1).
Will Dissly, SEA ( DK – $3,400/FD – $5,400)
This week chase for last week Fantasy points falls into Dissly’s hand. He beat the Steelers for five catches for 50 yards and two TDs on five targets in Week 2 while being on the field for 59 percent of the plays run by Seatle. Last year the Seahawks’ TEs caught 50 passes for 591 yards and eight TDs on 71 targets. Russell Wilson will look for his TEs in the red zone, but they have a below league average opportunity in targets. In 2018, the Saints were 6th in TE defense (9.48 FPPG) with repeated success in two games this season (1/17 and 5/42). Avoid.
Jack Doyle, IND (DK – $3,000/FD – $5,200)
Doyle probably didn’t survive the waiver wire on many teams in the season-long games after starting the year with three catches for 41 yards on five targets. Even with slow start, the Colts have had him on the field for about 70 percent of their plays after two games. His best value will come in a chaser game, and Indy will throw the ball to their TEs. Too much downside at this point of the year in the daily games.
Noah Fant, DEN (DK – $2,800/FD – $4,600)
Sitting at the backend of the TE pool in the daily games is a player who is overlooked by many Fantasy owners. Fant only has six catches for 62 yards on eight targets in two games while seeing 72.6 percent of the TE snaps for the Broncos. Green Bay held TEs to five catches for 14 yards and nine targets in two games while facing the Bears and the Vikings. The Packers have a developing elite CB in Jaire Alexander, which will force Joe Flacco to look for his tight end to move the ball in what should be a chaser game. For me, Fant is playable in the season-long games while being a nice salary savior gamble in daily formats. I expect a 6/60/1 type game while being the top TE pickup in Fantasy in Week 4.