news 2 days ago

Week 2 Fantasy TE Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight end

Sporting News — (Matt Lutovsky)

Tight end is traditionally one of the toughest positions to rank in the season's opening week. You have your handful of studs, but given the boom-or-bust nature of the position combined with tough-to-project matchups, everything after the very top is a guess. But as difficult as it is to rank this position in Week 1, putting together Week 2 fantasy TE rankings is even tougher. It's easy to overreact to what we saw in each teams' opener, both in terms of evaluating players/offenses and defensive matchups. 

When just two TEs have more than 80 yards (Dallas Goedert, Noah Fant), it's tough not to rank them highly, right? And when someone like Hayden Hurst barely gets any looks until the game is well out of hand, well, he has to drop, doesn't he? Ditto for someone like Evan Engram who manages just eight yards. If these types of games happened in Week 7, we wouldn't be so quick to anoint one player a breakout and another a bust, but when it happens in Week 1, it's inevitable. 

WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker

So, yes, we're moving Fant (@ Steelers) and Goedert (vs. Rams) up and Hurst @ Cowboys) and Engram (@ Bears) down, but we're not overdoing it. All are still in the starter's tier. We're also not reacting too strongly to Washington giving up two TE touchdowns in Week 1. It's possible we're seeing the start of a season-long trend that Arizona's Dan Arnold will add to this week, but until we get more data, we can't recommend streaming a TE like Arnold against Washington just yet. 

WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endD/ST | Kicker

We know things will even out in Week 2, but we still liked what we saw from Chris Herndon (vs. 49ers) and T.J. Hockenson (@ Packers) even if we don't like their Week 2 matchups. Conversely, we want to see more from Ian Thomas (@ Buccaneers) and C.J. Uzomah (@ Browns) before we can recommend them in what look to be favorable matchups.

WEEK 2 NFL DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel

Ultimately, it comes down to just how much you believe in Week 1 results, and while there's certainly something to be gleaned from the final stat lines, we'll continue to take a cautious approach and trust some of the more proven talent/situations. 

WEEK 2 NFL DFS CASH LINEUPS:
YahooDraftKings | FanDuel

Note: We'll continue to update our tight end rankings to throughout the week, so check back for updates.

WEEK 2 DFS: Best stacks | Best valuesLineup Builder

Week 2 Fantasy TE Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues

RankPlayer
1Travis Kelce, KC @ LAC
2Mark Andrews, BAL @ HOU
3Hunter Henry, LAC vs. KC
4Jared Cook, NO @ LV. Cook saw seven targets in Week 1, and that number figures to go up with Michael Thomas (ankle) out. Cook should especially benefit in the red zone, and against the Raiders, who were one of the worst defenses against TEs last year, Cook should have success.  
5Tyler Higbee, LAR @ PHI. Higbee caught three-of-four targets for 40 yards, and while those numbers don't jump out, it's worth noting that Gerald Everett (back) is dinged up, which should mean more snaps for Higbee. Philadelphia couldn't cover Logan Thomas last week, so Higbee is in a good spot. 
6Darren Waller, LV vs. NO. Waller saw a high target share in Week 1, seeing a team-high eight targets on Derek Carr's 30 pass attempts. His final stat line wasn't exciting (6-45), but that kind of workload will lead to bigger games in the future. New Orleans had trouble with O.J. Howard last week, and Waller is even more consistent. 
7Zach Ertz, PHI vs. LAR. Ertz was vastly outproduced by Dallas Goedert in Week 1, but he still had seven targets and scored a touchdown. The Rams are soft over the middle and Carson Wentz likely won't have a lot of time to throw deep, so Ertz is in play as a prime target-getter this week. 
8Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. JAX. Smith is typically a big-play machine who showed he could also cash in along the goal line last week. Jacksonville did a good job against Indianapolis's tight ends last week, but this is still a vulnerable defense that will allow plenty of points this week. Keep Smith in your lineups. 
9Evan Engram, NYG @ CHI. Engram looked completely out of sorts on Monday, cutting off a route on a sure TD, dropping a wide-open pass, and committing a quesitonable offensive pass interference on another would-be long gainer. The good news is he had those opportunities in the first place, and if he can get his act together, he could easily be in line for a good outing against the Bears. Daniel Jones looked sharp against a tough defense in Week 1 (aside from his goal-line interception), and Chicago is more vulnerable than you might think. T.J. Hockenson caught all five of his targets for 56 yards and a TD last week, so there will be room for Engram to operate. 
10Dallas Goedert, PHI vs. LAR. Goedert was the only tight end to post over 81 yards in Week 1, so he'll be a popular play this week. There's good reason to expect another solid performance against a mediocre Rams LB/DB corps, but obviously another 101 yards and TD is setting the bar too high. Goedert has rarely been consistent in his career, but it's tough to go away from him right now.
11Noah Fant, DEN @ PIT. Fant showed his big-play ability in Week 1, catching five-of-six targets for 81 yards and a score. His outlook could change if Courtland Sutton (shoulder) or even KJ Hamler (hamstring) returns, but he still stands out as a high-upside play against a Steelers' defense that should have given up much more points to a similarly skilled TE in Week 1 (Evan Engram).
12Hayden Hurst, ATL @ DAL. Hurst got caught in a tougher-than-expected matchup in Week 1, as the Falcons wide receivers ran wild against Seattle's overmatched corners, leaving Atlanta's new TE to be an afterthought until garbage time. The Cowboys did a fine job against Tyler Higbee, though he didn't seem to be a big part of the Rams game plan. With Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out, the middle of the field should be even more open for Hurst. 
13T.J. Hockenson, DET @ GB. Hockenson took advantage of Kenny Golladay's hamstring injury, garnering a red-zone target and touchdown that he might not have necessarily gotten. Either way, he's a risk until he proves he isn't, which started last year when he flopped for several games after a huge Week 1. Hockenson always has upside, but if Golladay is back, he will likely slide in these rankings. 
14Eric Ebron, PIT vs. DEN. Ebron didn't do much in Week 1, but Denver had trouble with Tennessee's collection of TEs last week (7-42 and two TDs). He'll always be a big-play/red-zone threat, giving him plenty of sleeper value regardless of matchup. 
15Austin Hooper, CLE vs. CIN. No David Njoku (knee) should help Hooper, but it's tough to trust him or Baker Mayfield against anyone. Cincinnati had trouble with Hunter Henry in Week 1 (5-73), so Hooper has some upside, but we need to see more from him on his new team than two targets.
16Rob Gronkowski, TB vs. CAR. Gronk played more than expected in Week 1, but with just two catches, three targets, and 11 yards, it's tough to count on him against a Carolina defense that's proved to be decent at defending TEs. Gronk could always score, but O.J. Howard is a higher-upside play. 
17Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. BUF
18O.J. Howard, TB vs. CAR
19Logan Thomas, WAS @ ARI. Thomas should probably be ranked higher after eight targets and a TD in Week 1, but when dealing with someone like him and Dwayne Haskins -- on the road against a decent defense -- it's tough to be too confident. Of course, Arizona was historically bad against TEs last year, so even after a decent Week 1 against a hobbled George Kittle, Thomas is a solid boom-or-bust option. 
20Jordan Reed, SF @ NYJ
21Ian Thomas, CAR @ TB
22Taysom Hill, NO @ LV
23Jimmy Graham, CHI vs. NYG
24Chris Herndon, NYJ vs. SF. We like Herndon's seven targets from Week 1, but we don't like the matchup or his offense this week.
25Dan Arnold, ARI vs. WAS. Washington struggled against TEs in Week 1, but that was against Philadelphia's skilled duo. Arnold had just two targets in Week 1, so we can't recommend him in season-long leagues just yet. 
26C.J. Uzomah, CIN @ CLE
27Mo-Alie Cox, IND vs. MIN
28Greg Olsen, SEA vs. NE
29Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ IND
30Jordan Akins, HOU vs. BAL
31Irv Smith Jr., MIN @ IND
32Tyler Eifert, JAX @ TEN
33Dawson Knox, BUF @ MIA