The first week of the NFL is now in the books. Teams have set the tone for their seasons, and that goes for the pros and the owners in fantasy football. Heading into Week 2, teams now know what to expect from their lineups.
The tight end position is one of the toughest to navigate each week because there is just one slot in most formats. Outside of stars like Travis Kelce and George Kittle, who will not be featured in this piece, tight ends could be played based on matchups and breakout possibilities.
There are some tight ends that will be set in your lineup early and never touched. These are names like Kelce, Kittle, Zach Ertz, and Darren Waller this season. This is a short list so if you do not have one of these big names, there is plenty to think about when setting your lineup.
Here are some start and sit options heading into the second week of the fantasy football season.
TEs to Start in Week 2 in Fantasy Football
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (at Las Vegas Raiders)
The Saints’ offense was hot out of the gate in the opener. Because of this, Cook emerged as one of the most attractive starts heading into the second week of the season. He logged five catches for 80 yards in the season opener. Michael Thomas suffered an ankle injury and is expected to miss time. This means that Emmanuel Sanders is going to see a larger workload but the same goes for Cook. The Saints’ tight end has gone for at least 80 yards or a touchdown in six of the last seven games, dating back to last season. Drew Brees looked Cook’s way many times in the opener which confirmed that these two have a strong connection. Cook will be a start option in most weeks moving forward.
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (at Philadelphia Eagles)
It was a slow offensive start for the Rams as they scored just 20 points on Sunday Night Football. Their fantasy output was poor for everyone not named Malcolm Brown or Robert Woods. Higbee finished with just three catches for 40 yards but he is a strong play against another NFC East opponent. The Eagles allowed Logan Thomas to get comfortable in Week 1 and allowed a touchdown to the Washington tight end. Higbee was listed as one of the top fantasy tight ends heading into the season. This will be one of the games that shows why. He will have a strong matchup against a banged up defense in Philly.
Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Is it possible to trust Hurst in fantasy formats? With Austin Hooper now in Cleveland, the Falcons now have a new starting tight end looking for targets. Hurst is going to be that option this week despite a slow start to the season. He was looked at just five times in the opener and finished with three catches for 38 yards. He was the fourth option in the passing game behind Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage. This will not continue as he has a favorable matchup this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends last season. They will also be shorthanded with Leighton Vander Esch suffering a broken collarbone. Atlanta is going to throw the ball a lot which means there will be plenty of chances for Hurst.
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (at Arizona Cardinals)
Evan Engram, New York Giants (at Chicago Bears)
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
TEs to Sit in Week 2
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Carolina Panthers)
Gronkowski was one of the most hyped-up fantasy football options heading into the season but this is not 2014 anymore. After a year of retirement, Gronkowski did not have a strong showing in the opener. He was the second tight end behind O.J. Howard, who caught four passes and a touchdown. Gronkowski finished with just two catches for 11 yards. He led all Bucs’ tight ends in snaps but was second in targets to Howard. The Bucs will face the Panthers who allowed 34 points in Week 1, but held Darren Waller to just 45 yards. Carolina allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season. Gronkowski was a big-name signing in the offseason but he will have to prove that he can be trusted in fantasy.
This is the second straight week that Gesicki should be considered a sit ’em option. Gesicki was a dark-horse option to breakout in 2020, but the schedule has not done him any favors. The Dolphins were handed a tough draw by having to play the Patriots and Bills’ defense in their first two games. In three career games against the Bills, Gesicki has scored just eight points or fewer in all games. Miami’s offense is not a trustworthy one early in the season for any position. This is especially true in Week 2 against Buffalo. The Bills allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season so Gesicki is a strong sit this week.
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (at Pittsburgh Steelers)
Fant was extremely impressive in the Broncos’ opener. He was the main option in Denver’s passing attack on Monday night but he will see one of the best defenses in football this week. He finished with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in the opener. With a matchup against the Steelers looming, fantasy owners should proceed with caution. There is no weakness in the Pittsburgh defense and that includes their linebackers. They were able to shut down Evan Engram in their opener. The Giants’ tight end finished with just two catches for nine yards. If Courtland Sutton is out once again, the Broncos will need some pass catchers to step up but it is hard to imagine Fant will have a strong game.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
Chris Herndon, New York Jets (vs. San Francisco 49ers)