Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 2 Edition
Predicting how players will fare in Week 1 of a new season is always difficult. With very little fresh data to refer to, we’re left compiling preseason performances with last season’s statistics into a mash of best-case scenarios.
Last week, I suggested Travis Kelce, Jared Cook, and Garrett Graham. It was disappointing that Graham didn’t play due to a back injury, but both Kelce and Cook were serviceable, finishing in the top-16 among tight ends in Week 1.
My deep sleepers picks, Richard Rodgers and Brent Celek, were both disappointments (though Rodgers left with an injury), proving that it’s very difficult to predict success when peering into the dark abyss at tight end.
While one week’s worth of data is certainly not a great sample size to work with, it’s better than nothing.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Owned - ESPN: 61.5%, Yahoo: 49%
Week 2 numberFire Rank: 12th
Walker found the end zone last week and finished as the ninth best fantasy tight end in standard scoring leagues. He also finished as the 11th best tight end in terms of Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) last week. It was a very efficient performance considering he was only targeted five times on Sunday.
The Titans will see the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, fresh off of allowing San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis an impressive 4-catch, 44-yard and 2-touchdown stat line. It’s fair to say that both of Davis’s touchdowns came in a frantic first quarter in which the game script was clearly out of whack. But poor secondary play is something that Dallas may have to fight all year long.
He’s the only show in town at tight end, and if he sees more usage in a game that Vegas believes will be high scoring (49.5 point over/under), he could find the end zone again.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Owned - ESPN: 7.8%, Yahoo: 10%
Week 2 numberFire Rank: 17th
While Dwayne Allen only saw five targets in the Colts’ Week 1 loss at Denver, he caught four passes for 61 yards and a score, including a 41-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Allen finished eighth among all tight ends in terms of Reception NEP.
Fellow tight end Coby Fleener saw eight targets, but only converted them into three catches for 21 yards, ranking 42nd in Reception NEP.
This was always the situation feared most by Allen backers that both tight ends would eat into each other’s production. It seems clear to everyone except the Colts’ coaching staff that Allen is the better, more-efficient option to absorb targets from Andrew Luck, as proven by our Net Expected Points metrics.
In Week 2, Allen gets Philadelphia, fresh off of allowing Jacksonville tight end Marcedes Lewis six receptions last week. This should be one of the higher scoring games in Week 2, giving Allen a decent shot at finding the end zone for the second-straight game.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Cheifs
Owned - ESPN: 2.1% Yahoo: 36%
Week 2 numberFire Rank: 26th
Although he didn’t blow anyone away with his Week 1 performance, Travis Kelce enters Week 2 with a decent matchup, and still possesses elite athleticism. I’m willing to roll the dice on him one more time.
Similar to the situation in Indianapolis, Kelce must fight off competition from a fellow tight end; in his case, Anthony Fasano. Kelce logged only 18 snaps on Sunday compared to 52 snaps for Fasano, which can only be explained by head coach Andy Reid's trust in Fasano's blocking ability. Kelce is much more dangerous in the passing game, and hopefully coach Reid follows through on his acknowledgment of Kelce being under-utilized in Week 1.
The Chiefs face Denver in Week 2, a game that should see the Chiefs playing catch-up at some point. The Broncos allowed 7 receptions, 85 yards and a touchdown to Colts’ tight ends last week, hinting at a possible weakness moving forward.