3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 2
The story of the tight end position is a tale similar to every sports offseason. There's annual optimism in advance of the season. Yet, optimism turns into reality without fail, and every team isn't playing for a championship. Or, in the case of tight ends, the many mid- and late-round breakout candidates fail to materialize into weekly contributors.
Some gamers understand this reality and pounce on an early-round stud. Others recognize it and intend on streaming out of the chute. Still, others arrive in the streaming group unwittingly after their middle-tier or late-round dart throw flops.
Regardless of how you got here, this is your weekly home for streaming options. Below you'll find three widely available options for Week 2.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 34%
The box score was decent enough for Cole Kmet in Week 1. He finished second on the Chicago Bears in receiving yards (42), and he tied for second in targets (seven) and receptions (five). However, it's a look under the hood that provides more optimism for a second-year breakout.
According to Pro Football Focus, he was on the field for 35 of 45 pass plays. More encouragingly, he ran a route on 32 of those, staying in to pass block only 3 times. It gets better, though. Comparatively, Jimmy Graham was on the field for only nine pass snaps. Further, the Bears lined up Kmet in the slot on 45.7 percent of his snaps and out wide at an 11.4 percent clip. His varied usage should serve him well in netting mismatches. Finally, his 1.31 yards per route run and 0.23 Target Net Expected Points (NEP) per target were stellar marks.
Stock is up for Kmet, as he appears to be an integral part of Chicago's passing attack. He's a fantastic streamer this week in a good matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. However, he also looks like a player who should stick on the rosters and flirt with fantasy starter status each week.
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 26%
Jared Cook still has something left in the tank. He finished third on the Los Angeles Chargers in targets (eight), securing five for 56 receiving yards. He played 36 of Justin Herbert's 49 drop backs, running a route on 31 of them. He was also frequently used in the slot, moving out there 52.8 percent of the time and tacking on 11.1 percent of his snaps out wide for good measure.
In addition, out of 34 tight ends targeted at least three times in Week 1, Cook ranked a respectable 14th with 1.81 yards per route run. His average depth of target of 8.9 yards isn't so deep to make him highly volatile, but it's deep enough to do damage without requiring substantial yards after the catch.
Looking ahead at Week 2, the setup is mouthwatering. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Chargers as 2.5-point favorites in a game with a robust over/under of 55.5 points. As a result, the Chargers have a tantalizing implied total of 29.0 points. Also, the Dallas Cowboys were trounced by tight ends last week. According to Pro Football Reference, they permitted eight receptions on eight targets, 90 receiving yards, and two touchdowns to the position. Fellow grey-beard tight end Rob Gronkowski was responsible for all of the tight end production against the Cowboys, and I'm expecting Cook to sip from the fountain of youth en route to a top-10 finish at tight end this week.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 5%
The injury to Irv Smith Jr. that ended his 2021 campaign before it began was a bummer. However, it's paved the way to Tyler Conklin's fantasy relevance in the Minnesota Vikings' highly concentrated offense. There's no question the offense runs through Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen. However, behind them, there are question marks abound, and Conklin could emerge as their fourth-best option.
He was a perfect four-for-four in Week 1, hauling in each of his targets for 41 yards in the overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The production was ho-hum, yet his dominance in meaningful snaps at tight end relative to Chris Herndon bodes well for bigger weeks in the future. Herndon played only nine pass snaps, running seven routes. Conversely, Conklin played 46 pass snaps, running 32 routes. Unlike the previously discussed tight ends, he was primarily used inline (89.1 percent). Nonetheless, he's capable of doing damage in a traditional tight end role.
To that point, his 1.28 yards per route run ranked sandwiched between Kmet and 2020 breakout Logan Thomas. He also generated a useful 0.24 Target NEP per target. Additionally, Conklin has an intriguing athletic profile, an essential consideration when identifying a breakout tight end, as J.J. Zachariason discussed on The Late-Round Podcast back in July. But, of course, it's only one factor. Still, expanding upon his athletic profile, according to Player Profiler, he has an 89th percentile burst score, 82nd percentile catch radius, 76th percentile agility score, and 70th percentile SPARQ-X score.
Conklin and Minnesota's offense should benefit from a pace boost this week, squaring off with the Arizona Cardinals. According to Sharp Football Stats, the Cardinals played at the second-fastest pace when the scoring margin ranged from trailing by seven points to leading by seven points. The Vikings could be forced to air it out as 3.5-point road underdogs against a team that cooked with gasoline in Week 1. Obviously, a more pass-happy attack would benefit Conklin.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.