Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming: Week 2 Edition

There was an explosion of fantasy production from tight ends in Week 1, and this week is setting up in a similar fashion. Here are some options to target on your league's waiver wire.

An astounding 16 different tight ends scored touchdowns in Week 1, with 5 of them making multiple trips to the end zone. Rob Gronkowski predictably led the way, posting a 5-catch, 94-yard, 3-touchdown line, but we also saw Tyler Eifert and Austin Seferian-Jenkins emerge from their breakout candidate statuses to post high-end TE1 fantasy totals.

My recommendations on the other hand, were pretty rough.

Richard Rodgers and Larry Donnell both underwhelmed finishing with just 6.8 and 5.1 PPR points, respectively. While they didn’t sink your fantasy team, they didn’t do much to help, either.

Josh Hill was a complete bust, failing to register a single target and playing just 24% of the team’s offensive snaps. As much as we may want him to be a thing for fantasy purposes (cue the Mean Girls meme), it’s clear that the team trusts Benjamin Watson much more at this point.

Week 2 provides us with some very good lower-owned options for us to use, so let’s get to it. 

Jordan Reed

Owned – ESPN: 32.2%, Yahoo: 57%
umberFire Positional Rank: 8th

If you’re playing in a fantasy league hosted by Yahoo, Jordan Reed may not be available, but his inclusion on this list is necessary following his Week 1 performance. 

Now finally healthy, Reed saw an eye-popping 11 targets last week to lead the entire team, posting a 70catch, 63-yard, 1-touchdown line line on his way to finishing as the week's sixth-best fantasy tight end. He also ranked seventh among all tight ends in Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) for Week 1.

What is even more encouraging is that Reed's target volume was not a result of negative game script. In a close game against Miami, Reed saw 35% of the team’s total targets on just 31 total pass attempts. It seems clear that no matter what the game situation, Reed is the primary target for Kirk Cousins, especially now that DeSean Jackson is nursing an injured hamstring.

Washington hosts St. Louis this week, a team that gave up 11.1 PPR points to the Seattle Seahawks’ tight ends last week. St. Louis has the look of a dominant defense which is a bit of a concern, but even if they shut down Alfred Morris and the run game, we can expect Reed to see all the targets he can handle.

Reed’s ability to split out wide presents matchup problems for any defense, and against the Rams this week there’s a reasonable chance that Reed will get a piece of the 18 points Washington is projected to score on Sunday. 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Owned – ESPN: 24.6%, Yahoo: 60%
numberFire Positional Rank: 16th

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was on a lot of fantasy radars this preseason as a possible breakout candidate for 2015, and he did nothing to dispel those feelings in Week 1.

Without Mike Evans in the lineup against Tennessee, Seferian-Jenkins stepped right in as a big-bodied target for Jameis Winston, finishing with the best Reception NEP mark (14.86) of any pass-catcher -- wide receiver or tight end -- on the week.

Although the large majority of his fantasy production came late in the game with the outcome already decided, he saw 7 targets (second most on the team) and played 78% of the team’s offensive snaps. Targets and opportunity are the keys to uncovering potential fantasy production for tight ends.

This week’s matchup against New Orleans is another reason to be excited for ASJ’s prospects. The Saints surrendered the seventh most PPR points to tight ends last week, most of which going to Darren Fells, a player lacking the athletic profile boasted by Seferian-Jenkins.

The Buccaneers are heavy underdogs (10.5 points) and will likely be playing from behind again this week. If we see a similar game script this week, Seferian-Jenkins could again be peppered with high-value targets late in the contest, especially if Evans misses a second straight game.  

Ladarius Green

Owned – ESPN: 6.9%, Yahoo: 21%
numberFire Positional Rank: 7th

For anyone (myself included) that had been waiting for the #FreeLadarius movement to come to fruition, Week 1 was your vindication. 

With Antonio Gates out due to suspension, the opportunity was there for Ladarius Green to assume a larger role. Possible concussion issues lingered which kept some fantasy owners away, but they ended up being a non-factor.

Green was extremely efficient last week, parlaying his 6 targets into a 5-catch, 74-yard, 1-touchdown line. Of the 20 tight ends who saw 5 or more targets in Week 1, Green finished sixth in Reception NEP on a per-target basis. He played 84 percent of the team’s snaps, by far the most of any San Diego tight end and ran a pass route on 56 percent of his snaps.

The Chargers have a tough draw in Week 2, traveling cross-country to face Cincinnati. Although the Bengals defense is tough (and found their way onto my streaming D/ST article this week), San Diego is a much better offense than the team they shut down last week, Oakland.

With Gates still out, Green will see the field for the majority of the snaps this week, and his athleticism makes him a dangerous field-stretching option. The Chargers’ 22 point team total isn’t great, but Green represents one of the team’s best options to score points. If he plays well again this week, expect his ownership to sky-rocket. 

Snag him while you can.