Mon May 13 9:04am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Walker could rebound this year
The NFL has released schedules, so it is time to see how this impacts the fantasy world. Next up, the tight end spot.
Using our rules for our money leagues, we came up with a schedule strength ranking for the tight end position. We are using our fantasy defenses report to calculate the rankings. This report can be found in all of our leagues under the "reports" heading. We took the schedule of each team and entered the average number of fantasy points allowed to tight ends last season from all of their opponents to get our fantasy points allowed number. This is a good indication of the tight ends with the most favorable schedules for fantasy scoring for the coming season.
The tight end position was very top heavy last year, so finding the players that could emerge this year might be vital to a lot of fantasy teams if they hope to win their league this year. Players with a favorable schedule could help push their production forward. Delaine Walker battled injury last year but was heavily targeted when on the field. He could be a good buy-low candidate this season, having the easiest fantasy schedule for tight ends. Some other players with favorable schedules are Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron and Charles Clay. You might want to bump up these players in your rankings a little. Things are looking up for them because of an easy fantasy schedule for tight ends.
Some players that might be a concern this year are Jason Witten, Jordan Reed and Greg Olsen. Witten is coming out of retirement to face the toughest fantasy schedule for tight ends. The year end might help but he showed signs of slowing down his last year in the league and this schedule won’t help matters. Reed has all sorts of potential but hasn’t lived up to the hype and gets the third toughest schedule for tight ends. And Olsen is coming off another injury-plagued season and is a year older. He also has the fifth toughest fantasy schedule for tight ends. Take a look at the entire list below closely before ranking your tight ends for the coming year.
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Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Adam Schefter is reporting Saints' QB Drew Brees is expected to undergo thumb surgery as early as today that would sideline him approximately six weeks, per leagues sources.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) will be examined Monday, Sept. 16, to determine if he'll require elbow surgery.
Fantasy Spin: If Big Ben is out for an extended period, he can likely be dropped in most formats because bye weeks are incoming soon. Mason Rudolph isn't a viable replacement in fantasy.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was signed to the 53-man roster Monday, Sept. 16.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) has a ligament issue with his throwing thumb that has him concerned that it's significant. The team will know more Monday, Sept. 16.
Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Brees could miss a month at the very least. If the thumb required surgery, it could be eight to 12 weeks. If that were the case, it would be hard to hold on to him in single-year formats. Teddy Bridgewater could be a matchup play in the interim. Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks might be one of them to stream him for.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders pulled in 11 of his 13 targets for 98 yards and a touchdown during the Week 2 loss to the Bears. It was Sanders second game in a row in which he has scored while also accounting for both of quarterback Joe Flaccos touchdowns on the year. He will continue to have his number called by Flacco and should retain his must-start designation (in most leagues) in the weeks ahead. Keep him rolling.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay finished with 36 yards on 13 attempts to go along with four receptions (seven targets) for 30 yards. The 25-year-old continues to split carries with fellow running back Royce Freeman, who took away 11 potential carries while eating up some targets from quarterback Joe Flacco. Until either man demonstrates a stable workload moving forward, they shouldnt be considered a reliable fantasy option. Keep an eye on this situation in the weeks ahead.
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman rushed for 54 yards on 11 carries during the loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. As usual, Freeman split carries once again with Phillip Lindsay, who rushed for 36 yards on 13 attempts, with both men also combining for nine receptions. Unless there is an injury, expect both players to contribute equally in the weeks ahead, with both retaining little fantasy value at the moment.
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco went 35-for-50 for 292 yards and a touchdown, connecting with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders late in the fourth quarter in the loss to the Bears. The veteran, who played just nine games in 2018 while still a member of the Baltimore Ravens, is posting a 69.1 completion percentage and 91.6 passer rating, with both being career-bests in his first season in Denver. However, he retains little fantasy value outside of deeper leagues or two-quarterback formats, at least until he starts throwing a few more touchdowns.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper had just four receptions for 34 yards during the Week 2 win over the Eagles. After pulling in all nine of his looks against the Vikings in Week 2, Hooper cooled off and was barely targeted on Sunday night despite quarterback Matt Ryan throwing the ball 43 times. Hooper will attempt to get back on track in Week 3 for a meeting with the Colts. He is a borderline-start.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley pulled in eight receptions (10 targets) for 105 yards and a touchdown during the Week 2 victory over the Eagles. It was yet another promising showing for the sophomore wideout as he has now recorded 12 receptions and two scores on the year. Look for him to continue to get his looks from quarterback Matt Ryan in the Falcons pass-heavy offense. He remains a must-start against the Colts in Week 3.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones pulled in just five of his 10 targets on Sunday against the Eagles, but still finished with 106 yards and two scores, including catching a 54-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter. After an uneventful Week 1 showing against the Vikings, the veteran wideout managed to get it together for a much-needed win against Philly. With three touchdowns in the books for Jones, the Falcons will meet up with the Colts on Sunday. Jones remains a must-start.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman rushed for just 22 yards on 11 attempts during the Week 2 showdown with the Eagles, but he attempted to offset those numbers by pulling in three receptions for 42 yards. Nonetheless, it was still a relatively disappointing showing for the 27-year-old who has rushed for just 41 yards on the year. After playing only two games in 2018, Freeman hopefully shook off any remaining residual rust over the first two weeks and will attempt to get things going against the Colts on Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had an up-and-down game on Sunday night against the Eagles. Despite throwing for 320 yards and three touchdowns, the veteran also tossed three picks that nearly led to Atlantas second loss of the season. Nonetheless, Ryan was able to shine when it counted most and connected on a 54-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones late in the fourth quarter to seal the win. With five touchdowns and five interceptions on the year, Ryan will look to get on track against the Colts in Week 3. Keep him starting.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught seven of his nine targets for 107 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 versus the Oakland Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: It's easy to take Kelce's production for granted sometimes because he offers such a high floor. After a sub-par Week 1 by his standards, the 29-year-old is up to 10 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown through two weeks. Although next week's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens is far from an easy one, Kelce has proven to be about as matchup-proof as they come.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown pulled in seven of his eight targets for 72 yards in the win over the Giants. For the second week in a row, Brown led the team in looks from quarterback Josh Allen. He should be on the radar in all fantasy leagues, regardless of format, as Brown and No. 2 wideout Cole Beasley will likely continue to gobble up most of the teams receptions. Look for him to keep it going against the Bengals in Week 3.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (knee) carried nine times for eight yards but hauled in three of his five targets for 48 yards in Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders. RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) rushed for 23 yards on 11 carries and did not gain a yard on his three receptions. However, Williams left late due to a right knee contusion, while McCoy suffered an ankle injury.
Fantasy Spin: Williams has been very productive as a receiver so far, but he's mustered a mere 34 yards on 22 carries through two games. McCoy was much more productive as a runner in the opener, but the entire ground game was bottled up in Week 2. Should either player be forced to sit out Week 3, fantasy owners might get a chance to see what preseason star Darwin Thompson could do in more of a full-time role.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson erupted for 172 yards receiving and two touchdowns while catching all six of his targets in Week 2 against the Oakland Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: For some perspective, Robinson entered the contest with 44 catches for 500 yards and four touchdowns in 49 career games. Fantasy owners can do worse than place their faith in just about pass-catcher seeing significant time in this offense at the moment, and Robinson certainly earned more snaps with this effort. Owners shouldn't be afraid to scoop him up off waivers this week and start him in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley hauled in all four of his targets for 83 yards during the win over the Giants on Sunday. It was another relatively productive outing for Beasley, who has served as quarterback Josh Allens No. 2 receiving option behind John Brown by compiling nine receptions (13 targets) over the first two games of the season. With Robert Foster being a non-factor so far in 2019, look for the former Cowboy to continue to get his looks in the weeks ahead.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes finished 30-of-44 for 443 yards and four touchdowns in Week 2 versus the Oakland Raiders.
Fantasy Spin: Head coach Andy Reid is playing chess while opposing defensive coordinators are playing chess. Mahomes would be doing crazy things even if he didn't have Reid calling the shots, but the two of them together is lethal for defenses. Mahomes' 278 yards passing in the second quarter were the most for a player in any quarter since 2008. He should be considered the best play at his position against next week at home against the Baltimore Ravens.