Tyler Higbee dominated the tight end leaderboard last week with five receptions for 54 yards and three touchdowns, the most in a single game by a tight end this season. The Eagles were absolutely torched by Goff connecting with Higbee near the endzone which might make them a defense to target when selecting a tight end. Mike Gesicki also showed how dominant he can be for the Dolphins. He received 11 targets and caught eight of them for 130 yards with an additional touchdown. There were several other tight ends that had an above-average performance last week and only one real let down with Mark Andrews. Andrews stood in the background as the Ravens ran all over the Texans. His one catch for 29 yards is concerning to look at, but we have all seen how much Lamar Jackson likes to use his tight end. There should be an increase in usage moving forward back to what we saw in week 1. After a big week for tight ends, who will keep up the pace, and who will regress? Here are the starts and sits for tight ends for week 3.
Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars
As I mentioned above, Mike Gesicki showed what his ceiling can look like when he picked up 130 yards and three touchdowns. The game revolved around the Dolphin’s tight ends as they accounted for about half of the workload in the passing game. Gesicki accounted for over a third of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s total yards and there is a good reason for why this will continue into week 3. The Dolphins take on the Jaguars who just showed the world that they cannot guard tight ends. Jonnu Smith lit them up last week for 84 yards and two touchdowns. I would put Smith and Gesicki in the same boat of having the same sorts of skills. If Smith and the Titans could do it, there is no reason why Gesicki and the Dolphins can’t replicate it.
Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
After just talking about how dominant Jonnu Smith was, I had to put him next. Smith made every opportunity out of the receptions he had as he caught only four passes but ended the game with 84 yards and two touchdowns. His endzone-hunting ability makes him a favorite target. Through two games, he has three touchdowns which while he will not be keeping up that pace all year, the usage around the endzone is so exciting for Smith owners. If he happens to be on waivers in your league, there is no reason to not pick him up. His next game against the Vikings will be favorable as the Vikings defense has been among the worst in the league so far. Last week, Mo Alie-Cox accumulated 111 yards against their defense.
Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Noah Fant has been killing it for the Broncos through the first to weeks. After picking up 81 yards and a touchdown in week 1, he responded with 57 yards and another touchdown. With the possibility of Drew Lock sitting out, you would think everyone in the receiving game would take a hit, but for Fant, I do not think it will affect him much. He mainly runs crossing patterns and short routes that inexperienced quarterbacks love to hit. They can be easy completions that boost confidence. I imagine Fant will be a big role in the short game and as the past two weeks have shown, he sees a strong amount of red-zone work. The Buccaneers were the worst team at guarding tight ends last year. While they have shown improvements so far this season, Fant will find the holes that previously existed.
Opponent: San Francisco 49ers
It has been a tough start for Evan Engram and the Giants to start the 2020 season. It is not like he isn’t getting looks either as he had seven targets in week 1 and eight in the following week. He saw greater success in week 2 as he was able to reel in six of the targets for 65 yards, but he still stands without a touchdown as tight ends across the league continue to score multiple touchdowns. To make matters worse, Saquan Barkley is now out of the season, hindering the Giants’ offense. Devonta Freeman can provide a boost but no one knows how he will fill in yet. The matchup against the 49ers puts the cherry on top as they are among the best defenses against tight ends this year. With so many great waiver wire adds, there are better options than Engram this week.
Opponent: Miami Dolphins
You may have seen Tyler Eifert’s name pop up as he had a solid week 2 with 44 yards and a touchdown. This is good and all but if you look farther into it, he has received one target in week 1 and six targets in week 2. He only has four total receptions on the season. The inconsistency of Eifert this year, combined with his inconsistency in Cincinnati in years before, makes for a bad start in all leagues. The Dolphins have yet to face a team with a good tight end so it is hard to guess how well they will cover them. Just like with Engram above, there are a ton of good options to target this week at tight end, so there will be one out there way better than Eifert this week.
Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
T.J. Hockenson was mostly a let down last season with his head injury and he has yet to turn it around this season. While he did not do bad per se, there was nothing special that we saw with Hockenson so far. He has caught every target thrown his way but the total is just nine receptions. Kenny Golladay is set to return to the lineup which will only hurt Hockenson’s targets in the future which was already on the low end. The Cardinals have been able to handle the tight end they have faced so far fairly easily despite being among the worst last season. The main reason for staying away from Hockenson is his workload though as his dwindling number will only be going down as the Lions continue to struggle.
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