On the fantasy wide receiver and tight end front in Week 1 there were some big games from some usual suspects, several surprises and more than enough disappointing showings to give fantasy owners varying degrees of joy and/or frustration.
How much of either should I take responsibility for? Let’s see how my Week 1 start/sit advice for WRs and TEs turned out before we move on to Week 2.
Start DeAndre Hopkins (18.5 FP) – Thank goodness Deshaun Watson came into the game and gave some life to the pathetic Texans offense.
Start Stefon Diggs (27.7 FP) – It’s just one week, but Diggs is looking like the biggest breakout star of the fantasy football season (at least among WRs).
Sit T.Y. Hilton (6.7 FP) – This might have been too easy, but you probably drafted Hilton in the second or third round, making it hard to sit him. But you have to keep him on the bench until Andrew Luck returns.
Start Zach Ertz (17.3 FP) – With Jordan Matthews gone, it looks like Ertz is Carson Wentz’s favorite target.
Sit Coby Fleener (16.4 FP) – Fleener had a great game Monday night and is looking like the fantasy star we were all hoping he would be last year.
START THESE WRs...
Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. PHI)
Hill just continues to prove the doubters wrong. All he seems to do is score touchdowns and dominate in PPR formats every week. In Week 1, he scored the third-most PPR fantasy points among wide receivers. Just keep rolling him out there this week against the Eagles, as they don’t have anyone who can cover him. Philadelphia also gave up more than 38 fantasy points per game to WRs on the road a season ago.
Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. MIA)
Allen turned 10 targets into five catches for 35 yards and a TD in Week 1 against a tough Broncos secondary, and should be more productive Sunday at home against a Dolphins defense that allowed 13.8 catches per game and the seventh-most yards to home wide receivers last season.
Brandin Cooks, NE (at NO)
The Patriots didn't come out firing in their opening night loss to the Chiefs, so Cooks was a little underwhelming with three receptions for 88 yards on seven targets. He saw multiple looks down the field, but the connections were tough to come by with Tom Brady off his game. It would be a major shock to see New England's offense do anything but execute at a high level in an outstanding matchup with the Saints' awful defense. New Orleans gave up 18 receptions for 278 yards and two TDs to Minnesota WRs on Monday night. Cooks will go off on his old team.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marqise Lee, JAC (vs. TEN)
Lee did not have many opportunities to catch a pass on Sunday (three targets) with quarterback Blake Bortles throwing just 21 times, but he caught 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns last season and figures to be more involved in the offense as a result of Allen Robinson’s season-ending injury. Plus, Jacksonville’s Week 2 opponent, Tennessee entered this season with some questions about its rebuilt secondary and allowed 255 net passing yards plus two touchdowns to Oakland in Week 1.
SIT THESE WRs...
Dez Bryant, DAL (at DEN)
Concerns for Bryant remain following his two-catch, 43-yard performance in Dallas' win over the Giants. Bryant saw nine targets, but Dak Prescott wasn't at his best, and Bryant was dealing with one of the better secondaries in the league. He'll get no reprieve in Week 2 with a potentially tougher matchup with the Broncos. Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib could make life difficult for Bryant.
Alshon Jeffery, PHI (at KC)
Fantasy owners expecting some Wentz-to-Jeffery magic in Week 1 were surely disappointed when the latter finished 45th in points among WRs last week thanks to Redskins CB Josh Norman's blanket coverage. Expect more of the same this week, as the Eagles take on a tough Chiefs defense that allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers at home last season.
T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, IND (vs. ARI)
The Colts have already ruled out Andrew Luck (shoulder) for Week 2, meaning they'll either go back to Scott Tolzien or start Jacoby Brissett a little more than two weeks after acquiring him in a trade. Last week, Hilton managed to grab three of seven targets for 57 yards, while Moncrief had a 50-yard reception on four targets. If either player sees Patrick Peterson, the fantasy production won't be there. Please come back soon, Captain Luck.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Kenny Golladay, DET (vs. NYG, Mon.)
Golladay clearly needs to be owned in all leagues after scoring twice in his debut, but expectations need to be tempered for Week 2. The Giants, owners of one of the best secondaries in the league, allowed the third-fewest touchdowns to wide receivers in 2016, and they were at it again on Sunday night, limiting Dez Bryant to two catches for 43 yards despite nine targets and a handful of red-zone looks. Golladay has a bright future, but keep him on your bench for now.
START THESE TEs...
Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs. SF)
Graham looked awful in Week 1 against the Packers, catching just three passes for eight yards. But he is still one of the best tight ends in football, and Russell Wilson knows it. Look for Graham and the entire Seahawks offense to get on track this week at home against the lowly 49ers. Last season the 49ers allowed an average of 4.8 catches and 19.39 fantasy points per game to tight ends on the road.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at PIT)
Rudolph saw limited targets in Week 1 as the Vikings were able to push the ball downfield, but facing the Steelers’ pass rush in Week 2 could force Sam Bradford back to his old ways and look for his TE underneath more frequently. The Steelers also don’t cover tight ends that well, giving up 19 fantasy points per game to the position last season.
Martellus Bennett, GB (at ATL)
It looks like it is going to take some time for Aaron Rodgers and Bennett to grow some rapport together. The good news is that Bennet did lead the Packers’ tight ends in snaps (67) and targets (six). This could be the week that Bennett becomes one of Rodgers’ favorite targets as he face a Falcons defense that at home last season allowed an average of 15 fantasy points per game to tight ends.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Charles Clay, BUF (at CAR)
With Sammy Watkins gone and Anquan Boldin signed then retired, there was a lot of talk this summer about Zay Jones and Jordan Matthews as fantasy options. But instead it was Clay, who easily led the team in targets (nine), while pulling in four catches for 53 yards and a score. With so much volatility at the position, the possibility of being Tyrod Taylor’s No. 1 target makes Clay at least a low-end TE1 in all formats.
SIT THESE TEs...
Austin Hooper, ATL (vs. GB)
Thou Shalt Not Chase Touchdowns in Fantasy Football. Especially when that touchdown was an 88-yarder. And especially when the player with that touchdown had just two targets all game. And especially when he’s going up against a Packers defense that just held Jimmy Graham to three catches for eight yards.
Jordan Reed, WAS (at LAR)
Going back to the preseason, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins’ offense has looked off and certainly couldn’t get anything going in Week 1 against the Eagles. Reed had only five catches for 36 yards. Now there are report that he is dealing with a broken toe and won’t be anywhere near 100 percent. The Rams have an excellent defense and last season allowed fewer than 10 fantasy point per game to tight ends. If you can, keep Reed on the bench this week.
Hunter Henry, LAC (vs. MIA)
Henry is another one of those breakout candidates of 2017. The only problem is that Antonio Gates is still on the Chargers. Even though Henry has a great matchup this week against the Dolphins, he’s just too hard to start this week after seeing zero targets last week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Jason Witten, DAL (at DEN)
Of course Witten had a good game last week (18.9 fantasy points). He was playing the Giants and he always is fantasy gold against New York at home. This week is a different story as the Cowboys travel to Denver, to face the dreaded Broncos defense. The same defense that allowed just 3.7 fantasy points to the Chargers’ tight ends last week.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.