Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars – $7000
If you can pencil in Antonio Brown in the weekly wide receiver rankings you can do the same for Rob Gronkowski. Far and away Gronkowski is the NFL’s top pass catcher at the tight end position. Even against what was the best defense from a season ago he is valued $900 higher than the second place tight end. He scored a week ago and looked like the dominant force he has always been when healthy.
In the AFC Championship game between these two teams a season ago, Gronkowski only had one catch for 21 yards. He will likely have revenge on his mind. New England has limited play makers outside so look for them to feed Gronk early and often.
Zach Ertz,Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $6100
The reigning NFL champions feature a playmaking tight end of their own in Zach Ertz. His best season came a year ago and saw ten targets in the Eagle’s opening game. He gets a Tampa Bay team that is vulnerable through the air at every level. If Ertz can get better quarterback play than Nick Foles provided a week ago, this could be a big game. Once Carson Wentz comes back Ertz is in line for even bigger production.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers – $5900
Playing in a similar mode as Ertz for the Kansas City Chiefs is talented tight end Travis Kelce. The playmaking big bodied receiver struggled in Week 1 with new quarterback Patrick Mahomes with only one catch for six yards. The good news is that he saw six targets. Mahomes is known for the deep ball but for this offense to unlock it’s true potential Kelce needs to be involved.
With a game at Pittsburgh up next, Kelce should see a bigger role. Pittsburgh’s defense is vulnerable at the safety and linebacker position. Better days are ahead for Kelce after a disappointing Week 1, especially in a shoot-out matchup at Pittsburgh.
Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons – $5600
Greg Olsen suffered a foot injury in Carolina’s Week 1 game against Dallas Cowboys. It has been reported, as of writing this, that he will be missing a decent chunk of time. Do not count for him ti play in Week 2. That being said, back-up tight end rookie Ian Thomas will be solid but is not worth consideration in this week’s slate.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts $5000
One of the NFL’s most disappointing players in fantasy is Washington Redskins’ tight end Jordan Reed. When healthy he is right up there with the names above him. However that is happening less and less in Reed’s career. Right now he is healthy and looks like the elite weapon that every fantasy player knows he is.
This week the Redskins offense, fresh off a drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals stay in Washington for another soft defense in the Colts. Indianapolis allowed Andy Dalton to complete all five passes he attempted to his tight ends a week ago. With Alex Smith at quarterback, Reed should see even more production than with Kirk Cousins. He’s a great play for a big $2000 less than Gronkowski.
Value Tight Ends
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions -$3800
If you play season long style fantasy football in a shallow league than the top waiver priority was likely George Kittle. The second year tight end showed an early rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo on a day where San Francisco’s offense struggled to get going. Kittle saw nine targets, bringing in five for 90 yards.
A softer matchup awaits in the Detroit Lions. Fresh off a dud on Monday Night Football against a rookie quarterback, the Lions defense is vulnerable. Kittle is the tenth ranked tight end but at $3800 is a massive steal with that target share.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns @ New Orleans Saints – $3000
Another second-year tight end is a value play this weekend with former first round pick David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns. He still struggles with drops but in fantasy opportunity is king. Njoku certainly has that with almost 90 percent of the offensive snaps coming with him on the field from Week 1.
This week he travels indoors to play the Saints defense that was the league’s worst in the first week against Tampa Bay. Njoku is an athletic freak and can give the weak spot of this Saints defense, the linebackers, fits if matched up. Unfortunately Cleveland’s miserable coaching truly limits his upside but the opportunity is enough to make him a solid value this week.