Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints
Adam Trautman suffered an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago. According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, Trautman was expected to miss 1 to 3 weeks; that report came on August 25th. We have not had an official update on Trautman’s status since then.
Fellow tight end Nick Vannett is on the IR with a knee injury. As a result, Juwan Johnson could be thrust into the starting tight end spot on Sunday against the Packers.
Johnson signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft. He appeared in seven games last season hauling in four receptions for 39 yards.
Trautman’s status should be monitored closely. If he cannot play on Sunday, Johnson offers some real upside. Michael Thomas is out, and Tre’Quan Smith is listed as questionable. There is a chance that Johnson could be the Saints’ second most targeted receiver behind Marquez Callaway for Week 1.
Tyler Kroft, New York Jets
In deeper leagues, Tyler Kroft is an intriguing start this week. Kroft is the clear cut number one tight end on the Jets’ depth chart, right now. Nevertheless, he may struggle to remain fantasy relevant over the course of the season. Wide receivers Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Elijah Moore all should receive more targets.
However, Kroft will offer upside in tight end friendly fantasy matchups, and he will have one against the Carolina Panthers, who allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to tight ends last season. Furthermore, Crowder is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so Kroft may see an uptick in targets.
Kroft has flashed fantasy upside as a starter in the past. In 2017, he started all 16 games for the Cincinnati Bengals and scored seven touchdowns.