If your team made it out of Week 2 without a serious injury, congratulations. For the rest of us, deciding which tight end to start and sit in fantasy football has never been harder. Players were dropping like flies last week, meaning that there’s never been more uncertainty in projected roles. However, a deeper dive shows that guys like Mike Gesicki should carry some fantasy relevance while Jordan Reed and others are better left on the bench.
Mike Gesicki, Jordan Reed Highlight Fantasy Football Week 3 Tight End Start Sits
Start: Mike Gesicki
Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki finished 2019 on a high note and appears to have picked up right where he left off. The former second-round pick didn’t do much against the New England Patriots but had a great week against the Buffalo Bills. Last week, Gesicki recorded eight receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown on 11 targets. He has a reliable snap count, the trust of his quarterback, and faces a favorable matchup against a bad Jacksonville Jaguars defense. He should be a safe start with decent upside.
Sit: Jordan Reed (Assuming George Kittle Plays)
Jordan Reed came through in a big way last week, recording seven receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns against the New York Jets. Rule 86 rang true, as the oft-injured tight end looked like his old self and rewarded any fantasy owner brave enough to play him. Unfortunately, that was probably a one-week thing.
Reed only had a big game because George Kittle was out with a knee injury. The superstar tight end is practicing again, and he’ll obviously see the majority of the work if healthy. Kittle played in Week 1, and Reed only saw 10 snaps in that outing. On top of that, Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury and probably won’t play. This leaves Nick Mullens under center, which is bad news for the entire offense. Mullens looked good in 2018, but he’s a clear downgrade on Garoppolo and limits the ceiling of the whole offense.
Start: Noah Fant
After a promising rookie season, Noah Fant took the proverbial Year 2 leap and appears to be a fixture in the Denver Broncos passing attack. Through two weeks, Fant has played in 76.4% of the offensive snaps while averaging 5.5 targets per game. He did all this with Drew Lock, and now has Jeff Driskel under center.
Driskel is a worse real-life quarterback than Lock, but he might be better for fantasy. The journeyman passer is one of the most aggressive quarterbacks in the league and isn’t afraid to stretch the field deep. This is fantastic news for Fant, as he excels at winning on deep seam routes. He has the opportunity to succeed and the talent to make the most of his chances.
Sit: Logan Thomas
Logan Thomas would be one of my favorite tight ends if he had a better quarterback. The hyper-athletic tight end has everything you like to see on paper. He has a high snap percentage, target share, and plays for a team that will probably be in catch-up mode for the majority of the game. However, the connection with Dwayne Haskins just isn’t there yet. Thomas is catching just 47% of his targets, and he’s averaging just 7.5 yards-per-reception. The workload is there, but the efficiency just isn’t good enough right now. There is a chance that this is the week Thomas and Haskins figure it out, but it’s too risky for the time being.
Start: Mo Alie-Cox Without Jack Doyle
Mo Alie-Cox has been a fan-favorite of fantasy football twitter for quite some time. The gargantuan monster of a man looked good in limited opportunities, but finally had his chance to shine in Week 2. With Jack Doyle sidelined, Alie-Cox recorded five receptions for 111 yards on six targets. He looked fantastic doing this, as his 94.8 PFF grade was the best mark by a tight end since Rob Gronkowski back in 2017.
Philip Rivers loves his tight ends, and Alie-Cox should be in line for a big role if Jack Doyle misses another week. Right now, his status is up in the air. If he’s out, put Alie-Cox in your lineup. Alie-Cox will probably have a role even if Doyle suits up, but he’ll probably be too risky to start in that scenario.
Sit: Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz had the breakout I projected on Blake Jarwin, recording nine receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown on 10 targets. He had a great day, but he’s probably too risky to start in Week 3. The Cowboys Week 2 comeback against Atlanta was one for the ages, but they’ll probably return to a normal game script against the Seattle Seahawks. This means that Shultz is fourth or fifth on the pecking order, behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott. Shultz probably doesn’t have the talent to consistently put up a great fantasy week as the fifth option in the passing attack, so you’re better off leaving him on your bench.
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