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Week 1 was a rough one for the tight ends around the league.
Delanie Walker was lost for the season, Greg Olsen is on crutches, Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham are healthy but completely let us down. While you aren't dropping Kelce or Graham, there are multiple teams looking for tight ends this week on the waiver wire.
That means you need at least three for streaming. It also means we're starting with tight ends this week, and one of last week's best streamers is still widely available.
Jared Cook has done this before. In fact he's topped 100 yards five times in the past five years now. In the previous four follow-up games he's averaged about 2.5 Fantasy points per game. So why is this different? Well, for one Raiders OC Greg Olson has a long history high tight end usage, and Cook's 12 targets on Monday night were a career-high. But in terms of streaming, he's facing a Broncos defense that just let Will Dissly go for 100 yards. Like the Rams, the Broncos are much better outside than they are against tight ends.
Eric Ebron delivered last week with a touchdown and caught four of his five targets in the process. This week he faces a Washington defense that was bottom-five against tight ends in 2017. I still believe there's a good chance Ebron is startable all year, but he'll need more than the five targets he got last week to reach that point. Hopefully Jack Doyle's untimely fumble pushes more targets Ebron's way.
Jonnu Smith will be the replacement for Walker, and he walks into one of the best situations for a tight end. The Titans have always targeted their tight end heavily and Week 1 was no different. More than 30 percent of the team's targets went that direction. Smith should be a borderline starter for the rest of the year, and I don't have any hesitation plugging him in in Week 2.
Case Keenum gave us the full experience in Week 1 with more than 300 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions against Seattle. While he did make too many mistakes he also took full advantage of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, averaging 7.7 Y/A. In Week 2, he gets a Raiders defense that should scare nobody, especially when it is on the road. My only real concern is that the Broncos defense so thoroughly dominates that Keenum doesn't throw enough passes. But I'm starting him regardless.
If you streamed Tyrod Taylor or Andy Dalton last week, I'm assuming you came away satisfied. While Dalton has a Thursday game with the Ravens (drop him), Taylor remains a viable play at New Orleans. Yes, I do believe the Saints will be better than they were in Week 1 (could anyone be worse?), but this is a much better environment for Taylor, who goes from the remnants of a hurricane to the fast track in the dome. Josh Gordon should be more involved, and Taylor should be good for Fantasy even if the Browns get thumped.
After throwing a pick-six on his first NFL pass, Sam Darnold calmed down and had a very solid debut. He clearly has a solid rapport with Quincy Enunwa, and even went over the top once to Robby Anderson. I believe Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell can keep the defense from pinning their ears back, and Darnold can be a high-end No. 2 quarterback. In Week 2 he can be even more against a Dolphins defense that I expect to struggle on the road.
The Falcons performed well in Week 1, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're even better in Week 2. Cam Newton will be without Greg Olsen, and his already weakened offensive line got even weaker in Week 1. The Falcons secondary is not as good without Keanu Neal but the Panthers don't really have the weapons to exploit that. I expect they'll get after Newton with the pass rush and hold the running game in check. Also, if you're looking for a narrative, take a look at Newton's last four games in Atlanta:
Cam Newton's last 4 games in Atlanta:— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) September 11, 2018
14/34 180 yds 1 TD 3 INT 59 rush yds
14/25 165 yds 1 TD 0 INT 30 rush yds
17/30 142 yds 0 TD 0 INT 46 rush yds 1 TD
10/16 114 yds 1 TD 0 INT 51 rush yds 1 TD
The Bears showed flashes in Week 1 against the Packers, but the circumstances are much better in Week 2. They're ready for their home opener, and on Monday Night Football. They'll face a suspect offensive line and a team playing without its best weapon (Doug Baldwin). I'm sure there will be some Russell Wilson magic, but I expect multiple sacks and at least one big play from the Bears. This may be your last chance to pick them up this year.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
I'm not sure if the Bengals have a good defense or bad defense, but I'm sure it is in a great situation for Week 2. The Bengals get a home game on a short week against a below-average offense. Don't let the Ravens performance against the Bills fool you, this team still has some question marks, especially at quarterback. I expect multiple turnovers and a low-scoring affair.
If you can get McManus in the thin Denver air against a bad Raiders team, I'd jump on it. Otherwise, I'm fine settling for the high floor of a kicker against the Bills. If you don't feel quite as confident the Bills are truly awful, Graham Gano is good kicker kicking indoors.
So who should you sit and start this week? And where does every player stack up? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 2 Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB is going to finish in the top five, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.