Watch Now: Week 3 Starts and Sits: TE Starts (1:18)

It doesn't take much to be a Fantasy football sleeper at tight end. Run a bunch of routes? You're in! Score a couple of touchdowns? Waiver-wire add! Played basketball in college? Potential league-winner! 

All jokes aside, even with guys like Jonnu Smith and Mike Gesicki performing well, the bar to be a top-12 tight end remains low. Because of that, we seemingly always have a bunch of tight ends who are rostered in very few leagues but have sleeper appeal. In 2020, that's been taken to the extreme.

My favorite deep sleeper currently is Drew Sample. Sample saw a 35% target share after C.J. Uzomah went out in Week 2. While that's not sustainable, more than 20% of Joe Burrow's passes have gone to tight ends in his first two starts. Sample was a second-round pick just last year and should be in line for a substantial target share and an intriguing red-zone role. I'm not ready to start him in anything but tight end premium leagues just yet, but I'd like to have him on my bench.

Of course, Sample is just one of many options. Jordan Akins has run the fourth-most routes among tight ends and is rostered in just 5% of leagues. Mo Alie-Cox is only rostered in 8% of leagues despite producing a 100-yard game against the Vikings in Week 2. Robert Tonyan is the starting tight end for Aaron Rodgers, just scored a touchdown in Week 2, and he's only rostered in 1% of leagues.

If you aren't happy with your tight end situation you aren't necessarily starting any of these guys, but they be your answer in the future. Sample, in particular, should be watched in Week 3.

More Position Previews: QB | RB | WR | TE

Week 3 TE Preview

The following players are not being projected to play Week 3 at this time. Here's what it means:

SF San Francisco • #85
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Jordan Reed is a must-start if Kittle can't go, but the 49ers sound optimistic Kittle could return.
BUF Buffalo • #88
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
The Bills don't have another tight end you'd want to play.
TE Preview
Numbers to Know
  • 21.6% -- More than a fifth of Joe Burrow's passes have gone to his tight ends this year. That's a huge opportunity for Drew Sample with C.J. Uzomah out for the year.
  • 73 -- Jordan Akins has run 73 routes this year. Only Travis Kelce, Evan Engram, and Ertz have run more among tight ends.
  • 17 -- Goedert leads the Eagles with 17 targets. Ertz is third on the team with 14.
  • 22.2 -- Mo Alie-Cox is averaging more than 20 yards per reception. That won't hold up, but he's the only player on the Colts having success downfield right now.
  • 11.0 - Mike Gesicki is averaging 11 air yards per target. That's highest amongst tight ends with at least 10 targets.
  • 33% -- One third of Tyler Higbee's targets have turned into touchdowns this season. The explosion in Week 2 was awesome, but the target share has not been close to what it was at the end of 2019.
TE Preview
Matchups that matter
MIA Miami • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
TEN Tennessee • #81
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN TEN -2.5 O/U 47.5
OPP VS TE
12th
PROJ PTS
10.4
TE RNK
11th

On Thursday's episode of the Fantasy Football Today podcast, we started breaking down Week 3's matchups, making start and sit calls for each game. Subscribe at Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts:

TE Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 3 Streamers
DAL Dallas • #86
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -4.5 O/U 55.5
OPP VS TE
11th
TE RNK
24th
ROSTERED
50%
Go back and look at everything we said about Blake Jarwin in the preseason and apply it to Dalton Schultz for the rest of the season. In his first game without Jarwin, Schultz caught nine of 10 targets for 88 yards and a score. The matchup is more difficult in Week 3, but I want Schultz on my roster for the rest of the year.
SF San Francisco • #81
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYG SF -4.5 O/U 41
OPP VS TE
6th
TE RNK
NR
ROSTERED
28%
This is a tricky one, because Reed is only in play if Kittle can't go. But if Kittle can't go, Reed may be a must-start against the Giants. Hopefully we get more info on Kittle sooner rather than later.
TE Preview
DFS Plays
Top Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
LV Las Vegas • #83
Age: 28 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NE NE -6.5 O/U 48
OPP VS TE
4th
PROJ PTS
13.7
TE RNK
4th
FANDUEL
$6,600
DRAFTKINGS
$5,700
I had this one locked in even before Waller lit up the Saints in primetime. He's dominating targets even more than he did in 2019. This isn't a great matchup, but the Raiders do a good enough job moving Waller around the field that I have confidence they'll get Waller free.
Contrarian Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CIN PHI -6.5 O/U 46.5
OPP VS TE
14th
PROJ PTS
14.1
TE RNK
8th
FANDUEL
$5,200
DRAFTKINGS
$4,900
We'll see what roster rate projections look like, but Goedert is way too cheap on FanDuel and I expect the Eagles to score some points this week against Cincinnati. Goedert is out-targeting Ertz, and he's been better on a per target basis as well. This is an extension of what we saw at the end of the year in 2019.
TE Preview
Heath's Projections

So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 3 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.