Week 2 of fantasy football is here and that means it’s time to grade the most versatile of weapons. It’s time for tight end rankings!
Holy moly what a Week 1! We had a lot of what we expected to happen, happen, and there was no shortage of surprises, either. Show of hands, who had George Kittle getting outscored by Juwan Johnson? Who had Kyle Pitts finishing just inside the TE2 ranks at No. 23 overall?
Several of the “sure things” at tight end performed. Travis Kelce, still an absolute beast. T.J. Hockenson was about the only game in town for the Detroit Lions, as expected. Darren Waller saw 19 targets, more than twice as many as the Las Vegas Raiders’ second-leading target… target-getter(?) Hunter Renfrow.
Now that we have a singular data point to work from, how should we adjust our ranks? For the most part, TEs that I thought would be good, even if they didn’t perform up to my expectations, I still believe they will be good. We also witnessed a few new TEs vault in to the fantasy conversation; of course now we try to divine was this was a 1-shot wonder or a portend of things to come?
And so we venture in to Week 2, reading the tea-leaves.
Week 2 Standouts
Rob Gronkowski (TE5) — After Week 1, Gronkowski finds himself in familiar territory, atop the TE ranks for fantasy points scored. Gronkowski caught 8-of-8 targets for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. I don’t expect this to be a weekly occurrence, but there is no doubt this is well within the range of outcomes any week he takes the field. With a matchup against what appears to be a still-rebuilding Atlanta Falcons, I doubt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to send Gronk out there as much as they did in their boat race against the Dallas Cowboys. Still, perhaps one of the best week-to-week bets to get a touchdown, Gronk is well within the top 12 starts at the position.
Jared Cook (TE8) — Cook was targeted early and often as Justin Herbert embarked on his second season. As serviceable as ever, Cook paid off his 8 targets with 5 catches for 56 yards. He was kept out of the end-zone, but this usage suggests we’ve slept on Cook yet again. On top of being a great waiver pickup, Cook likely becomes a back-end TE 1 each week.
Kyle Pitts (TE12) — Pitts saw all the targets and usage we could have hoped for against a Philadelphia Eagles’ defense that was no defensive leviathan in 2020. Unless the Falcons suddenly figure everything out on offense, Pitts drafters are going to be in for a long and frustrating season. With veteran tight ends left for dead showing us there is a lot of juice left in the tank, like the aforementioned Cook, Pitts should be riding the pine until the Falcons figure things out.
Gerald Everett (TE9) — Everett snagged a touchdown and was used in a variety of formations with a clear intent on getting him involved early and often. Will Dissly also saw plenty of playing time, catching all 3 of his targets for 37 yards, and muddying the waters fantasy-wise for the Seattle Seahawks tight ends. I’ve spent a lot of time this offseason hyping up what we might see out of the Seahawks offense in 2021, and so far we’re off to a hot start. Perhaps Week 2 will be when Everett has that breakout, “I have arrived” game.
Pharaoh Brown (TE17) — Brown was one of the big surprises of Week 1, catching 4-of-5 targets for 67 yards. While Houston’s promising young TE Jordan Akins was active, it was Brown who produced against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brown has missed practice on Wednesday, so we will have to monitor that situation closely. But, come Sunday, if you just have no idea what to do, take a shot on a new QB to TE relationship no one saw coming.
Week 2 Tight End Rankings