Week 1 brought some surprises to the tight end radar, but Down and Distance hit money on 4 of the 5 from opening week: the Rams’ Jared Cook, 49ers’ Vernon Davis, Cowboys’ Jason Witten, and Saints’ Jimmy Graham all finding the end zone. Graham was the only one of the four who did not break 70 yards receiving. Not bad for a week in tight end prognostication!
Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Tight ends for Week 2.
5. Jared Cook – Rams – @ Falcons
Cook should have been higher on this list last week, but no one could have seen such an eye-popping performance coming. By the end of the year, Cook may be the top fantasy scoring tight end in football and with the Rams opening the passing game for quarterback Sam Bradford, this offense is going to be much better this year through the air than last season. However, the Atlanta Falcons were able to limit star tight end Jimmy Graham to just 45 yards and one score. Look for Cook to covert more of his targets than Graham did last week (4 of 7) and fare better on the fantasy scoreboard.
4. Owen Daniels – Texans – vs. Titans
Many discounted Daniels after he suffered a serious knee injury a few years ago, but he has still been very consistent in putting up yardage for fantasy owners averaging 660 yards a season since 2007. Where he has been lacking is the end zone, scoring just 21 times over that same span. However, facing a Titans team that will struggle to hold down the other offensive weapons on the Texans, Daniels should get at least 60 yards a score this week.
3. Jermichael Finley – Packers – vs. Redskins
This could be the only time Finley appears here this season, but given that he is playing in a contract year, he may elevate his performance. Add in that quarterback Aaron Rodgers still targeted him eight times in a tough 49ers loss and Finley may have developed some chemistry with Rodgers this off-season. The Redskins defense is still suspect and could not handle the Philadelphia Eagles new high-octane offense, even allowing tight end Brent Celek 56 yards and a touchdown. Finley should see plenty of opportunities in this game to score; he will need to capitalize on those chances to get in the top fantasy tight ends discussion.
2. Jordan Cameron – Browns – @ Ravens
Very quietly, Cameron was the highlight of the game for the Browns last week versus the Miami Dolphins, amassing 108 yards to go with one score. This week, the Browns face a Ravens defense that looked absolutely lost versus the Denver Broncos. Granted the Browns are not in the same zip code offensively as the Broncos, but look for Cameron to get plenty of looks and dump offs in this divisional matchup.
1. Julius Thomas – Broncos – @ Giants
Is Down and Distance jumping on the “Orange” Julius Thomas bandwagon? You bet, as long as quarterback is upright in the backfield and the Broncos keep getting favorable matchups. The Giants allowed tight end Jason Witten 70 yards and two touchdowns last week, and all Thomas did was put up 110 yards with two touchdowns to finish second in tight end scoring. Do not be surprised in the least if Thomas eclipses his week 1 numbers against a highly overrated Giants defense.
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