by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We all know that tight end can be one of the most frustrating positions to fill, as there always seems to be multiple disappointments (as well as players who rise and fall from week-to-week). The first week may be the toughest to interpret, as we are basing it on assumptions instead of facts. How do we see things stacking up in the opening week? Let’s take a look:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
- Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs – at New England
- Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans – vs. Oakland
- Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – vs. Philadelphia
- Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Baltimore
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers – at San Francisco
- Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks – at Green Bay
- Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings – vs. New Orleans
- Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts – at Los Angeles Rams
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New York Giants
- Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
- Martellus Bennett – Green Bay Packers – vs. Seattle
- Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Miami
- Zach Miller – Chicago Bears – vs. Atlanta
- Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions – vs. Arizona
- C.J. Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
- Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons – at Chicago
- Evan Engram – New York Giants – at Dallas
- Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints – at Minnesota
- We do have concerns regarding Delanie Walker and his overall upside in 2017, thanks to the significant improvements the Titans made at wide receiver. However drawing the Raiders in Week 1 should allow him to get off to a great start. Jason Witten shredded them for 6 catches, 74 yards and a TD in the third preseason game, while the Rams Gerald Everett had 4 catches for 30 yards in the second preseason contest. Consider Walker one of the better bets for Week 1.
- At this point it’s a bit of an unknown as to what Cam Newton will be able to do in Week 1. Will that help to benefit Greg Olsen, as he operates as a safety net, or will there be an overall lack of a passing game? It’ll be something to watch and consider, creating a little bit more of a risk than necessary. Still a must use, he does fall a spot or two.
- One of Hunter Henry’s biggest games last season came against the Denver Broncos (6 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD). That said the receiving corps is improved (Keenan Allen is healthy) and Antonio Gates is going to continue to limit Henry’s upside. That’s going to keep him more as a TE2 with TE1 upside, as opposed to someone you want to trust until you see how things play out on the field.
- With Andrew Luck out, don’t be surprised to see a lot of short/safe passes given the level of QB who is going to step in (since Jacoby Brissett isn’t expected to be ready). That could mean a big first week for Jack Doyle, who is an ideal low-end.
- While we believe in Eric Ebron, he missed time this preseason and draws the team that yielded the fewest points per week to opposing tight ends in ’16. That certainly makes him a tough sell compared to other low-end TE1 options.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 Rankings: