Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.
Be sure to check out my Week 2 PPR rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings. Members also get access to me and our team of high-stakes winners all week long to answer your specific fantasy questions.
Week 2 Start 'Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Jared Cook at Raiders
Cook produced five catches for 80 yards in the Saints' opener, and he has now had at least 84 receiving yards or a touchdown in six of his last seven games dating back to last season. The veteran will see far more opportunities in the passing attack with Michael Thomas out. Cook also has a great matchup in a revenge game against the Raiders in a contest that has a 50.5 over/under total based on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Hunter Henry at Chiefs
Henry had a solid opener for fantasy fans, hauling in five of his eight targets for 73 yards in a win over the Bengals. He ranked second among Chargers receivers in snaps behind Keenan Allen as well, and his eight targets also tied Allen for second. He should be in your starting lineups against the Chiefs, as Henry scored 14-plus fantasy points in both of their 2019 matchups. Game script could also dictate the Chargers (+8.5) are throwing a ton.
Tyler Higbee at Eagles
Higbee didn’t do much in his 2020 debut, scoring a mere seven points despite a positive matchup against the Cowboys. He did play 65 snaps in the contest, which was far more than Gerald Everett (24), so he's the top tight end in Los Angeles (if there were any questions). I'd roll with him against another NFC East team, the Eagles, who allowed a touchdown and 13.7 fantasy points to Logan Thomas in their season-opening game.
Hayden Hurst at Cowboys
Hurst didn't perform well in his debut with the Falcons, catching just three of five targets for 38 yards. He was the clear fourth option in the passing game too, as Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage all had nine catches and 100-plus yards. Still, he does have a nice upcoming matchup against a Cowboys team that allowed the third-most points to tight ends last season and just lost LB Leighton Vander Esch to an injured collarbone. If you don't have any of these guys above, our high-stakes pros have identified another MUST START sleeper that is on 90% of waiver wires right now. This pick is reserved for our brand new SI Fantasy+ Member Club.
- T.J. Hockenson at Packers
- Dallas Goedert vs. Rams
- Eric Ebron vs. Broncos
- Noah Fant at Steelers (DraftKings: $4,400)
- O.J. Howard vs. Panthers (DraftKings: $3,900)
- Logan Thomas at Cardinals (DraftKings: $3,600)
Week 2 Sit 'Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Rob Gronkowski vs. Panthers
Gronkowski was quiet in his first NFL game since 2018, hauling in two of three targets for 11 yards. While he did lead all Bucs tight ends in snaps (54), O.J. Howard had more targets (6) and scored on one of Tom Brady's two touchdowns. This week's matchup versus the Panthers isn't great either, as tight ends averaged the fourth-fewest points against them last season. Their defense also held Darren Waller to just 45 yards in Week 1.
Greg Olsen vs. Patriots (SNF)
Olsen had a nice start to his Seahawks career, catching four passes for 24 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Falcons. I wouldn’t chase the fantasy points, though, as the veteran has a tough matchup on Sunday night against the Patriots.
Their defense allowed an average of fewer 11 fantasy points per game to tight ends a season ago, plus Olsen shared a combined 36 snaps to Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister in the opener.
Mike Gesicki vs. Bills
Listed as a sit ‘em last week, Gesicki had just three catches for 30 yards in a loss to the Patriots. He’ll struggle to produce a good line this week too, as the Dolphins host a Bills defense that allowed the second-fewest points to tight ends last season and held Chris Herndon to 37 yards last week. Gesicki has also had trouble against Buffalo in his career, scoring 8.1 fantasy points or fewer in three career matchups against the AFC East foe.
Jimmy Graham vs. Giants
Graham scored a touchdown and was targeted seven times by Mitchell Trubisky last weekend, and his 11.5 fantasy points were better than George Kittle and Darren Waller. Still, I think you’re chasing the points if you think he’ll repeat that performance, even against the Giants. Their defense was in the middle of the pack against the position last season, and the G-Men held Eric Ebron to one catch for just 18 yards in their season opener.
- Ian Thomas at Buccaneers
- Irv Smith Jr. vs Colts
- Jordan Akins vs. Ravens
- Zach Ertz vs Rams (DraftKings: $5,600)
- Evan Engram at Bears (DraftKings: $5,300)
- Eric Ebron vs Broncos (DraftKings: $4,300)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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