Sleeper Tight Ends to Start in Week 1

Its time to play some football. The season kicks off against Thursday night as the Packers and Saints square off. Both teams feature tight ends that need to be started if owned. JerMichael Finley and Jimmy Graham are going to play pivotal roles in two of the league’s best passing attacks. Outside of the obvious (Gates, Witten, Clark) here are 5 tight ends that are good starts for Week one.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (@Arizona)- I have said it in more than once now, but I will say it again: Greg Olsen is due for a big year. The system he is in is one that uses the tight end to exhaustion. Add that to him having a rookie at QB (Cam Newton) and he will be looked to early and often. Newton will need to settle into the game, and the coaching staff will make sure Newton knows where Olsen is at all times. Start Greg Olsen this week against the Cardinals.

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs Tennessee)- His value may have dropped with the dismissal of David Garrard, but this does not take away from what he can do. Luke McCown is not a solid quarterback option, but against Tennessee, Lewis is worth a start. He is set to breakout, and down the stretch he will be especially valuable when Gabbert takes the starting job (Yes, Gabbert will be starting for the Jags in the near future). For week one, at home against the Tennesee Titans, start Lewis.

Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams (vs Philadelphia)- Kendricks had a pretty solid preseason for the Rams in his rookie season. ESPN still thinks he is not going to emerge as the starting tight end, but I disagree. In four games, Kendrick was targeted 14 times, grabbing 11 of those for 155 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles will be looking to shut down the fantasy “studs” of Danny Amendola and Mike-Sims Walker, so Kendricks could find himself targeted often. If you are in a deeper league and are in need of starting a tight end, start Kendricks. He has upside and his value will only go up as the season goes on.

Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks (@San Francisco)- Miller is a solid tight end but never had great QB in Oakland. Now in Seattle, his fortune has not changed with a less than stellar quarterback up there. However, the Seahawks get the 49ers in week 1, which means Miller may have a chance to catch the ball. Like Kendricks, if you need a tight end to start in Week 1, Miller is also an excellent option.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (@Cleveland)- Gresham has excellent value heading into the season. A week 1 matchup against the Browns should also help. The Browns have a pretty decent offense led by Colt McCoy but sub-par defense, so this one could be a shootout. At first glance, Andy Dalton seems shaky at QB, but after watching him torch Carolina’s secondary, he should not have too much trouble with the Browns. This means Gresham should be due for a big game. Start him if you have him.

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4 Responses to “Sleeper Tight Ends to Start in Week 1”

  1. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    @rob – What do you think about Evan Moore? I’m being told he is Colt McCoy’s safety valve and that the Brown think so highly of him that he got a new contract. Ben Watson is dinged up and may not play. I’m between starting Kendrick and Moore in one PPR league and could use yor honest opinion…

  2. tom says:

    How can you say Zach Miller was not used properly in Oakland?

    2009 66 catches 805 yards 3 TDs
    2010 56 catches 778 yards 1 TD
    2011 44 catches 444 yards 3 TDs (and he was severly hampered by foot injury)

  3. Robert Edgcomb says:

    @ Fantasy Flukie- I am thinking the Browns-Bengals game is going to be a shootout, similar to one they had a few years back. Evan Moore will, or should, take the starting job at some point this season. Kendrick had a solid preseason with St. Louis and very well may be relied on heavily. Given the fact the Eagles have gave up the third most points to tight ends, I think Kendrick is the guy to go with.

    @Tom- For some reason I mixed up Miller with somebody else. I apologize. His numbers were solid, but TDs were weak. Not sure who I was thinking of when I wrote this.

  4. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    I’m gonna start Kendrick…. not that I love cbssportsline but they made a valid point in their news section yesterday about kendrick

    “Rams TE Lance Kendricks will face an Eagles defense in Week
    1 of the regular season that allowed the most Fantasy points
    against opposing tight ends in the entire league last
    season. They allowed the most touchdowns against opposing
    tight ends (11).

    The Eagles improved their pass defense this offseason,
    adding the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique
    Rodgers-Cromartie, but that is not going to change their
    approach against tight ends much. They are a blitz-heavy
    defense that tends to leave open spaces and that could allow
    Kendricks to get his season off to a good start. He remains
    more of a No. 2 TE option in most standard formats, but
    owners who like to play the matchup could take a chance on
    him. “

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