Season Preview: Denver Nuggets
Quietly, the Denver Nuggets have turned into an offensive juggernaut led by a budding superstar in center Nikola Jokic.
It was another week of top ten surprises on the tight end leaderboard. That's what we expect every week in NFL Fantasy, but especially in a week when 14 different tight ends grabbed touchdown passes.
The thing is, even with all those touchdowns, a paltry six tight ends managed to score 10 or more standard NFL Fantasy points. Zach Ertz and Jimmy Graham outscored 8 of their touchdown-scoring peers without crossing the goal line.
But they didn’t outscore Will Dissly, the rookie blocking tight end in Seattle who grabbed two big catches and a touchdown on a late drive Monday. Austin Hooper made his annual appearance in the top ten, too.
Who steps up in Week 3? Who disappears again? Well, it could be these guys:
Yeah, I know. This is a complete turnaround from my stance last week when I predicted Dissly to be a flash-in-the-pan. But that was before he took five more targets in Week 2 and was the guy Wilson looked for in desperation time.
Wilson is still short on proven receivers and Dissly seems to have earned his trust. Then there is the Cowboys. Early returns suggest the Cowboys might have a better defense than we thought. But there is just as much evidence the Panthers and Giants might not have the offenses they expected, either.
That said, Giants tight end Evan Engram managed to catch all 7 of his targets and score a touchdown. My gut says Russell Wilson will introduce Dissly to the home crowd with a similar opportunity.
SATURDAY UPDATE- Indianapolis' Jack Doyle suffered a hip injury and has been ruled out. This sit 'em just became a MUST START, even against a stout TE fantasy defense like the Eagles.
How can you sit the overall TE-6? You take away his touchdowns, like the Eagles will do this week. Without those two scores, Ebron is not even the top tight end on his own team.
He can’t score every week, and Andrew Luck is hitting Jack Doyle as often as his new teammate. Philadelphia plays tight ends very well. In a game they better win for their own safety in Philadelphia, the Eagles make starting either Colt tight end a bad idea in Week 3.
This should be a no-brainer, but thanks to Garrett Celek’s touchdown last week, there is concern registered about Kittle’s status with Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kittle has the eighth-most yards among all NFL tight ends. 90 more than Celek. San Francisco plays against the team that just allowed 166 yards and a touchdown to the Steelers’ tight ends. Heck, they even let Virgil Green and Antonio Gates catch 4 passes in Week 1… and Gates was still in his travel suit!
Kittle will be fine, even if Celek joins the fun with another touchdown this week.
It’s hard to sit anyone with two good hands in Monday Night’s Buccaneers-Steelers matchup. There should be enough NFL Fantasy points for everyone. That especially goes for someone who has caught all nine of his targets this year.
But if OJ Howard didn’t take advantage of a sleeping Eagles defense and turn a 3-yard crossing pattern into a 75-yard unmolested jog to the end zone, no one would be thinking of him. He would have 9 catches for 75 yards over two games.
Howard had two huge plays last season where he got lost in a pile and emerged uncovered for long touchdowns. It doesn’t happen every week. Even against a relatively slow Steelers defense, I don’t see it happening this week.
There is little reason for this except that Tyler Eifert is due to have a game soon. Andy Dalton shocked everyone by taking it to the Ravens last week. He had a good game against the Colts, too. He barely used Eifert.
This week, the script flips. Dalton will have a tougher time of it against an angry Panthers defense playing at home for the first time this year. That forces Dalton to use his reliable tight end like he used to.
It’s just a hunch, but Tyler Eifert wouldn’t be the craziest name to appear in the top ten NFL Fantasy tight end scorers list, would it?
Jared Cook followed up his big opening day by catching all four of his targets against Denver. So naturally, he needs to sit.
Cook did not score last week, leaving him with only 49 yards and 4.9 NFL Fantasy points. That is about what I expect against the Dolphins’ surprising defense.
I am generally down on the Raiders due to the cross-country early game scenario. But I also see how Jon Gruden radically changed his game plan to adapt to defenses in the first two weeks. This week, I don’t think a Dolphins-specific plan would benefit Cook.
Every bone in my NFL Fantasy-loving body screams to sit Austin Hooper. He got his annual touchdown and made his top-ten scorers’ appearance.
But if Devonta Freeman is out again in Week 3, can the Falcons go away from the plan that led to four successful red zone opportunities? We’ve been screaming at Atlanta to use Hooper (and Julio Jones) in the red zone. They finally did. It’s a nervous call to sit Austin Hooper.
Oh! And in case his 1.5 NFL Fantasy point game in Week 2 concerns you, I am going to give Rob Gronkowski another shot this week against Detroit. Just sayin’.