Start of the Week – O.J. Howard vs San Francisco 49ers
I know most people would like to put Hunter Henry as the start of the week, but I am not most people. I think O.J. Howard deserves the start of the week because he has to prove he can do damage after coming back from an season ending injury. He got to play a decent bit more than Hunter Henry as well which makes him a more experienced receiving tight end. New head coach Bruce Arians looks to make Howard a key part of the offense in rebuilding Winston’s scheme. Look for him start that campaign against the 49ers this weekend.
Hunter Henry vs Indianapolis Colts
Hunter Henry is a dominant receiving tight end that matches up with Philip Rivers quite well on the offense. Rivers didn’t have that spark anymore with his tight ends when Henry went down with a season ending injury. Now he is back and at 100% but now comes a mighty fine opportunity to start back in a flash with a defense that gave up a lot of points to the tight end position last year; the Indianapolis Colts.
Jared Cook vs Houston Texans
Cook originally wasn’t too high on my tight ends this season. However, the more I looked at it knowing that he wasn’t going to get the crazy production ratios he had last year I was fine with him. Looking past that and just focusing on the now, Cook can be a viable option in the passing game early against a Houston Texans team that just lost all star Jadeveon Clowney.
Austin Hooper vs Minnesota Vikings
Look I get what the buzz is about Hooper playing against the Vikings. It doesn’t look that great but I advise you to consider this. Some people probably picked him as a TE1 this year. I would urge you to carefully play this one. He is on the verge of a decent season. He will get targeted in this game and hopefully make something out of it especially with a lot of coverage going to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
David Njoku vs Tennessee Titans
Vance McDonald vs New England Patriots
Mark Andrews vs Miami Dolphins
Sit of the Week – Greg Olsen vs Los Angeles Rams
I can say confidently that Greg Olsen is not the tight end he used to be He has been plagued by injuries the last two seasons of his career and I see him getting himself hurt this season as well. As for this particular game, the Rams defense is still stocked of crafty veterans who can bring something to the table. Do not be surprised if Cam targets Olsen very little in this game especially with star safety Eric Weddle covering him. I do not expect much so that is why he is the sit of the week.
Delanie Walker vs Cleveland Browns
Another veteran player I am concerned about is Tennessee Titan tight end Delanie Walker. Last year he went down with a season ending injury and the Titans suffered for it until they figured out a run game that finally worked. He is Mariota’s favorite target so number one he should be covered quite a bit if they follow that simple fact. Two, there are new mouths to feed in Tennessee including Adam Humphries and rookie wideout A.J. Brown not to mention Corey Davis and running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. The Browns defense looks amazing on paper and they should look to keep Walker in check this week.
Eric Ebron vs Los Angeles Chargers
This one pains me to write about, but it needs to be addressed. There are a handful of reasons why Ebron needs to sit this week. One, he was better when Andrew Luck was there. I am not saying Jacoby Brissett won’t target him as much, but the results from last year just won’t be there. Two, Jack Doyle is healthy and the only reason Ebron got as much opportunity as he did was because Doyle was on the shelf. Not anymore I am afraid. Finally, even with the loss of Derwin James this team barely gives any love to tight ends. Put him on the bench this week and pray for better results down the season.
T.J. Hockenson vs Arizona Cardinals
Some of you drafted Hockenson and that is just fine. He is a good tight end that should see more time once the season gets underway. However, to start him in this one would be foolish even if it is against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Jesse James is still listed above him on the depth chart. I do not see that changing until a little ways down the road. Plus Kerryon Johnson is going to run a lot in this game which means James is the better tight end to block for run coverage. Therefore Hockenson’s time won’t be very long. Save him for a better occasion and do not start this rookie week one.
Darren Walker vs Denver Broncos
Jason Witten vs New York Giants
Kyle Rudolph vs Atlanta Falcons