Week 3 Tight End Sleepers: The Njoku is on You
Jesse James was your TE2 overall in Week 2, only outdone by Travis Kelce. He was on my Week 2 tight end sleepers piece but his 138-yard, one touchdown performance puts him on everyone’s radar. Let’s see what we can find in the Week 3 tight end sleepers piece.
Some of the tight ends in these pieces are going to be dart throws. Meaning, they could wind up not scoring any Fantasy points. They are sleepers for that reason. I want to provide you names you may not be thinking about that maybe you should.
This can be viewed as an opportunistic approach for savvy Fantasy players that stream the position. So, let’s dive into some research and find a diamond in the (very) rough for the Week 3 tight end sleepers.
Week 3 Tight End Sleepers
David Njoku. Cleveland Browns
Everyone that follows my work knows that I am a big David Njoku fan. So, I am obviously not a fan of Njoku’s production through two weeks.
He was on the field for 88 percent of the Brown’s snaps in Week 1 and that went down to 74 percent in Week 2. He actually was targeted more in Week 2 and his four catches for 20 yards was better than his output in the opener.
Njoku’s skill set has not been utilized thus far in the Browns offense. Njoku averaged over 16 yards per reception at the University of Miami. The Browns offense loves to use Njoku in the screen game because of his size and speed, but that has limited him to an inexcusable 4.74 yards per catch.
The Browns play the Jets on Thursday and they just gave up a touchdown to Dolphin’s tight end A.J. Derby in Week 2. I am confident that Njoku will be used more against the Jets and can be put into your lineup.
Keep an eye on Njoku’s targets Thursday night. If the pass attempts are not being delivered to the athletic tight end down the field, there may be cause for concern. But, he should receive some red zone love in Week 3 which will help his Fantasy opportunity.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
Now that Greg Olsen is out with a foot injury, there is a hole to fill in the Carolina Panthers offense. After playing a little over 50 percent of snaps with Olsen active, Ian Thomas was on the field for 96 percent of the Panthers offensive snaps in Week 2.
Thomas was only targeted three times against the Falcons, but his presence on the field gives him a chance to have some value.
Thomas will be going up against the Bengals who gave up a touchdown to a tight end in both Week 1 and 2. Thomas can be used as a flier in deeper leagues but do not be surprised if the 2018 fourth-round pick finds himself in the end zone on Sunday.
Virgil Green, Los Angeles Chargers
Virgil Green out-snapped Antonio Gates (54 percent compared to 40 percent) in Week 1 which was surprising. Green is a great blocking tight end and that is why he is on the Chargers.
In a blowout win against the Bills, the Chargers decided to rest Gates and Green lined up on 42 snaps compared to 11. What was even more surprising was Green’s usage in the passing game in Week 2. Two receptions for 21 yards in Week 1 is not inspiring, but three for 55 in Week 2 can get it done.
The reason Green is even on this list, however, is because the Chargers will be playing the Rams. The Rams are stingy against wide receivers and have barely given up anything to the position thus far in 2018. If they lock up the Charger’s wideouts, Philip Rivers may be more inclined to target his tight end.
I imagine that Gates will see more time on the field in Week 3, but Green is a sneaky play at the tight end position for an offense that will need to be creative to move the ball. He can be used as a cheap DFS dart and can be started in deeper leagues.
Ready to amp up your Fantasy Football prep even more? Check out The Fantasy Black Book Show, where Joe Pisapia, Scott Bogman, and The Welsh bring the goods every week.