After a season that can only be described as “weird,” NFL football finally returns in full force this week! Along with a loaded slate of games comes the kickoff of 2021 fantasy football leagues everywhere. While it’s hard to advise going against your studs in the first week of a brand new season, several owners might find themselves already facing difficult situations when it comes to the back end of their Week 1 starting lineups. My word of advice: do not be shy about weighing positive matchups over a player’s preseason fantasy football ADP. For those looking to do just that in Week 1, this article is for you!
Read on for three fantasy football tight end “streamer” options for the opening week of the NFL season. Despite having mid-to-late round ADPs, these players have a great chance to make hay in favorable Week 1 matchups. In addition, at the end of the article is a list of some fantasy football tight ends who might be worth fading in difficult matchups this week.
Week 1 Fantasy Football TE Streamers
Tyler Higbee | Los Angeles Rams (vs. CHI)
With Matthew Stafford stepping in at quarterback, the Tyler Higbee fantasy football hype train has once again left the station. Sunday Night Football in Week 1 will be our first indication of whether said hype train can stay on the rails this time around. Higbee will once again have to compete with several talented pass-catchers for targets. That being said, a banged-up backfield could force L.A. to air it out frequently to begin the year.
In addition to the Rams’ in-house RB situation, their Week 1 tilt against the Chicago Bears could actually prove more fruitful for Higbee than most might think. While the Bears were a top-five adjusted run defense in 2020, they ranked outside of the top-10 against the pass. Furthermore, they allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to the tight ends position last season. Chicago’s secondary looked far from impressive in the preseason. Perhaps this unit is being overvalued based on what it was a few years ago and not what it is now. Higbee tops the list of TE fantasy football streamers for Week 1.
Chris Herndon | Minnesota Vikings (at CIN)
Former New York Jet Chris Herndon has lucked his way into a career-rejuvenating opportunity with the Vikings. A season-ending injury to Irv Smith Jr. left Minnesota scrambling at the tight end position. While Tyler Conklin’s name has also surfaced in the fantasy football streamers conversation ahead of the season, Herndon enters Week 1 on top of the depth chart. Behind Justin Jefferson and aging veteran Adam Thielen, the Vikings’ are thin on pass-catchers in general. With quarterback Kirk Cousins known to target his TEs with regularity, Herndon could be one of the biggest sleepers in fantasy this season. A Week 1 tilt against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that was bottom-five against the position last season only bolsters the case for Herndon to have a strong Vikings debut.
Zach Ertz | Philadelphia Eagles (at ATL)
Contrary to offseason reports and rumors, Zach Ertz is set to begin the season as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. The uncertainty regarding his future with the team has caused his fantasy football ADP to drop drastically from previous years. Ertz has barely been drafted at all in 12-team PPR leagues, going in the 14th round. That spot puts him a full five rounds behind Eagles teammate Dallas Goedert. Despite this, owners should note that Ertz still sits atop the team’s depth chart at tight end ahead of Week 1.
There are a number of unknowns in the Eagles’ offense heading into the new season. Philadelphia has a new QB in Jalen Hurts and a new offensive-minded coach in Nick Sirianni. Time will tell if both Ertz and Goedert can maintain consistent fantasy production in this offense. For Week 1, a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons bodes well for both. Atlanta surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to the tight end position last year. Given that the Falcons also boast an underrated run defense, the Eagles will likely have to pass often on Sunday. With Ertz remaining atop the depth chart, one has to believe he will be plenty involved. This might be the only time all year we can include Ertz as a “fantasy football streamers” flag.
Tight Ends Facing Tough Week 1 Matchups
- T.J. Hockenson | Detroit Lions (vs. SF)
- Mike Gesicki | Miami Dolphins (at NE)