The TE position is always one of the trickiest for fantasy football managers to navigate, and 2023 is no different. With injuries keeping two of the top options out of action, and less-than-stellar performances from other starters, the TE waiver wire could be a busy place in Week 2.
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Top TE Waiver Wire Targets in Week 2
It is almost impossible to make definitive decisions that you are completely happy with at the TE position. For many, they feel that streaming the position is the way to go. If you are looking for insurance for the likes of Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews in Week 2, streaming is probably your best option.
However, if you want to make a wholesale change at the position, then the Week 2 waiver wire might be the best bet to secure a TE option for the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at which options stand out this week as the top options to add.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (16% Rostered)
Unsurprisingly, Hunter Henry was the clear TE1 ahead of Mike Gesicki. He caught five of six targets for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Henry is probably a touchdown-dependent TE1, but so is every other non-Kelce TE. If you need a TE, you can certainly do worse.
FAAB Recommendation: 1-2%
Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers (10% Rostered)
As expected, the tight end position is a bit of a wasteland. That was exacerbated in Week 1 by the absences of Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews.
Not great: Hayden Hurst tossed Bryce Young's first career NFL TD into the stands.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2023
Hayden Hurst entered the 4 p.m. games as the highest-scoring TE on the week. He caught five of seven targets for 41 yards and a short touchdown. Now, to be fair, if Hurst didn’t score, that line wouldn’t be that exciting. But Bryce Young looked good enough, and the Panthers are severely lacking in the wide receiver department. You can certainly do worse.
FAAB Recommendation: 0-2%
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (5% Rostered)
It’s really impressive that Zach Ertz managed to turn six receptions into just 21 yards. Rostering and starting Cardinals players isn’t necessarily something you want to do. But the man saw 10 targets. That’s more than any TE entering the late-afternoon games.
Ertz can’t really move anymore, but he’s still a reliable set of hands. If you need a warm body at the tight end position, Ertz is at least a safe bet for a bunch of targets.
FAAB Recommendation: 0-1%
Which TEs Should You Roster in Fantasy Football?
Should You Roster Hunter Henry or Chigoziem Okonkwo?
Okonkwo was a very trendy name in fantasy circles this offseason. Managers were tantalized by his elite targets and yards-per-route run rates as a rookie.
Unfortunately, Okonkwo still plays on the Titans. At best, he is the third option in the passing game behind Hopkins and Burks. At worst…well…you saw Week 1.
It’s not all bad, though. Okonkwo played a career-high 83% of the snaps and ran 30 routes. Those are good peripherals. He just didn’t command targets.
Henry was unsurprisingly the Patriots TE1, as he was last season. However, Mike Gesicki did play on 40% of the snaps himself. The Patriots ran more 12 personnel with DeVante Parker out.
Henry greatly benefitted from the Patriots running 80 offensive plays. He ran 42 routes, yet saw just six targets.
Ultimately, both look like touchdown-or-bust TE2s. A week ago, I would’ve said Okonkwo. But I’m willing to overreact to Week 1. Give me Henry.
Should You Roster Hayden Hurst or Gerald Everett?
Whereas I’m more buying Henry’s performance as legitimate, the same cannot be said for Hurst. The final line was nice, but Hurst played just 53% of the snaps. While he was firmly ahead of both Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas individually, collectively, he played just eight more snaps than them.
Adam Thielen was banged up and DJ Chark didn’t play. When those guys are healthy, I expect them to be the focal point of this passing attack and not Hurst.
Everett didn’t exactly give fantasy managers a reason to be excited, either, though. In a game where the Chargers ran 80 plays, he ran just 25 routes and saw three targets. The split between him and Donald Parham was closer than anticipated, and it was Parham getting the goal-line looks.
With that said, I am not jumping ship on Everett, yet. I don’t really want either of these guys as my TE1 in fantasy, but if I had to have one, give me the guy on the high-octane offense.
Should You Roster Zach Ertz or Luke Musgrave?
There was no Trey McBride takeover in Arizona. Even with the Cardinals being noncompetitive this season, and Ertz coming off a midseason ACL tear, he was still the clear lead TE, outsnapping McBride 48-23.
The fact that Ertz saw 10 targets gives him a solid weekly floor. The fact that he managed just 21 yards on six catches is…a sight to behold.
As Will Smith once said to Tommy Lee Jones, you’ve got “Old and busted…and new hotness.” Ertz will get you from point A to point B, but nothing more. Musgrave might not get you there at all, but he also might find a crazy shortcut and get you there in record time.
Musgrave is a rookie. Yet, he immediately slotted in as the Packer’s TE1. He played 75% of the snaps and actually led the team in routes run. Given his talent profile and the Packers’ injury issues at WR, I’m going with the new hotness all-day.
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