Week 1 was a victory for fantasy owners who waited it out in the draft and rolled with guys like Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas and
Zach Sudfeld , I mean, Jared Cook. There's plenty more from where their performances came from, as well as the usual studs who asserted themselves as top options once again.
Now that things are a little less mysterious in Week 2, there's a better understanding of which tight ends are for real, and which only look the part. Along with the top 25 tight end plays this week, let's take a closer look at a few must-start studs and potential duds with the second week of football on the horizon.
WEEK TWO STUDS
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns: We saw Julius Thomas and Peyton Manning destroy the Ravens defense in the season's kickoff, and that unit will have its hands full once again this week. Cameron benefited from the Browns dialing up 59 pass plays a week ago, and though that total is an unlikely mark for a second week in a row, Cameron will still be the focal point of the Browns offense with Josh Gordon remaining sidelined. Cameron is a mismatch nightmare for the Ravens linebackers and safety Michael Huff, who allowed five catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns in his Ravens debut (h/t Pro Football Focus). Three of those catches, 91 of those yards and two of those touchdowns specifically came from Thomas.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers: A big, physical cornerback in Richard Sherman will have a receiver of similar stature to key-in on in Anquan Boldin, making for one of the premier matchups of the week. Where does this leave Vernon Davis? Probably wide open. Against a stout Seahawks defense, teams had success racking up yards from the tight end position a year ago, and with Davis appearing to be far more involved in the 49ers passing game this season, that trend could continue.
Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos: Last Thursday was no fluke. Peyton Manning is going to take what is given to him by the defense, and Thomas will capitalize as long as teams aim to take away big plays from the talented trio of receivers lined up alongside him. After a breakout performance versus the Ravens, teams may no longer see Thomas as the lesser of the evils and instead sell-out to stop him. That could put a clamp on his numbers in the future, but the Giants just don't have the personnel to take him out of the game in the short-term. Start Thomas with confidence once again.
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WEEK TWO DUDS
Antonio Gates, San Diego Chagers: For the second week in a row, Gates makes the "dud" section on the heels of a two-catch, 49-yard performance and saw just four of San Diego's 27 targets. His job will get easier in Week 2 with Philadelphia's shaky safeties lining up across from him, but after years of being banged-up and having difficulty drawing targets on an offense devoid of receiving weapons, there's no reason to instill much confidence in Gates at this point.
Zach Sudfeld, New England Patriots: It's not that Sudfeld won't have his opportunities, although at this point, the Patriots would only need him by default with their depletion of offensive weapons. But after posting a goose egg in his debut and dealing with hamstring issues all week, there will be better options to play due to the tight end position being so deep. Sudfeld's a quintessential "wait and see" player.
Dallas Clark, Baltimore Ravens: With his team in desperation mode, Clark caught seven passes for 87 yards on 12 targets. The key word is desperation, as Joe Flacco aired the ball out a career-high 62 times in the team's blowout loss to the Broncos. Despite the money that the Ravens paid Flacco this offseason, a 50-60 attempt game is not going to be routine for the reigning Super Bowl MVP. Neither is Clark's output from a week ago.
Here's how the top 25 fantasy tight ends stack up in Week 2: