Before checking out these guys, check out Waleed Ismail’s Waiver Wire Week 2 Cheat Sheet to see if anyone slipped through the cracks. To qualify for this article, a player must have below 50% ownership in Yahoo! leagues. One of these fantasy football sleeper TE clocks in at below 10% ownership for you deep divers. Here’s the rub, though. Those are the standards. This week, tight end ownership all ballooned, leaving us with some truly bleak options. All three of these guys are available in fewer than 15% of Yahoo! leagues, with two guys dropping in below five-percent ownership. Hey, at least I’ll look good if I’m right?
Vernon Davis versus Dallas (14% Owned)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Jordan Reed is unlikely to play on Sunday as he remains in the NFL concussion protocol. Now stop me if you’ve heard this: without Jordan Reed around, Vernon Davis makes for a great fantasy football plug-and-play option this week. Last week, he filled in for Jordan Reed, and turned seven targets into four receptions, 59 yards, and one of the biggest big boi touchdown of week one. This is Vernon Davis’ fourth season with Washington, and he’s played seventeen games without Jordan Reed in that span. In those games, he averages 44 yards and 3.29 scores per game. However, his touchdowns push him into top-eight TE territory in all three formats.
This week, he gets a Dallas Cowboys defense that Evan Engram bullied hard last weekend. Engram is a major talent, and the Cowboys defense was helpless against him. However, the Giants might have found a weakness in this Cowboys defense last week. Davis is your best bet of these three to return production, and luckily for you, at 14% ownership, you can likely pluck him off your waiver wire right now.
C.J. Uzomah versus San Francisco (3% Owned)
I made myself one rule for the sleeper tight ends this year: don’t use C.J. Uzomah. Uzomah’s siren song repeatedly called me last year. He did just enough to flirt with TE1 relevance before going two catches for 16 yards, and breaking your heart. Well guess what? C.J. Uzomah’s back, baby! He pulled off a classic C.J. Uzomah gets your hopes up game last week, posting 66 yards on four targets. He split targets with Tyler Eifert, but Eifert looked every bit the part of a man who just can’t stop getting hurt. He gave off vague Tin Man “oil can” vibes when he moved. Without A.J. Green around, Andy Dalton needs a replacement big target, and Uzomah fits the bill.
This week, he gets a 49ers defense that should have been torched for two Cameron Brate touchdowns last weekend. Unlucky (for Brate) penalties wiped those touchdowns off the board, sparing the 49ers defense the sting of ranking high in fantasy football tight end targets. However, the Niners did give up the plays in spirit. We can’t forget that. Uzomah is deserving of his 3% ownership, and like the guy below, he’s better as a fantasy football DFS punt play.
Cameron Brate at Carolina (1% Owned)
Chances are by the time you read this, you’ll already know if I look stupid or smart about this Cameron Brate take. Here’s what it comes down to: Brate officially had two targets, and two receptions, for eight yards. Unofficially, penalties wiped a huge fantasy football day for Brate. Jameis’s former favorite non-Mike Evans target had two touchdowns called back on penalty. This tells us that Jameis still has eyes for Brate, likely because the defense has eyes on O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans.
This one is a longshot against the Panthers, but I like it for what it seemed Jameis wanted to do in the red zone. The Panthers already allowed one marginal tight end (Tyler Higbee) to score on them. Why not make it two? They certainly didn’t mind it last season, where they allowed the seventh-most tight end fantasy football production. This is the ultimate desperation play, but could pay off huge as a daily fantasy football punt play.