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Week 1 Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

Most fantasy football drafts are in the books, but that does not mean everyone has their Week 1 tight end on their roster.

Were you the one wishing Baltimore’s Mark Andrews would fall to you and instead you got stuck with Detroit’s Jesse James? Did you pat yourself on the back when you drafted New York’s Chris Herndon with a late-round pick, only to punch yourself in the face when you realized he was suspended for the first four games? Did you flat-out forget to draft a tight end and end up with two kickers instead? If you fall into any of these categories, this column is for you.

This is the first of my weekly tight end waiver wire picks columns! Even though the season has not started yet, the waiver wire is open for business in most leagues, so if you need a tight end you should be able to grab one. So without further ado, here are my tight end waiver wire picks for Week 1:

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TE Waiver Wire Options for Week 1

Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

Dissly had fantasy owners thinking they had discovered the second coming of Rob Gronkowski early on last season when he racked up six receptions for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns during Seattle’s opening two contests. Then instead of tearing up the league, he went and tore up his knee. Season over, fantasy value over, thanks for nothing!

Dissly is home this week and facing a Cincinnati secondary who ranked dead last in pass defense in 2018. With former top target Doug Baldwin retired, receivers David Moore and DK Metcalf banged-up, and backup tight end Ed Dickson missing a month with his own injury problem, Dissly might get 6-to-10 opportunities since quarterback Russell Wilson does not have many healthy options to throw to. Dissly should be a nice play this week, and in the coming weeks if he stays injury-free.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New York Giants)

Our ears and brains have been saved from another year of Witten’s mindless meanderings during Monday Night Football now that he shockingly came out of retirement to suit up for Jerry Jones for one more year. While Witten will not win any running races versus corners or safeties (averaged under 10 yards per catch between 2015 and 2017), he can probably still catch four-to-six passes per game and score four-to-six touchdowns this season.

Witten has had success over the years against the division rival Giants (four TD in his last six games against them), and New York’s pass defense is below-average coming into the season, especially in the pass rush department. Can you not see Dak Prescott flinging a ball to Witten in the end zone in a Hallmark movie moment?  I can. Pick up Witten for this one-week play and he could be your backup tight end the rest of the way. While he might not be available in 12 or 14-team leagues (especially if you have some Cowboys fans in them), he should be on the waiver wire in many if not most 10-team leagues. 

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

Miami seems to pulling a page out of the Philadelphia 76ers playbook from a few years ago and tanking before the season even starts. Now that the Dolphins have traded OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills and LB Kiko Alonso away in the past week, the outlook for the 2019 campaign looks bleak in terms of having any hope for a division title or playoff berth.

Miami’s three-headed receiving corps of Albert Wilson, Devante Parker and Jakeem Grant has a better chance of being terrible than tolerable. That means Gesicki, who finished the preseason strong with a solid showing in the Dolphins final exhibition game (three receptions for 59 yards), could become a bigger factor in the offense now that Stills is gone. Starting signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick made a habit of throwing to his tight ends in Tampa Bay, so he could milk some yards out of Gesicki. Gesicki still needs seasoning and needs his head to catch up to his body so he can prosper at the NFL level, but he will certainly get many chances this season as Miami rebuilds, and it will start Week 1 in a game where the Dolphins might be forced to throw a lot in the second half. Gesicki should be available in 20-team leagues at this juncture, let alone traditional 10-team or 12-team formats.


Other Options

Charles Clay, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Detroit Lions)

I know Clay is coming off the worst year of his career and is a tight end in an offense that prefers using four-WR sets, hence why Ricky Seals-Jones was shown the door. But if Kyler Murray and the Cards throw 30-40 times against a below-par Detroit squad, Clay is bound to catch a few passes and possibly stumble into a short touchdown.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups