It has not been the best of starts for Washington, and I’m not only talking just about the final result of the season-opener. Before Week 1’s kickoff, Washington had already lost Jordan Reed to injury (concussion, again, which is worth monitoring going forward), and after the curtains closed it was Derrius Guice who went on to undergo surgery earlier this week, and thus has been placed on Injured Reserve. The replacements of both players have brought old-school feelings to the nation’s capital: Adrian Peterson will start at the running back position and Vernon Davis already did as the leading tight end in Week 1. And how he did. Not since 2017 had Davis scored more than 15.5 DKFP, finishing Week 1 at 15.9 and as the sixth-best tight end. Talk about a renaissance.
Davis wasn’t a sure thing to start the game with Reed questionable until close to game-time. But once he took the field, Davis couldn’t be stopped. He was targeted seven times and caught four passes for 59 yards and a ridiculous 48-yard touchdown that put Washington ahead. Finishing sixth in fantasy points with such a low volume of opportunities speaks of Davis’ efficiency. Eight tight ends had more targets than Davis in Week 1, and nine finished with more receptions. He was still able to outpace most of them and give a higher return to his owners. Only Terry McLaurin was able to score more fantasy points than him for Washington, yet all of his production came down to a massive 69-yard reception and another one for 22 yards. We can’t expect Davis to put on great performances like this one each passing week, but he’s part of a bare-bones offense and one of the most reliable options either Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins will have around.
Fantasy Impact: Tight ends are natural-born fliers. Putting one of the under-the-radar TEs in your lineup within streaming the position week-to-week is a sound strategy, and Davis is one of those names that you will almost always find in the waiver wire without much trouble. With Jordan Reed concussed — and in my opinion, carrying a real chance of putting pause or ending his career if he wants to remain healthy in a few years time — Davis has everything going his way for at least this week. The Cowboys look like a good matchup for Davis. They allowed the ninth-most points to the position in 2018 and Evan Engram feasted on them last week (11 receptions, 116 yards, one touchdown). Not that we can expect a monster game from him, but Davis offers a sure floor and will provide some points here and there against Dallas, if only due to the lack of receiving options and the pure volume of chances he could see.
Recommendation: Start (only in deep leagues)