Published: Sept. 20, 2017 at 10:06 a.m.
Updated: Sept. 23, 2017 at 01:26 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Tight ends


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will not be featured. NFL researcher Careen Falcone and former #2 FF World Player Rank and NFFC Platinum and Ultimate Champion Derek Pierson have contributed to the column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Zach Ertz vs. New York Giants

Ertz continued his streak of PPR success last week, recording five catches and 14.7 fantasy points against the Chiefs. Second in targets behind Jason Witten among tight ends after two weeks, the veteran should remain in active lineups versus a Giants defense that has allowed an average of 18.9 PPR fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Kyle Rudolph vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rudolph put up just 8.5 PPR points with Case Keenum under center, but he was on the field for 95 percent of the Vikings offensive snaps and saw a team-high six targets. While he's a better option when Sam Bradford, the veteran should remain active in fantasy leagues regardless of the quarterback at what's becoming a very thin position.

Jason Witten vs. Arizona Cardinals

I hit a home run with Witten in Week 1, but whiffed on him like Joey Gallo last week. I'm going to jump back on the bandwagon again, as Witten leads all tight end in targets, catches and fantasy points after two weeks. He also has a strong matchup versus a Cardinals defense that allowed 15.9 PPR points to Jack Doyle just one week ago.

Jack Doyle vs. Cleveland Browns

Doyle got back into the good graces of fantasy owners last week, posting eight catches (eight targets) for 79 yards and 15.9 PPR points against the Cardinals. He'll be in position to post another nice line against the Browns, who have allowed an NFL-high 19 catches and an average of 23.7 PPR points per contest to tight ends this season.

Austin Hooper vs. Detroit Lions

Hooper has been up or down in the first two weeks of the season, but I think he'll trend back in a positive direction in a matchup against the Lions. Their defense allowed a touchdown and 14.7 PPR fantasy points to Evan Engram a week ago, not to mention an average of almost 14 PPR points to tight ends on their home field a season ago.

Sleepers: Martellus Bennett vs. Bengals, Evan Engram at Eagles
Deep sleepers: Jared Cook at Redskins, Ed Dickson vs. Saints

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Antonio Gates vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Gates broke the NFL record for the most touchdown catches by a tight end (112) last week, making it possible that the Chargers will now begin the process of passing the torch to Hunter Henry. Whether or not that starts this week remains to be seen, but it's hard to start Gates against a Chiefs defense that can be tough on tight ends.

Benjamin Watson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Watson had a solid game last week, catching eight passes for 91 yards against Cleveland. While that makes him a viable option in PPR leagues at a weak tight end spot, don't be surprised to see Watson's totals fall against what is a tough Jaguars defense. Keep in mind, the touchdown Delanie Walker scored on them last week was a rush.

Cameron Brate vs. Minnesota Vikings

Brate, who scored an impressive eight touchdowns a season ago, was all but invisible in the stat sheets last week (two catches, 24 yards) for the Buccaneers season opener. Next up is a difficult road matchup against the Vikings, who held opposing tight ends to just four touchdown catches and an average of 11.66 PPR points last season.

David Njoku vs. Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy owners might look to Njoku off the waiver wire at a thin tight end position after he scored his first NFL touchdown a week ago. I'd avoid such a move, however, as the Miami (FL) product has seen less than 50 percent of the Browns offensive snaps and just four targets in his first two contests. He's more of a long-term fantasy option.

Zach Miller vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller is one of the most targeted tight ends in the league, ranking sixth overall at the position. It hasn't related to much fantasy production, however, as he ranks 15th in PPR scoring after two weeks. The Steelers kept Kyle Rudolph in check last week (without Sam Bradford), so don't expect Miller to make a major impact.

Busts: Julius Thomas at Jets, O.J. Howard at Vikings
Bust bewares: Jimmy Graham at Titans, Eric Ebron vs. Falcons

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy football news, updates and analysis? Follow Michael on both Twitter @Michael_Fabiano or Facebook!


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