Published: Oct. 3, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 5, 2018 at 11:31 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: 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 Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Byes: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Vance McDonald vs. Atlanta Falcons

McDonald has seen a combined 10 targets over the last two weeks, and he's also seen a bigger snap count than Jesse James in that time. I like him as a streamer against the Falcons, who allowed 13.8 PPR points to Tyler Eifert in fewer than four quarters last week. This could be a very high-scoring affair at Heinz Field, too.

George Kittle vs. Arizona Cardinals

Kittle's matchup this week isn't a great one, as the Cardinals have allowed no touchdowns and an average of just 9.82 PPR points per game to tight ends. Still, the fact that he's seeing a high volume of targets (seven per game) makes him a startable asset at a position that is as thin as I can ever remember it being in a season.

Austin Hooper vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Trying to figure out what Hooper will do on a week-to-week basis is difficult at best, but it's hard to ignore an upcoming matchup against the Steelers. Their defense has allowed three touchdowns and the most PPR points to tight ends (20.5 PPG) in the entire league. Hooper is still a free agent in most leagues for owners who are in need.

Ricky Seals-Jones vs. San Francisco 49ers

Seals-Jones isn't putting up big fantasy numbers, but he does rank tied for 11th in targets among tight ends and faces a great matchup against the Niners up next. San Francisco's defense has surrendered a total of four touchdowns and an average of almost 16 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends so far this season.

Start 'Em: Jared Cook at Los Angeles Chargers, Kyle Rudolph at Philadelphia Eagles
Sleepers: C.J. Uzomah vs. Miami Dolphins, Geoff Swaim at Houston Texans

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - David Njoku vs. Baltimore Ravens

Njoku posted a nice stat line in last week's loss to the Raiders, and he's on the fringe of being a TE1 due to the lack of depth at the position. Just keep in mind that the Ravens defense has allowed just one score and an average of 10 PPR points per game to opposing tight ends. Don't be surprised if Njoku struggles this weekend.

Antonio Gates vs. Oakland Raiders

The matchup for Gates is a good one, as he faces an Oakland defense that was hammered by Browns tight ends just one week ago. However, it's hard to trust Gates when he's seeing just 34 percent of the snaps and is averaging 16 routes a game. Gates is also very touchdown dependent, which makes him an even bigger risk.

Benjamin Watson vs. Washington Redskins

Watson is coming off a 3.3-point stink bomb in a win over the Giants, and I'd keep him on the fantasy sidelines against another NFC East team, the Redskins. Quarterbacks have averaged a mere 52.4 passer rating when targeting the slot against the Skins, and Watson has run 55.7 percent of his routes out of the slot. He's a fade for me.

Jeff Heuerman vs. New York Jets

Heuerman made some noise in Monday night's loss to the Chiefs, as he saw seven targets and finished with 9.7 PPR points. While he could see more targets with Jake Butt out of action, he's still not a player to consider unless the matchup makes sense. The Jets have been tough on tight ends, so I'd keep Heuerman on the wire this week.

Sit 'Em: Charles Clay vs. Tennessee Titans, Mike Gesicki at Cincinnati Bengals
Busts: Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Goedert vs. Minnesota Vikings

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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!


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