Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 05:25 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 at 02:41 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: 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: Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - David Njoku vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Njoku was my top tight end start last week, and well ... all I can say is that you win some, you lose some. He has been productive overall with Baker Mayfield under center, however, and I like his matchup against the Chiefs. Enemy tight ends have averaged almost 75 yards and the fifth-most PPR points when facing them so far this season.

Greg Olsen vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Olsen was a real treat for fantasy owners a week ago, scoring a touchdown and over 15 PPR points in a win over the Ravens. He should remain in fantasy lineups against the Buccaneers, who have been hammered by opposing slot receivers all season long. Olsen has run more than 66 percent of his routes out of the slot for the Panthers.

Jimmy Graham vs. New England Patriots

Graham has been a massive disappointment for fantasy owners this season, as he's found the end zone just once (and that was all the way back in Week 1). Despite his mediocre numbers, I'd still ride him against a Patriots defense that has allowed five touchdowns and the sixth-most PPR points to opposing tight ends so far this season.

O.J. Howard vs. Carolina Panthers

Howard has produced 11-plus PPR points in each of his last four full games, and a fifth such performance is in the cards against the Panthers. Their defense has struggled to stop tight ends, allowing an average of more than 19 PPR points per game to the position this season. Look for Howard to produce in what could be a high-scorer.

Start 'Em: Jordan Reed vs. Atlanta Falcons, Kyle Rudolph vs. Detroit Lions
Sleepers: Vance McDonald at Baltimore Ravens, Chris Herndon at Miami Dolphins

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Trey Burton vs. Buffalo Bills

Burton is going to be tough to sit based on supply and demand during the bye apocalypse, but I'd temper your expectations ahead of a matchup in Buffalo. Opposing tight ends have averaged just 3.9 catches per game against their tough defense, which held fantasy superstar Rob Gronkowski to just 43 yards last Monday night.

Ed Dickson vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Dickson's value is on the rise, as he returned to action last week and finished with 13.4 PPR points in a win over the Lions. I wouldn't chase the fantasy points though, as a much tougher matchup against the Chargers is up next. Their defense has surrendered just three touchdowns and an average of 41.7 yards to enemy tight ends.

Antonio Gates vs. Seattle Seahawks

A future Hall of Famer, Gates is a big name with not much production in the stat sheets this season. I'd fade him this week (even if you're desperate), as he's facing a Seahawks defense that's surrendered just one touchdown, an average of a mere 28 receiving yards and the second-fewest PPR points to opposing tight ends this season.

Jordan Thomas vs. Denver Broncos

With six teams on a bye this week, fantasy owners could be scrambling to the waiver wire to add a tight end at what is a very thin position. However, I would avoid the temptation to add Thomas after his two-touchdown contest last week. He simply hasn't seen enough volume to roll the dice, and the Broncos are tough at home.

Sit 'Em: Geoff Swaim vs. Tennessee Titans (Mon.), Jeff Heuerman vs. Houston Texans,
Busts: Cameron Brate at Carolina Panthers, Charles Clay vs. Chicago Bears

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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