Published: Dec. 18, 2018 at 06:06 p.m.
Updated: Dec. 20, 2018 at 03:00 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: 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.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Eric Ebron vs. New York Giants

Ebron is coming off a brutal stat line with just eight yards against the Cowboys. If you were able to survive that stinker, I'd keep Ebron in your starting lineup when the Colts host the Giants. Their defense has allowed five catches per game overall and almost 13 points a game to tight ends in the last four weeks, so Ebron should rebound.

David Njoku vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Njoku continues to struggle in the stat sheets, scoring no more than 6.5 fantasy points over his last three games. Still, an upcoming matchup against the Bengals makes him a viable matchup-based starter. In his last game against the AFC North rival, Njoku went for 63 yards, one touchdown and scored an impressive 17.3 points.

Evan Engram vs. Indianapolis Colts

Engram, listed as a start 'em last week, led the Giants with 12 targets and paced all tight ends with 15.5 points. I'd continue to ride the Ole Miss product against a Colts defense that has surrendered a league-high 72.6 yards per contest and the 10th-most fantasy points (14.4 PPG) to opposing tight ends this season. Start Engram once again.

Austin Hooper vs. Carolina Panthers

Hooper went without a single point in last week's win over the Cardinals, but he's still in the TE1 mix this week when the Falcons face Carolina. The Panthers defense has been generous to tight ends, allowing nine touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to the position. Hooper also beat them for a touchdown in Week 2.

Start 'Em: Jared Cook at Denver Broncos (Mon.), Cameron Brate at Dallas Cowboys
Sleepers: C.J. Uzomah at Cleveland Browns

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Jimmy Graham vs. New York Jets

Graham, listed as a sit 'em last week, caught three passes for 32 yards in a loss to the Bears. He's now scored fewer than 6.5 fantasy points in five of his last six games, and a matchup against the Jets makes him even tougher to trust. Gang Green has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Trey Burton vs. San Francisco 49ers

Burton is a tough player to sit at what is a thin tight end position, but I would temper expectations when he faces the Niners. Their defense has surrendered an average of fewer than 40 yards a game to the position, not to mention just 9.34 fantasy points. As a result, Burton should be considered a risk-reward starter in championship week.

Gerald Everett vs. Arizona Cardinals

Everett has failed to produce more than 46 yards or a touchdown in each of his last three games, and this week's tough road matchup against the Cardinals makes him a sit 'em for me. Their defense has been tough on tight ends this season, allowing just three touchdowns and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position overall.

Ian Thomas vs. Atlanta Falcons

Thomas could be on the radar of some desperate fantasy owners this weekend, but he's a tough sell with a title on the line. He saw just four targets a week ago, and now he'll be catching passes from Taylor Heinicke, the Old Dominion product who has five career completions at the NFL level. That makes Thomas even more of a risk.

Sit 'Em: Vance McDonald at New Orleans Saints, Chris Herndon vs. Green Bay Packers
Busts: None

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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