You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.
The Chargers invested a lot in Henry during the offseason and we have had high expectations for him. He’s not bad. He’s had at least 10 fantasy points in three of his four games this season. But he’s currently the TE16. It’s kind of like sashimi. It’s great. But it’s not as much as you would like, especially when you factor in the cost. Henry has a good matchup this week against the Saints, who have allowed a top eight tight end in every game this season. T.J. Hockenson did all right against them last week.
We feared Ertz was going to have a rough one in San Francisco and unfortunately, we were correct. He’s still targeted a lot. Ertz was targeted five times last week, trailing only Greg Ward. He also turned four receptions into nine yards. Which isn’t great. And I’m not in love with the matchup again this week, either. The Steelers have allowed the 12th-fewest points to tight ends, which isn’t impossible like last week. Ertz is still fifth in the league in targets (7.3), runs the most routes per game for the position (37.5) and Wentz loves his tight ends. It’s what makes him happy. Like when I just want to chill, I just turn on The Office and chill. That’s Wentz with his tight ends.
I had somebody ask me if they should drop Jonnu for Robert Tonyan, after the latter had a huge game on Monday night. Well, the Packers are on a bye. And it’s one game. Against the Falcons. So that’s going to be a no from me, dog. Smith has been a consistent force this year. He’s the TE3 and has scored at least 11 points in every game this season. The Bills have allowed the most receiving yards per game to tight ends. You stick with old reliable. You don’t ditch your friend because he couldn’t make it last week and some other dude was there buying rounds for everyone. That’s not how this works.
Engram hasn’t been great this year. And I feel bad because I really liked him this year. It’s kind of like recommending a restaurant to your friends and they end up getting a disappointing meal but you now tell them that they have to give it a second (or in this case fourth) chance. The Cowboys have allowed 509.5 yards per game this season. They’ve allowed the most receiving yards per game (422.5). And you know they are going to step up huge at some point. You just have to hope it’s not when you’re starting a bunch of dudes against them.
Higbee was heavily invested in this offseason. And he’s been all right. He’s the TE10. You get this a lot in Hollywood. You are really excited for a movie. And it’s fine. Not horrible, but clearly not what you thought it was going to be. Living up to expectations can be tough. It’s like the Rock’s movie, Skyscraper. It was good. But when you compare it to a masterpiece like San Andreas, it’s just not going to measure up. We get it. Higbee has three receiving touchdowns this season. And the FT has allowed five receiving touchdowns to tight ends this year, second-highest total in the league.
There is hope Gronk could end up taking a bigger role in this offense with O.J. Howard now on IR. But this is going to be a tough one. Gronk has fewer than four fantasy points in three of four games this season. The Bears have allowed only one top 12 tight end this season. I know there is going to be a point in the season where Gronk is going to put it all together. I just don’t have the confidence to give it a go this week.
Alie-Cox has been pretty decent this year, given the limitations of the Colts offense. And that’s not a knock on the Colts who are 3-1, but this offense is clearly geared around the run. Alie-Cox has run 11.5 routes per game this year, which is 44th among tight ends. No, that’s not a typo. That’s 44th. Quarterback Philip Rivers ranks first in trash talk, he’s attempted just 30.3 passes per game this year, which is well into the lower-third of the league. And he’s not even targeting the tight end all that much.
We were into Hurst this year. It’s like when wrestlers come in from other promotions. Sometimes they turn into "Stone Cold" Steve Austin or Chris Jericho. Other times they are Low Ki. Hurst had one top 10 performance this season. That’s pretty great. But he’s got a tough matchup this week. The Saints have not allowed a top 12 tight end this season. In fact, they have allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards this season.
Well, you saw what happened on Monday night and now you can’t wait to get Thomas into your lineup this week. But realize he has 30 receiving yards on the season. No, no. Not 30 receiving yards per game. No. I’m talking about 30 receiving yards on the season. He scored a touchdown last week to let us know he’s still around. But he saw fewer snaps than Chris Manhertz. I feel like this is a receiver game for the Panthers and starting Thomas would be chasing the fantasy points.
I’m listing Sample here because I’m still kind of mad at him. He was the target on Joey Burrow’s lone pick on Sunday. I mean, it was kind of a great play by Myles Jack to wrestle the ball away from Sample. But dude needs to come down with that touchdown. The good news is he was on the field for 64 offensive plays, which is encouraging. He’s clearly somebody I would keep an eye on in the future. Because he could develop into a pretty nice security option for Joey down the road. But he’s ground for at least one week after what happened with Jack, though.