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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 6: Tight ends

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.

Start 'em

Robert Tonyan
Robert Tonyan
Green Bay Packers · TE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 · 3-2-0

His three-touchdown performance in a prime-time game was something to behold. But I want you to know that it wasn’t just a one-time fluke. It wasn’t a Jonas Gray game or anything like that. There is a strong possibility Tonyan becomes a thing here for the Packers. He’s had five receiving touchdowns since Week 2, that’s tied for the most in the NFL with Mike Evans. He’s had a receiving touchdown in three consecutive games. And the Bucs have allowed a receiving touchdown to a tight end in back-to-back games. Start him this week. And if Davante Adams returns and gets 20 targets and we never hear from Tonyan again, well, that would be my luck, too. But I have him as a strong start.

Noah Fant
Noah Fant
Denver Broncos · TE
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
2020 · 2-2-0

Fant is currently the TE7 this season, despite there being some quarterback concerns for the Broncos. Which is putting it mildly. Like saying that there’s just a little bit of altitude in Denver. But Fant has been consistently good for the Broncos this season. He’s had at least eight points in every game. Which might not seem like a lot. But if you had to stream Mo Alie-Cox or Logan Thomas recently, you’d sell your car for eight points from your tight end. (Don’t tell my wife that, the car is nearly paid for). The Patriots have allowed at least 10 points to a tight end in two-straight games.

Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz
Philadelphia Eagles · TE
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
2020 · 4-1-0

I know. I’ve listed two Eagles as starts this week and it seems a little bit crazy given how poor this matchup is for the Eagles. But the Ravens have allowed 10-plus fantasy points to four tight ends this year. Ertz has run the most routes for tight ends this season (37.2). He’s getting seven targets per game. And at some point, you’re going to need to take a risk with a tight end at some point. Because there aren’t a lot of them. It’s like a food court. And Panda Express might not have been what you originally wanted. But it’s reliable. And the orange chicken is delicious, so you fire in.

Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham
Chicago Bears · TE
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 3-2-0

You all laughed when the Bears threw a lot of money at Graham during the offseason. I mean, going on and on about the number of tight ends on the preseason roster did become a bit much. Graham has paid off, though. He’s currently the TE10 in fantasy. He’s averaged 14.53 fantasy points per game since Week 3, which is the fourth-most since that time. He’s currently hauling in 30% of the team’s red zone targets. He is a bit touchdown dependent because of that. But willing to take a calculated risk. The Panthers are tough against receivers so I would expect Graham to get a chance this week.

Mike Gesicki
Mike Gesicki
Miami Dolphins · TE
New York Jets
New York Jets
2020 · 0-5-0

His breakout isn’t as great as some would like it to be. With visions of being the Dolphins' Gronk or whatnot. But he’s averaging more than 11 points per game, which puts him in the top 10 of the position. That’s not bad. He’s really just a huge slot receiver for the Dolphins, running 68% of his routes from there. And the Dolphins offense looks like a juggernaut so let’s get into it.

Sit 'em

Dalton Schultz
Dalton Schultz
Dallas Cowboys · TE
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 3-2-0

Schultz has an extremely small sample size from Andy Dalton, but he didn’t get one of the quarterback’s targets last week. And you would think since his first name is Dalton, they would have had a laugh about that at some point, right? Like the kind of dumb icebreaker that would make you instant friends? Or maybe Andy was put off by such a comment. I don’t really know the man, so I can’t say for sure. I do know the Cardinals have not allowed a receiver to top 55 receiving yards this year. The Cowboys have so many capable red-zone options, I’m going to hold off on Schultz until I see some evidence that he needs to be in your lineup.

Darren Fells
Darren Fells
Houston Texans · TE
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
2020 · 3-0-0

I hope Fells understands I’m still heated he didn’t go to my alma mater Cal State Fullerton after attending Fullerton High School, instead going to UC Irvine. Which I will NEVER understand. Pushing that aside, Fells is good for a That Helps No One score here and there, but lacks consistency. He’s had fewer than 25 yards in four of five games this year. He’s had more than three targets once in five games. And the Titans have allowed just one tight end to land in the top 12 this year. Which is right before the Bills game.

Tyler Higbee
Tyler Higbee
Los Angeles Rams · TE
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 2-3-0

If you could combine Higbee with Gerald Everett you might have a serviceable tight end. But it’s not working individually. Like a great tag team that flames out as individual performers. (Yes, that’s exactly who I’m talking about.) He’s run 15.2 routes per game this year, that’s 33rd among tight ends. He’s had no touchdown in four of his five games. And the 49ers have allowed the fifth-fewest receiving yards per game to tight ends. That smells like a 20-point performance to me, but I can’t take that risk.

Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron
Pittsburgh Steelers · TE
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
2020 · 4-1-0

We love that Ebron is a huge fantasy football guy. It’s great when an athlete is in our club. Like seeing somebody you admire in an AEW shirt. You feel a connection because you’re a part of this small group. But Ebron has been way too touchdown-dependent as a fantasy player. Which will happen when a rookie receiver is out there scoring four touchdowns. Ebron has only scored double-digit fantasy points in the game he scored a touchdown. The Browns have allowed double-digit fantasy points to just one tight end who didn’t score a touchdown. You’d be playing touchdown roulette here.

Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · TE
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
2020 · 4-0-0

I mean, we’re not completely giving up on Gronk just yet. We want to remember how great he once was. But it hasn’t been easy. Like when you see a Hall of Fame wrestler take a super kick from a young buck or something. Like, we know they know what they are doing. That doesn’t mean we can’t be worried. Gronk hasn’t scored a touchdown yet. He’s topped four receptions in a game only once. And the Packers are one of the toughest defenses on the position. 

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