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 Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.
Start of the Week
Doyle was my top start at the position last week, and he went on to put up a touchdown and 19.3 fantasy points. I'd keep him in your fantasy lineup once again, as the Buccaneers have given up seven touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends. The position has also averaged 2.9 points per touch, which is third most.
McDonald has been a huge disappointment in the stat sheets in recent weeks, but there's no better statistical elixir for a tight end than a game in Arizona. The Cardinals have been crushed by the position all year long, so McDonald has top-10 potential at the position this week. He could be on the waiver wire in some fantasy football leagues, too.
Griffin had just eight fantasy points a week ago, but he did catch five passes and was targeted seven times versus the Bengals. I like him as a borderline TE1 this week, as he faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed more than 15 fantasy points per game to tight ends since Week 10. That includes 11 fantasy points to Griffin in Week 9.
Higbee was a strong sleeper a week ago, and he came up huge with 23.7 points against the Cardinals. If Gerald Everett (knee) is out again, Higbee is worth a look in a home matchup against the Seahawks. Their defense has given up an average of 6.4 catches per game and the second-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends.
Sit of the Week
Howard posted six catches and 11.1 fantasy points in last week's win in Jacksonville, but I wouldn't chase the points when the Bucs host the Colts. Over the last four weeks, Indianapolis hasn't allowed a tight end to finish better than 17th in points at the position. Tight ends have also scored just four touchdowns against them this season.
Cook has been one of the most reliable tight ends in fantasy football, so it's tough to bench him in the playoffs. As a result, take this is an "owners beware" of sorts ... the 49ers have allowed an average of fewer than four catches with just three touchdowns this year, and tight ends have averaged just 7.7 fantasy points. Cook could disappoint.
Graham has a nice matchup this week, as the Redskins have allowed an average of almost 13 fantasy points per game to the position. Still, the veteran hasn't scored more than eight fantasy points since Week 8 and is being targeted just 3.2 times per game in that time. I'd continue to fade the touchdown-dependent Graham at Lambeau Field.
Fells found the end zone and scored 10.3 fantasy points in last week's impressive win over the Patriots, but I wouldn't trust him to repeat the performance against the Broncos. Fells is touchdown-dependent, and the Broncos have given up just three scores to tight ends this season. Look elsewhere if you need a streamer at the position this week.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com 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!