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 Saquon Barkley 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
Engram has become a targets machine, ranking in the top two at the position after two weeks. He'll remain a popular option in the Giants pass attack, even with rookie Daniel Jones making his first NFL start. Also, the Bucs have allowed the third-most receivig yards and over 15 fantasy points a game to opposing tight ends so far this season.
McDonald is coming off a huge stat line, scoring two touchdowns and 22.8 fantasy points in a loss to the Seahawks. Now he gets the 49ers in a revenge game, and McDonald could be a safety blanket of sort for new starting quarterback Mason Rudolph. At what is a thin position, McDonald has top-10 tight end potential this weekend.
Olsen showed some signs of fantasy life last week, posting six catches and 110 yards on nine targets in a loss to the Buccaneers. He's in a great spot to post another nice line in Week 3, as the Cardinals have been shredded by opposing tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews in consecutive weeks.
Waller has become a huge part of the Raiders' offense this season, as he's rarely coming off the field (95% of the offensive snaps) and ranks first on the team in targets (15). So despite what is a bad matchup on paper against the Vikings, sheer playing time and volume alone will keep Waller in the TE1 conversation this weekend.
Sit of the Week
Ebron did get into the end zone last week, but he saw just four targets and was second in snaps (46.2%) behind Jack Doyle (72.3%). That makes Ebron a week to week dice roll as fantasy owners hope for a touchdown. In their last 34 games (since 2017), the Falcons defense has surrendered just nine scores to opposing tight ends.
Hockenson went from fantasy stud to fantasy dud in about a week's time, as his stinker against the Chargers left owners soured. He has another difficult matchup ahead, as Hockenson will face an Eagles defense that's surrendered just three touchdowns to opposing tight ends in their last 17 home games. He's a risk-reward starter this week.
Eifert might have found the end zone in Week 2, but he caught just three balls and finished with a mere nine yards against the Giants. He also played in just 24.6 percent of the offensive snaps, which ranked third among Bengals tight ends. With a tough matchup against the Bills next, Eifert is best left on the fantasy football sidelines.
Rudolph has become almost unstartable in fantasy leagues, as the Vikings have become a heavy run offense under OC Kevin Stefanski. In fact, Rudolph was a blocker (either run or pass) on 36 of his 65 snaps in last week's loss to the Packers. That's just not going to get it done in the fantasy world, so keep Rudolph on the sidelines.
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!