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
Hooper's matchup against the Texans is bad on paper, but he is too hot to sit right now. After four weeks, he's second in fantasy points among tight ends, and he leads the position in routes run. Hooper also ranks fourth in targets and sixth in red-zone scoring in PPR formats, so he's a tough player to put on the sidelines in fantasy leagues.
Waller has been one of the top tight ends in fantasy land, and a matchup against the Bears shouldn't keep you from giving him the start. Chicago has actually allowed 5.3 receptions per game to tight ends, and only Zach Ertz is seeing more targets per game. Waller also ranks second in yards after the catch (183) among tight ends.
With Davante Adams out of action due to an injured toe, Graham becomes a nice option for those owners in need. He had nine targets a week ago, including four in the final 10 minutes of the game once Adams was forced out of action. The Cowboys have given up around 14 fantasy points per game to tight ends, so Graham is worth a look.
Eifert has been a touchdown dependant fantasy option, so facing the Cardinals makes him a viable fantasy streamer. No defense have allowed more touchdowns (6) to opposing tight ends, and the position has averaged a ridiculous 27.8 points per game against Arizona. Eifert is a free agent in many leagues for those in need at the position.
Sit of the Week
Cook's matchup against the Buccaneers looks great on paper, but keep in mind that their defense has already faced George Kittle, Greg Olsen and Evan Engram this season. Cook, who ranks 15th in targets per game and 21st in red-zone routes among tight ends, shouldn't be considered more than a desperation streamer.
Walker is tough to sit at what is a thin position, so take this as a bit of a warning. Buffalo's defense has allowed just 21 yards per game to tight ends, and the position has averaged a mere 4.85 fantasy points. This unit also held fantasy star Evan Engram to his lowest yardage total (48) of the season back in Week 2. Beware Walker this week.
Burton's matchup against the Raiders looks great on paper, but he's still a risk in fantasy leagues. The veteran ranks a mere 29th among tight ends in routes run per game, and he's averaging fewer than four targets after four weeks. What's more, Burton is averaging a mere 2.3 routes run in the red zone so far this season. That won't get it done.
Rudolph has become non-existent as a pass catcher in the Vikings' offense, as he's averaged just 19.3 routes run per game while also seeing just seven combined targets. So while this week's matchup against the Giants isn't what you would call unfavorable, Rudolph's lack of chances in the pass attack make him a must sit.
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!