Week 10 TE Start, Sit: Tight End Fantasy Football Strategy

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Tight ends are so hard to predict. Any name can go off one day with the biggest names being duds. Last week, we had Noah Fant, Jacob Hollister, and Mike Gesicki all have their first big games of the year. It was almost impossible to predict that. Nonetheless, I will be giving my best effort to provide my best picks for starting and sitting tight ends this week. Based on past performance and matchup, here are my starts and sits for Week 10.

Start ‘Em

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

O.J. Howard has had a terrible start to the season and has been sitting out the past couple of weeks due to a hamstring injury. For whatever reason, 41.9% of people have held on to him this far, but if he’s on the waiver wire, you may want to take a shot on him this week. It is a very risky pick, but the Cardinals provide a great matchup for him. In 8 games, they have allowed 8 touchdowns to tight ends this season as well as an average of 80 yards per game. If there was ever a week for him to break out of his slump, this would be it.

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Opponent: Chicago Bears

T.J. Hockenson’s health will be the one setback. Before actually starting him, keep a close eye on updates on his availability as he suffered a potential head injury last week that could keep him out. If he is available for the Lions this week, he will have a nice matchup to work with again. The Bears have been one of the best defenses in the NFL, but their one hole is their ability to cover tight ends. They have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends, but that will only matter if he is cleared to play, so keep your eyes peeled for reports.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Greg Olsen hasn’t had a game like his Week 2 or Week 3 performance since then, but this week could see an increase in production. Last week, he had just 3 receptions for 40 yards, but the Packers are more susceptible to giving tight ends more points. Hunter Henry had 7 receptions for 84 yards last week against them. While it is unlikely that Olsen will get that many targets, his yardage should see an increase from previous weeks. He should certainly be getting more than 2 or 3 targets this week.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

Jason Witten had his season-high in receptions last week with 8 for 58 yards. Before then, he had consistently been receiving about 4 per game, but this increase is promising. It shows that Witten is capable of more. The Vikings provide a great matchup for an increase in targets. They have allowed the most receptions to tight ends in the league. The one issue is that they haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end yet, otherwise their fantasy points against would be among the highest. Witten’s ability to be a threat in the red zone could make Witten the first this season.

Sit ‘Em

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

Jimmy Graham has consistently been catching the ball but not doing much with it. He is heavily reliant on getting a touchdown if he is going to have any significant fantasy value. He does have three of them on the year, so there is a chance that he could produce some value, but he is a very risky pick this week. The Panthers have only allowed 2 total touchdowns to tight ends this year and allowed just 40.8 yards per game. With the Packers bye coming up next week too, I’d leave Graham there if you’re considering picking him up.

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

Jared Cook has sat on the sidelines since Week 6 and his status is still up in the air for Week 10. If he were to return this week, he would have a decent matchup against the Falcons who are in the top 10 for points allowed to tight ends this season. For me, the risk is to heavy to start him this week coming off an injury. I have a feeling that Alvin Kamara will be taking over in his matchup with maybe a few scraps being left for Cook. I would hold on to him for his next matchup against the Buccaneers.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

Jonnu Smith has stepped in to replace the injured Delanie Walker. Two weeks ago, he had a big game against the Buccaneers in which he had 6 receptions for 78 yards with a touchdown but took a major step back last week. He only had 3 receptions for 18 yards against the Panthers. There is a chance that Delanie Walker makes his return which leads me to think that Smith should not be started. The Chiefs provide a decent matchup for tight ends but with the threat of Walker coming back, I wouldn’t count on being able to start him.

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Eifert never passed 30 yards in any game this season until last week. He had a major spurt in production last week which is mainly seen in his snap count. The most he had seen so far this season was 49%, but last week he was out there for 71% of snaps. This drastic jump resulted in 6 receptions for 74 yards. While this is promising, the trend of where Eifert was heading makes him way too risky to start. The Ravens have allowed just one touchdown and an average of 46 yards to tight ends this season. I wouldn’t expect any from him this week but maybe keep an eye on him if he sees a continued increase in snap counts.

I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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