Week 11 TE Start, Sit: Tight End Fantasy Football Strategy

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Last week I made a few good predictions with Greg Olsen and O.J. Howard. Kyle Rudolph and Jacob Hollister were the big standouts of the week. Hollister has emerged as a possible top tight end since Will Dissly went to the injured reserve list. While it is very difficult to predict which tight end will get used more, I will be going over those who have great matchups with the potential to have a big game as well as those that you may want to avoid. Here are my tight end starts and sits for Week 11.

Start ‘Em

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

George Kittle sat out last week against the Seahawks due to a lingering knee/ankle injury. There is a chance that he misses another week this week, so it will be important to monitor any news about his ability to practice. But if he is cleared to play, he will be a must start. He faces the Cardinals who have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends per week. Week after week, Kittle has been a reliable fantasy option with very few under-performing weeks. If he gets cleared to play, this week will be no different.

Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cook managed to muster up 74 yards on 6 receptions last week against the Falcons’ defense that had been fairly decent against tight ends. This set Cook’s season-high yards total. It was also his return from injury which gives a good indicator that he is feeling much better. Before then, he had been a touchdown-dependent option, but if he keeps this up, he could be a viable option each week. This week he faces the Buccaneers who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. He should be very busy this week.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Chicago Bears

The Rams’ offense was almost non-existent in their last game against the Steelers, yet Everett played an impact. He had 8 receptions for 68 yards. It helped that Cooper Kupp didn’t have any receptions, but Everett marked his season-high in receptions. The Bears provide a great matchup for tight ends as it is virtually the one hole in their otherwise stellar defense. If the Rams want to move their offense, they should be looking for Everett a lot. In PPR leagues, he should be very valuable this week.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

Greg Olsen is coming off a season-high 8 reception game in which he picked up 98 yards. I had him on my start list last week which proved to be a good pick. With only two touchdowns on the season, Olsen has only been an effective pick when he plays a defense that lets up a lot of yards to tight ends. The Falcons have given up 56.8 yards per game to tight ends. Seeing how Olsen was used last week, it is likely that he will be able to match that average and even pass it this week.

Sit ‘Em

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Mike Gesicki had a good game two weeks ago against the Jets which raised a lot of eyes his way. As the Dolphins have started to look like a competent team, discussions were raised on his value. Last week, he returned to his average type of performance with just 3 receptions for 28 yards. The Bills are the best defense against tight ends in the league, so there is no way that he will be able to reach any fantasy value this week. The Dolphins’ offense is just not good enough to sustain him in starting lineups.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: New England Patriots

This is probably not an agreed upon opinion, but I think Ertz should be sat this week. He has been one of the best tight ends this season and is coming off a big game two weeks ago in which he had 9 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. Ertz and the Eagles take on the Patriots this week who have been one of the best defenses in the league. They have allowed the least amount of points to tight ends per game, averaging 25.8 yards per game and two total touchdowns. Needless to say, this is the worst possible matchup for Ertz and is why I wouldn’t start him.

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Denver Broncos

Despite his growing success, Rudolph is not worth rostering. He has eclipsed 40 yards once this season and is highly touchdown-dependent. He has found the end zone in three of his last four games with 2 coming last week, but those numbers are likely to stop. This week especially serves as a bad matchup for him. The Broncos have allowed just one touchdown to a tight end this season which is what Rudolph needs to be of any significance at all. He is likely to get 2 or 3 receptions for 20-30 yards again.

Jordan Akins, Houston Texans

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Akins has had just one notable performance all year. Other than that, he has averaged around 20 yards per game with 2 or 3 receptions. This is not what you want from your tight end. The trend is set to continue this week as the Texans face Ravens. They have averaged 43.4 yards to tight ends which ranks in the better half of the league. I wouldn’t even consider rostering him as nothing is likely to change.

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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