Week 12 TE Start, Sit: Tight End Fantasy Football Strategy

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Last week had a few new names at the top of fantasy tight ends. Ryan Griffin and Ross Dwelley made their names stick out. Griffin had 109 yards with a touchdown while Dwelley had just 14 yards and two touchdowns. Dwelley isn’t a viable fantasy option moving forward as he sits behind George Kittle in the depth chart. His big game came against the Cardinals who have been the worst against tight ends all year. Here are the tight ends you will want to be starting and avoiding for Week 12.

Start ‘Em

Ryan Griffin, New York Jets

Opponent: Oakland Raiders

Like I mentioned above, Ryan Griffin had a great game last week against the Redskins. He had 5 receptions that went for 109 yards with a touchdown. The Redskins haven’t been the friendliest defense for tight ends which only makes this performance more promising. The Jets play the Raiders this week who are a lot friendlier matchup for tight ends. They have averaged the fourth-most points to tight ends this season with the second-most touchdowns allowed. I would expect his upward trend to continue this week at least.

Jaeden Graham, Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Without the Cardinals playing this week, the Buccaneers serve as the best possible matchup for tight ends and that award should be going to Jaeden Graham this week. For those deciding to start Graham, it will be important to watch the status of Austin Hooper. Hooper is the number one tight end for the Falcons and would make Graham insignificant if he plays, but otherwise look for Graham to make a big impact in this game. Last week, he got 2 receptions for 23 yards as a starting point that will likely multiply this week.

Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

Jacob Hollister has been emerging as a playmaker for the Seahawks ever since Will Dissly went down with his injury. He has gotten a touchdown in each of the past two games with two against the Buccaneers two games ago. In their last game against a tough 49ers, he had 62 yards on 8 receptions. The Eagles serve as a better but not great matchup for tight ends, but with Hollister’s continued usage in the Seahawks’ playbook, it should matter. He could become the next Dissly kind of tight end to pop out of nowhere and dominate.

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

Vance McDonald is a very touchdown-dependent tight end. He has only had three touchdowns all season with two coming in one week. The last time the Bengals played the Steelers, McDonald sat out, so there is nothing to go off of, but the Bengals have allowed the fifth-most points per game. They give up a lot of touchdowns and four of them have gone to tight ends this season. They serve as a better than average matchup for McDonald this week, but I would still be careful with starting him. I’d call him a last resort start this week.

Sit ‘Em

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Noah Fant has been used a lot more ever since Brandon Allen took over as quarterback. In their last two games, Fant has had 3 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, and 4 receptions for 60 yards. He has been emerging as a playmaker in their offense. Despite his growth, I wouldn’t start him this week. The Bills don’t serve as a good matchup at all. They have allowed just one touchdown to tight ends as well as 32.9 yards per game which is the second-lowest in the NFL. I’d shy away from Fant this week.

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Graham has not had much of an effect the last three games for the Packers. His best game in that span was a 2 reception, 59 yard game in their last game against the Panthers. This week, the Packers play the 49ers who are the best pass defense in the league. They also are very good at defending tight ends as they have allowed just 23.1 yards per game which is the lowest in the NFL. With Graham’s already low production, I don’t expect it to rise at all this week.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Everett has had three games this season in which he has had actual fantasy value. Besides that, the Rams’ offense has been struggling this year and has had an effect on his value. Last week, he had just one total reception for 20 yards. The Ravens don’t provide a good matchup this week for Everett. Tight ends have averaged just 42.4 yards per game and they’ve allowed just two touchdowns all season. With the downward trend of the Rams’ offense and a tough Ravens’ defense,

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New England Patriots

Jason Witten has been the most consistent tight end with a high floor but his ceiling is barely above his floor. He hasn’t gotten a touchdown since Week 2 and he doesn’t get enough targets to make any significant value to a fantasy team. If you want a guaranteed few points, then Witten is your guy, but if you want to add some risk with better returns, I would look elsewhere. The Patriots also don’t give a very good matchup this week for the Cowboys. They have allowed the fourth-least amount of yards per game to tight ends with 37.3. I’d stay away from Witten this week.

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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