Week 16 TE Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Keep Starting Hockenson

A huge game from Darren Waller led the way for tight ends this week in fantasy football. For the third straight game, he had over 10 targets, finishing the game with nine receptions for 150 yards with a touchdown. He has been a clear number two tight end all season should finish out the season strong if you have him on your team. Coming in second place for the week but first place for the season is Travis Kelce. Kelce had his fourth-lowest total of yards in a week with 68 yards which would be amazing for any other tight end. A touchdown to go with it shot him to the front as a great matchup to end the fantasy season will put anyone with him in great shape. Congratulations if you made it this far. To help you in your fight for a championship, here are some tight ends you will want to be starting as well as some you might want to avoid if possible.

Start ‘Em

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For the third straight week, T.J. Hockenson tops my list as a player to start. A poor week last week should not be a concern for his production which has been so consistent all season long. A fumble took away some confidence and kept his target share low for the game, but that should pop up this coming week to where it has all season long. A good matchup against the Buccaneers will help with that as they have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. In the four games previous to last week, he has received at least seven targets which have made for a healthy share of yards each week. He is a safe pick to get some production out of this week.

Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Logan Thomas put up his first 100-yard game last week with his season-high 13 receptions on 15 targets. After seeing such success, you would like to think that Washington will stick to what worked with Thomas and continue to use him. In a matchup favorable for tight ends, the Panthers pose as another potential breakout game for Thomas who struggled during the midseason but has recently turned on the jets. The only thing missing from last week for Thomas was a touchdown which he has a great chance to get this week against the Panthers who have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in half of their games. Thomas should put together a hefty chunk of points to get you that trophy.

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: Tennessee Titans

It has been a while since Robert Tonyan has had a disappointing week. It now is five straight weeks with a touchdown for the up and comer in Green Bay. Last week he only had 18 yards on three receptions to go with it, but as long as he can keep finding the endzone like he has all season long, he carries immense value with his ownership. He mainly has been getting five targets per game recently and a good matchup against the Titans means we will probably see a similar type of usage out him once again. His yards have not been enough to carry enough weight to them, so a touchdown is almost necessary for him to produce significant numbers, but at the rate that he is scoring them, he is pretty much a must start.

Sit ‘Em

Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

Eric Ebron had to leave during the game last week after getting hit hard which kept him out the remainder of the game. While there is nothing seriously wrong with him after being scanned, there still is the chance he sits out due to a short week after playing Monday night. Even if he were to make it back, there is no saying how ready he will be to go. The risk is high with him as he normally is a big part of the offense, but an injury may hold him back. To top it off, the matchup against the Colts is not one to target as they were the best team against tight ends for the majority of the season before some have found success recently. But still, the Colts are not a favorable matchup and an injury will most likely hold back some targets that he would normally get.

Jonnu Smith, Tennesse Titans

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

As expected, Jonnu Smith’s return has not had much of an effect as the Titans have found success in using multiple tight ends. He did lead the team in receptions with five in the last game, but that is not the kind of production you need in a championship team. A tough challenge against the Packers will only make it harder for Smith to find championship-type production as they have limited tight ends to the fifth-lowest total this season. He is a solid choice if you want a solid floor to work from, but the championship is for going all out and Smith is not that type of player this week. He has shown in past games that he can go off, but this is not the matchup for it, especially seeing how the Titans are spreading the ball out with Smith not getting any touchdown opportunities.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

If you made it to the championship with Cole Kmet as your starting tight end, then you must have a stacked team. He is not getting the production you need out of your tight end position even with good matchups like the one he has against Jacksonville this coming week. He had two weeks this season in which he had seven targets. The rest of the weeks have all been three or less, leaving him with virtually no value. His two touchdowns on the season do not make up for his lack of production either which makes him unstartable. But then again, if you made it this far with starting Kmet, he may just be a good luck charm and you should not veer away from it.

I started playing fantasy football in 2010 at 12 years old where I subbed in for an owner who was having a baby. That year I won the championship in a 16-team league, carried by Arian Foster and Michael Vick. I have yet to bring a trophy home since then, but my love for fantasy football has grown, delving more and more in the statistics and finding ways to improve my drafting ability.

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