Week 3 TE Start’em, Sit’em: Tight End Fantasy Football Strategy

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When it comes to tight ends, it is hit or miss most of the time. Most tight ends are touchdown dependent if they are to make a major difference to the team. At the beginning of the season, we saw names like Kelce, Ertz, and Kittle be the big three to get early in the draft. All three of them have been fine options and been better than most, but we saw some other names break out unexpectedly. In this article, I will go through which tight ends have better odds than others to outperform their expectations and those who are likely to fail.

Start ‘Em

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

If you were lucky enough to snag Mark Andrews either late in the draft or off waivers, you should definitely be starting him. He has been an absolute monster these first two games as the Ravens have blown through their opponents. The Chiefs defense is nothing special. This should turn into a shoot out between Jackson and Mahomes with Andrews and Kelce getting a lot of action. I would expect him to continue his streak of 100+ yards with a touchdown this week.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Retirement just wasn’t enough for the veteran tight end, Jason Witten. Witten is a very, and I mean very, touchdown-dependent tight end. He found the endzone in both previous weeks which combined with 15 yards and 25 yards. He won’t ever get enough yards to make him very useful, but he is a very good red-zone target for Dak Prescott as we have seen. The Dolphins have the absolute worst looking defense ever, allowing 8 total touchdowns through the air this season. There is a very likely chance that Witten will yet again find the endzone as the Cowboys roll passed the Dolphins.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

In a game where Cam Newton did not look like himself, Greg Olsen still found himself with 110 yards on 6 catches. He has yet to find the endzone, but he is a tight end that can accumulate enough yards for it not to matter as much. This week they play the Cardinals who have struggled to stop the pass as of now, allowing the 6th most passing yards in the NFL. Although Christian McCaffrey is the big touchdown guy on the team, I feel as though Olsen could get a few red-zone targets this week and sneak one in to add to his receiving yards.

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

T.J. Hockenson is coming off a poor performance where he only had one reception for 7 yards all day. Week 1 he probably reached his ceiling at 131 yards and a touchdown. While I don’t expect that kind of performance again, I also don’t think the Lions will allow him to not be used again. He is their number one pick after all. This week is against the Eagles who have allowed the 2nd most receiving yards in the NFL, along with 6 touchdowns. There is both a good chance that he can accumulate a ton of yards and a touchdown which is the perfect scenario to start him in.

Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

Darren Waller has been an explosive player on the Raiders who are in need of some sort of spark as they lost Antonio Brown. Waller has been one of Carr’s top targets which makes him startable in almost any matchup. The Vikings are a good defense, but with how much use he gets, it shouldn’t matter. If he can find the endzone for the first time too, that will make it that much better this week.

Sit ‘Em

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

David Njoku left Monday Night’s game with a concussion after getting swiped under the legs and landing on his head. The last report was that he is not practicing on Wednesday. Currently, he is listed as questionable, but if you are the owner of him, you should be finding someone else. Even if he does play, he won’t be at 100% and probably won’t be playing on too many snaps. If he doesn’t play, Demetrius Harris is next in line and could be a solid pickup. The matchup against the Rams is not a great one either, so I would try to pick up another tight end for this week but hold on to him.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Noah Fant has not seen much action as of now. He does have moments of hope when the Broncos start driving but his production is not there yet, especially with other targets like Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton. Until he regularly starts being used more heavily, he is not a good candidate to be starting. This is added to the fact that they are playing the Packers this week who have given up the least amount of yards to tight ends this year.

Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

After Luck’s retirement, most of the Colt’s offense has dropped in value. This is the same for Ebron who caught an abundance of touchdowns last year. This year won’t be the same. He did catch one last week against the Titans, but he only has 4 total receptions this year for 33 yards across two games. This is not what a starting tight end should look like. The Colts play the Falcons this week which just makes matters worse as they have let up the least amount of passing yards this year in the NFL.

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

If you have Tyler Eifert, I doubt he is your number one but if he happens to be, he is not a good start this week. He is immensely touchdown-dependent and does not have the volume necessary for a starting tight end like mentioned above with Ebron. Since the start of the 2018 season, the Bills have allowed the least amount of yards to tight ends in the NFL which is not a good sign. Even if Eifert finds the endzone this week, he will probably only have 10-20 yards to add to it.

Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

Dissly started off the season from an injury which showed in Week 1. He followed this with a big performance in Week 2, scoring two touchdowns with 50 yards. Will Week 3 be more like Week 1 or Week 2? My best guess is he will fall back a lot. The Saints are a very average defense, so I would expect the Seahawks to rely more on their run game this week. They said they would be a running team, so I expect them to try to overpower the Saints. His targets will get split between Lockett and Metcalf with Dissly getting the smallest portion which is why I wouldn’t consider him start-worthy 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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