Week 4 TE Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Jimmy Graham is Heating Up

Week 4 is almost upon us and you may be wondering which tight ends have favorable and unfavorable matchups when setting your lineup. It can often just be a guessing game into which tight ends will score a touchdown each week, but we can look at who gets production to determine who is start worthy and who is not receiving high enough production to make an impact. There exist the tight ends you start each week if healthy regardless of the matchup like Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but I will be going over the fringe tight ends that you may be having a debate between. Here are the starts and sits at tight end for week 4.

Start ‘Em

Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

Jimmy Graham has made his way around many teams and always stands out no matter what the situation is. He has gotten out to a hot start with three touchdowns in three weeks. Last week, he had his best week when he six receptions for 60 yards with two touchdowns. On paper, the Colts are the best team at defending tight ends this season. Looking further into it, they have also not played a team that uses their tight end much. The Bears have shown that they want to utilize Graham more as seen with his nine targets last week and seven in week 1. What is also interesting is that the Bears are switching to Nick Foles at quarterback. Whether the switch will positively or negatively affect Graham is still unknown until Sunday, but the situation is played perfectly for Graham to keep putting in work.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: Cleveland Browns

Dalton Schultz has emerged onto the scene with increased production. In week 2, he received 10 targets which fell back down to six in week 3, but the future seems bright for Schultz. He has seen work in the red zone with his one touchdown in week 2. Dak Prescott is in throw only mode recently and Schultz is reaping the benefits. To throw it all together, the Browns are one of the best matchups for tight ends. They have given up three touchdowns to tight ends through three weeks, so the odds are that they give up another to Schultz to make it four in four weeks. Schultz is only rostered in 25% of leagues so if you are in need of one, go out and pick him off waivers and throw him in your starting lineup this week.

Evan Engram, New York Giants

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

For the most part, I have stayed away from the Giants’ offense as seen in their overall production. They have never made it to over 20 points this season and Saquon’s season-ending injury will just add fuel to the fire. Nonetheless, with fewer solid options in the Giants’ offense, comes greater value for the talent there as players like Evan Engram will be used more. The inaccuracies through the air are the biggest concern because Engram does get the workload necessary to provide great success, but the completion percentage is so low that he has busted twice in three weeks. This week, he looks to rebound against a Rams team that is favorable for tight ends. If Engram can just get a touchdown, he will be fine.

Sit ‘Em

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

Hayden Hurst is coming off a touchdown in each of the last two games. The one problem was that last week he had just the one reception for a one-yard touchdown. Either the Falcons are waiting for him to fit into the offense more or they are just failing to use him as much as they used Austin Hooper last year. Either way, confidence in Hurst’s touchdown production will likely decrease. The matchup this week is not favorable towards Hurst as the Packers have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end. While there may be a time when Hurst becomes a viable option again in the future, I would wait until he receives better production which is likely to happen eventually. The Falcons will find a way to get him the ball, but until then, it is hard to start Hurst.

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

Judging on how many people still own Rob Gronkowski on their team, it is needed to be said that he is not a fantasy option currently. There are just too many options on the Buccaneers’ offense that Tom Brady can throw to which leaves Gronkowski almost obsolete. He saw an uptick last week, but that will not stay up going forward as the receiving corps becomes fully healthy. Even in his best week so far, it was only 48 yards which do not cut it when they are not paired with a touchdown. Apparently, coming out of retirement is not having a great impact on him. Whether it is Gronk getting old, or Tom Brady having a stronger connection with his other receivers, Gronk is not a tight end you want to be targeting.

Greg Olsen, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

After a week 1 touchdown and six receptions, Greg Olsen came to a screeching halt without a single reception in week 2. Week 3 gave more promise again with five receptions for 61 yards, but is he just going to bust again after a good performance? My vote is to shy away from Olsen this week. He is a name to hang on to as he is on a high-powered Seahawks team that has seen a huge passing attack, but this matchup is not the one to be risking it on. The Dolphins have found a way to defend tight ends as they have allowed the third-least amount of fantasy points to tight ends in the league. Because of this, I would find a safer pick this week and see what happens with Olsen moving forward.

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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