Week 5 TE Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Evan Engram Faces Best Matchup

The tight end stars of the week go to George Kittle and Robert Tonyan. After missing some time due to an injury, George Kittle returned in style. He caught all 15 total targets for an astounding 183 yards with a touchdown. That was with Nick Mullens at quarterback so you can only assume that we could see even greater things with Jimmy Garoppolo back in action. Robert Tonyan caught all 6 of his targets for 98 yards but had an additional three touchdowns to boost him up. Mark Andrews also stood out with another multi-touchdown game. With a growing number of usable tight ends, there lies the question of who to start and who to sit this week. Here are the starts and sits at tight end for week 5.

Start ‘Em

Evan Engram, New York Giants

Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

It has been a shaky start for Evan Engram as the Giants have been one of the worst offenses in the league. With Saquon Barkley out for the season, they have lost a big part of their offense that moved the ball to continue drives. But what also comes with that is more passing plays that could go to Engram. Just last week, he had 10 targets, granted he only caught six of them, but that usage makes for a solid tight end. As the Giants face off against the Cowboys this week, you can expect a lot from Engram. The Cowboys have the worst defense in the league which will lead to a lot of solid drives for the Giants. With how much action Engram has been getting along with the weakness of the Cowboys’ defense, Engram is set to succeed this week.

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

Hunter Henry saw a dip in targets last week against the Buccaneers which was a surprise as the Buccaneers have been a rather favorable target for tight ends. Outside of last week though, he has received at least seven targets per game and put up solid numbers. All he has to do is find the end zone once and he will be on a roll. The Saints provide a great opportunity for him to put up some monster numbers as they have allowed the second-most touchdowns to tight ends this season. Henry is due for one to connect soon and there is basically no better team to do it against than this week against the Saints. With Ekeler out for a couple of weeks, there should be even more balls going towards Henry for the time being.

Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

After a surprise week off due to COVID-19 concerns, Ebron and the Steelers will be back in action to take on the Eagles. Ebron had five receptions off seven targets for 52 yards with a touchdown. Ebron has consistently seen more targets each game and is seeming to build up strong chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. The Eagles have struggled when it comes to tight ends this season. They have given up the second-most touchdowns to them in the league and third-most fantasy points. This is perfect for a tight end who outperformed expectations in his last game and got a break to rest up last week. The stage is set for Ebron to score again and put up some good numbers.

Sit ‘Em

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

After an insane week 2 with 11 targets which accounted for 130 yards and a touchdown, Mike Gesicki has not reached that workload since. He has received just three targets in each of the past two weeks with just one reception. The usage he is receiving since his blown-up game is abysmal for fantasy production. 15 yards off one reception is not what you need in a tight end. On top of that, it is highly unlikely that Gesicki will improve at all this week. The 49ers are one of the toughest defenses against tight ends in the league. They haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end yet and have kept them to an average of 7.5 yards per game. Those are not the numbers that lead to a favorable matchup which is necessary for a struggling tight end.

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Chicago Bears

Rob Gronkowski has yet to make it over 50 yards in a single game this season. He also has never received a touchdown while Tom Brady has thrown for 11. While they had great chemistry in New England, the magic has seemed to vanish as Gronkowski has faded into the abyss. In last week’s matchup, Brady threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns. Gronkowski received 29 yards on three total targets. It is apparent that he is not one of Brady’s favorite targets anymore. There is a chance that he could get more action with O.J. Howard out but it seems like the receivers will be receiving the bulk of the action. Until we see that Gronkowski actually receives a bump in production, he is a sit for me.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

After a solid game last week with five receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown, it does not look good for Austin Hooper and the Browns next week. The Colts have touted one of the best defenses in the league and are certainly the best against tight ends. They have averaged just 6.45 yards per game to tight ends as well as zero touchdown receptions. Even with the solid performance, it was just 34 yards which equal his season-high. The tight end that used to light up defenses in Atlanta has taken a back role in a Browns’ offense that has been lackluster thus far. His only good game this season occurred in a game where the Browns were facing the worst defense in the league. Now that they are facing the complete opposite, it would be wise to look elsewhere than Hooper.

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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