Week 6 TE Start’em, Sit’em: Tight End Strategy (Austin Hooper a Lock)

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For me, tight end is always the most difficult decision on who to start. I’m always streaming week to week and it is hard to find who will be the breakout player this week. In this article, I will be discussing those who I would be starting this week and those who I would shy away from and look for other possible options.

Start ‘Em

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

There is no possible way anyone should be sitting Austin Hooper this week. He is one of the top-scoring tight ends this season if not the number one in some league formats. He will only add to this incredible point total this week when the Falcons face the Cardinals this week. The Cardinals have given up the most touchdowns to tight ends this season with five. I would put the odds that Hooper scores at least one touchdown this week at 80%. He will have a huge week.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Greg Olsen is set up perfectly for a ton of usage. The Panthers played the Buccaneers in Week 2 where Olsen raked in 110 yards. The Buccaneers have continued to give up tons of yards to tight ends, allowing 89 yards per game. I would expect Kyle Allen and the Panthers to recognize that using Olsen worked the best last time and continue to use him more this time around. There is even a good chance he finds the endzone as they have given up three to tight ends this season.

Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: Cleveland Browns

I shouldn’t have to tell you to start Will Dissly but this matchup works out nicely for him. Dissly’s snap counts have progressively been increasing, meaning he is being set up for more and more usage. Russell Wilson has also shown Dissly is a top endzone target for him with four touchdowns already this season. The Browns have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends which are tied for the second-most in the league. If the Seahawks are going to score a lot this week, Dissly will be at the heart of it.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Opponent: Tennessee Titans

Noah Fant is nowhere near the top tight ends, but his potential this week makes him a startable player. He only caught one pass last week for 6 yards, but the Titans are a much worse defense than the Chargers. Noah Fant is more of a touchdown-dependant kind of tight end, but this is set up nicely for him. The Titans have allowed four total touchdowns to tight ends this season which is just below one each game. In the red zone, Fant should be one of Flacco’s top targets.

Vernon Davis or Jeremy Sprinkle, Washington Redskins

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Vernon Davis is my hesitant start this week. He faces a very good matchup this week against the Dolphins who have been absolutely dreadful in pass coverage this year. While this is the case and is my one reason for pushing to start him this week, the Redskins are not good. They can’t even figure out who they want at quarterback which is important since they throwing Davis the ball. If Colt McCoy becomes the starter they were hoping for, Davis could be set up perfectly for a big game, but it all depends on if McCoy is still a reliable quarterback or not.

Sit ‘Em

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

Gerald Everett had a great game last week and is my top tight end pick up this week, but I would hold him out this week. The 49ers are making a great case for being potentially the second-best defense in the league behind the Patriots. They have allowed the fourth least amount of fantasy points to tight ends on average. I hope that Everett can overcome the odds and continue his hot streak because I do think he will be a serious weapon, but I would stash him just in case for this week.

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

At this point, it is safe to say that O.J. Howard is a bust. The Buccaneers just don’t seem interested in using him anymore. His targets have gone down each game, and he saw a dramatic drop in the number of snaps he was out there last week. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans seem to be the only receivers getting any valuable action. The Panthers have a very strong pass coverage, limiting tight ends in particular to just 36 yards per game. It’s might be time to move on from Howard.

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: Detroit Lions

As a Lions fans, this came as a surprise to me to find that they have only allowed 55.3 yards per game to tight ends and haven’t allowed a touchdown. They have played both Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz and held them both out of the endzone somehow and limited their effectiveness. This is not a good sign for Jimmy Graham who is more reliant on finding the endzone. I don’t expect the Lions to allow him to find the endzone this week which is why I wouldn’t start him this week. His target share is not high enough for him to make a major impact.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Opponent: New York Jets

Jason Witten has consistently been targetted 4 times every single game this season so far with two touchdowns. His value comes when he gets targeted further downfield for more yards. The Jets are not a team that allows that. Tight ends have averaged just 31.9 yards per game against the Jets which is just around Witten’s average for the year at 34.6. They have also only allowed just one touchdown which doesn’t look good for Witten. I would suspect that he gets his normal 4 targets again with around his average production without a touchdown.

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

There is rarely a scenario when you should ever be starting Hayden Hurst since he is the second tight end on the Ravens, but this week is not the week to even consider it. Despite the Bengals not being very good this year, they have been able to hold tight ends in terms of yards. They have only averaged 40.6 yards per game with only one touchdown allowed. If there will be any tight end action for the Ravens this week, it should all be going to Mark Andrews which leaves Hurst in an unstartable position.

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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