Week 7 TE Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Robert Tonyan Still Has It

This may be a new name for you, Anthony Firkser. The Titans’ tight end led the way in scoring for week 6 among tight ends with eight receptions on nine targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. With Jonnu Smith out with an injury, Firkser stepped up in a big way as the Texans and Titans began a shootout. Trey Burton also gave a little bit of a surprise with four receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. He finished third in scoring for tight ends on the week but has a bye this week before we can see if he is consistent or not. Lastly, Darren Fells joined Firkser in a big tight end game with six receptions for 85 yards with a touchdown. When it is a shootout, the points will begin to rack up and we saw that with Firkser and Fells. Throughout the season, he has been touchdown-dependent but the uptick in targets could be a good sign for him moving forward. With a few tight end surprises this week, which ones are startable moving forward and which should you avoid? Here are the starts and sits at tight end for week 7.

Start ‘Em

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: Houston Texans

Robert Tonyan has seen a great increase in his usage ever since having no impact in week 1. Last week was the first week without a touchdown since the very beginning of the season. He has not gone under four targets in a game since week 2. His yard total saw a reduction last week but seeing how the average yards per catch hangs around 10, you can expect around 40 yards usually and maybe a touchdown as those have been prevalent for Tonyan. The Texans allowed the most points to a tight end last week against Anthony Firkser. Tonyan has shown he can be a top week’s scorer and has the chance to do it again in week 7.

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

Noah Fant was kept out of last week’s matchup against the Patriots which greatly impacted their offensive performance. He is on the upward trend to return to play in week 7 in which he would have his starting quarterback back for the first time since Drew Lock’s injury. In each game in which Fant has played, he has received at least four passes. In his games with Lock, he received touchdowns in both games. It will all depend on whether or not he is ready to play this week, but if he sees the field, he has shown that he puts up strong numbers. The Chiefs are a middle-of-the-road defense against tight ends of which Fant could exploit for big numbers with his high volume.

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

A game has not gone by where Hockenson has not put up respectable numbers. On weeks where he does not rack up as many yards, he has scored a touchdown, and on weeks where he has failed to find the endzone, he has put up at least 50 yards on four or more receptions. The Lions have been heavily reliant on their passing game of which mainly everyone involved has benefited. The Falcons provide a very good matchup for Hockenson as they have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends in the league. Even against the stingiest defenses, Hockenson has put up numbers, so playing against one the worst could result in a highly productive game.

Sit ‘Em

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers

After leaving the game last week with an injury, Smith’s replacement, Firkser took over the game and did what Smith has shown he can do in previous weeks. Smith is a top-four tight end in the league but his injury plus the tough upcoming matchup make it difficult to start him this week. The Steelers have been the ninth-best team at covering tight ends this season. Their relentless defense shuts down offenses and the main contributing factor to the Titans’ offense has been Derrick Henry. Especially while Smith is recovering from his injury, he will be used less. Seeing how Firkser was able to fill his spot, we could see a continuation of his usage while Smith fully recovers. Give him a week of recovery and Smith should be the tight end he was in previous weeks.

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: Detroit Lions

After a stellar week 2 and week 6, Hurst is beginning to fill the shoes left by Austin Hooper last season. The Falcons are showing they like to use him with an average of 5.3 targets over the past three weeks. Where Hurst is not as good as Hooper was is with his catching consistency. Week 4 and week 5 combined accounted for 12 targets but only six receptions. He caught all four targets last week and even scored a touchdown but can you count on that going forward? Looking at his past few weeks, it is hard to answer yes to that question. The Lions provide even less of a reason to start Hurst as they have been one of the best at covering tight ends. Their defense has been abysmal at covering just about everything else which is what the Falcons will probably go with entering the game, limiting Hurst’s usage.

Greg Olsen, Seattle Seahawks

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

It has been a downward trend for Greg Olsen who, while on a high-powered offense like the Seahawks, has seen very limited production. In weeks 3 and 4, he put up decent numbers with five receptions in each game, but there is no consistency in what you are going to get out of playing him. Before their bye last week, he put up just one reception for 20 yards on one target. The flip from seven targets in week 4 to one in week 5 is not good enough to be a consistent starter. The matchup against the Cardinals would have been great last season, but the Cardinals have shown great improvement at covering tight ends and make Olsen someone to hold on the bench if you already have him on your lineup.

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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