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I will be going over which tight ends you should be starting and who should be benched this week. I will be mainly looking at matchups and going through those who have a good matchup and those that will have a more difficult time. If you have a top tier tight end, you should never be sitting them unless it’s their bye week. Here are my starts and sits of the week.
Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Evan Engram sat out last week with a knee injury and still questionable for the Giants’ next matchup, but if he is good to go, he will have a monster game despite his lingering injury. The Cardinals have allowed 6 touchdowns to tight ends in 5 games which have contributed them to give up the most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. Watch his injury status but if he can play, put him in your lineup this week. His injury shouldn’t have an effect on his share of targets.
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
Hunter Henry had a huge game last against the Steelers where he had 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was his first game back after leaving Week 1 with an injury. He has proven that he is for real and picked up right where he left off. The Titans have allowed 4 touchdowns to tight ends this year which is a good indicator that he will be adding to his touchdown total this week. Look for Henry to have a significant impact this week for the Chargers.
Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
T.J. Hockenson has been rather quiet since his Week 1 crazy performance. A scary-looking injury also didn’t help his cause, but he is back and ready to make an impact. He had a couple of tough drops last week which would have been terrific catches but slipped out of his hands as he hit the ground. The Vikings are a good matchup for tight ends as they have allowed the second-most receptions to tight ends this season. In PPR leagues, he will be especially valuable.
Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
At first, it seemed like Jordan Akins was the top tight end for Deshaun Watson, but we have seen a shift towards Darren Fells who received double the amount of receptions last week than Akins. The Colts have given up the third-most points to tight ends this season. In 5 games, they have allowed 3 touchdowns to tight ends which gives Fells a solid chance of finding the endzone. An increase in targets has also helped his value which makes him startable this week.
Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
Noah Fant has been one of the tight ends who hasn’t been phenomenal but has stuck around as a possible option in some weeks. This week is looking to be a good week for him. The Chiefs have allowed the third-most receptions to tight ends this season and the fifth-most fantasy points per game. I’d expect an increase in targets this week which is good in PPR leagues. They have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end this year which takes away some value but based on his expected targets, I would consider him startable.
Opponent: Houston Texans
Eric Ebron has been in a paired tight end situation with Jack Doyle in the Colts’ offense. They have split their target share so far this season with Ebron being the more efficient of the two but this split in targets has made Ebron touchdown-dependent. The Texans are not a good team to playing against for that outcome. The Texans haven’t allowed a touchdown to tight ends and have only allowed 43.1 yards per game which would be just above 20 if they split the work again. For this reason, I would keep Ebron benched.
Opponent: Houston Texans
I couldn’t just put Ebron as a sit without also mentioning that Jack Doyle should also be sitting. As I said, their split usage has made them touchdown-dependent which Ebron has more of (Ebron has 2 and Doyle has 1). Doyle has been the short-yardage tight end which is not very helpful for fantasy owners. The Texans have not allowed a touchdown to tight ends which diminishes Doyle’s value to an unstartable level. I would expect a below-average game for Doyle this week with maybe 3 receptions for 20-30 yards.
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
The Bears’ offense has yet to actually get going this year. In turn, this has hurt Trey Burton’s workload. The quarterback struggles of Mitchell Trubisky and Chase Daniels in their last game has shown in Burton’s stats. This week is looking to be similar kind of week with a low amount of yards as the Saints are the seventh-best team at guarding tight ends. Tight ends have averaged just 44.3 yards per game and have only scored once. I expect Burton to have just his normal 2-3 reception game.
Opponent: Detroit Lions
Kyle Rudolph has been absolutely abysmal this year with his biggest week being last week with 36 yards on 3 receptions. He still hasn’t found the endzone and that won’t be happening this week against the Lions. The Lions have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end this season. I wouldn’t expect anyone to even consider starting Rudolph this week, but there is no reason that he should even exist on any teams’ bench. There are tons of better options out there for this week and weeks to come.
Opponent: Chicago Bears
Jared Cook has been on a roll the last two weeks, receiving a touchdown in each game. These came against very favorable opponents for opposing tight ends. This week, he should be taking a step back. The Bears were ranked the number one defense in the preseason and have been among the top. They have only allowed one touchdown to tight ends on the season. The most yards that Cook has gotten in a game this season is 41. The Bears have averaged 61.2 yards per game to tight ends, but I don’t see Cook reaching that threshold.
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