Week 8 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Byes: Cardinals, Football Team, Jaguars, Texans
Start of the Week
Jonnu Smith at Bengals
Smith put up a stinker last week against the Steelers, seeing just four targets with one catch. He should rebound this week, however, as the Titans head to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. Their defense has struggled to stop tight ends, which was evident last week when Harrison Bryant and David Njoku combined to produce three touchdowns. Overall, the position has scored six touchdowns and averaged nearly 19 fantasy points against Cincinnati’s defense. Smith should produce top-10 totals this weekend.
Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Rob Gronkowski at Giants (MNF)
Gronkowski looked dead and buried in fantasy land earlier this season, but the big man has been resurrected in recent weeks. He's second in fantasy points since Week 5 while averaging more than 14 fantasy points. He's also guaranteed to see continued targets with Chris Godwin (finger) out this week. The Giants have given up 13-plus points to the likes of Richard Rodgers and Logan Thomas too, so Gronkowski should be in another smash spot. He's now pushed back into the top-5 tight ends.
Dallas Goedert vs. Cowboys (SNF)
Notice a trend of picking on the Cowboys in this week's column? Well, it's very well warranted. Their defense has allowed the most points and the sixth-most yards per game overall, and tight ends have averaged nearly 15 fantasy points per contest against them. That includes Logan Thomas, who put up 16 points versus the Boys a week ago. Carson Wentz averages more tight end targets than any quarterback in the league too, and the Eagles activated Goedert in time to face this NFC East rival.
Jimmy Graham vs. Saints
In a week full of revenge games, let’s add another one! Graham has been a borderline No. 1 tight end for fantasy fans this season, averaging better than 10 points per game. He’ll be back in the starting mix this week too, as Graham faces his former team, the Saints, at Soldier Field. Tight ends have thrived against New Orleans, scoring six touchdowns and averaging the second-most points (18.9 PPG). So for those looking for a tight end with a pretty decent floor, Graham is well worth a look this weekend.
- T.J. Hockenson vs. Colts
- Hunter Henry at Broncos
- Jared Cook at Bears
- Jonnu Smith at Bengals (DraftKings: $4,100)
- Trey Burton at Lions (DraftKings: $3,500)
- Harrison Bryant vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $3,200)
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Evan Engram vs. Buccaneers (MNF)
Engram ranks in the top 10 among tight ends in snaps played and routes run, but it hasn’t equated into fantasy production. In fact, the veteran ranks just 17th in points per game at the position after seven weeks. This week, Engram faces a tough home game against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed an average of just 45.7 yards to tight ends, and the position has put up a modest 11.3 fantasy points per game. Engram has also dropped more passes (5) than any other tight end in the league.
Eric Ebron at Ravens
Ebron put up a nice stat line last week, catching six passes and scoring 11 fantasy points in a win over the Titans. I wouldn't chase the points though, as Ebron has put up fewer than eight fantasy points in four of his first six games with the Steelers. He also has a tough matchup next on the slate, as Pittsburgh travels to Baltimore for a huge AFC North battle. Their defense hasn't given up more than 14.7 fantasy points to a tight end this season, and that was Travis Kelce in Week 3. I'd temper expectations.
Gerald Everett at Dolphins
Everett got into the end zone last week in a big win over Chicago, and he could see a continued bump in targets if Tyler Higbee is inactive again. Still, the matchup this week isn’t what you would call favorable. Miami has been tough on tight ends, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to the position. That includes a Week 5 game against the Niners when the Fins held George Kittle to four catches and 8.4 fantasy points. What’s more, no tight end has scored more than 8.5 points against them so far this season.
Greg Olsen vs. 49ers
Olsen caught just two passes on three targets in last week’s loss to the Cardinals, and he’s losing work to both Will Dissly and even Jacob Hollister. The veteran has now put up fewer than nine fantasy points in four of his last five games, and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1. So unless you’re desperate for a tight end in a league with big bonuses for tight ends, I’d keep Olsen on the sidelines versus the 49ers. Their defense has allowed one touchdown and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to enemy tight ends.
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- Robert Tonyan vs. Vikings
- Dalton Schultz at Eagles (SNF)
- Irv Smith Jr. at Packers
- Noah Fant vs. Chargers (DraftKings: $4,700)
- Robert Tonyan vs. Vikings (DraftKings: $4,300)
- Eric Ebron at Ravens (DraftKings: $3,900)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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