Week 9 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Byes: Bengals, Browns, Eagles, Rams
Start of the Week
T.J. Hockenson at Vikings: Hockenson continues to produce nice totals for fantasy fans, as he hauled in seven of 10 targets for 65 yards in last week's loss to the Colts. He has now produced at least 9.3 fantasy points in every game this season, and his 12.4-point per game average looks good at what has been a tough position to fill. This week's matchup looks good too, as the Vikings have allowed four tight ends to score 11-plus points. Hockenson should also see more targets with Kenny Golladay sidelined.
Week 9 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Rob Gronkowski vs. Saints (SNF): Gronkowski has re-emerged into a solid fantasy option since the Bucs lost O.J. Howard, and this week's matchup against New Orleans makes him a virtual must-start. The Saints have struggled against opposing tight ends, allowing six scores and the third-most fantasy points to the position. Furthermore, their defense has given up 10-plus fantasy points to five different tight ends, including one (Darren Waller) who scored nearly 30 points. Gronkowski is in a smash spot this weekend.
Noah Fant at Falcons: Fant still doesn’t look to be 100 percent recovered from his injured ankle, but he did see nine targets (seven catches) in last week’s game against the Chargers. I like him as a low-end No. 1 option this week, as the Broncos travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Their defense has allowed eight touchdowns and the most fantasy points to tight ends, including three players at the position who have scored 21-plus points. I’d consider Fant a top-10 tight end based on the matchup alone.
Eric Ebron at Cowboys: Ebron hasn't been putting up huge totals, but he does have 11-plus points in three of his last five games and has seen at least five targets in six of his last seven. This week, he's in the streaming conversation as the Steelers head to Jerry World to face the Cowboys. Their defense has been generous to tight ends, as six players at the position have scored nine-plus fantasy points against them. While Ebron is like rolling the proverbial dice, the matchup this week makes him worth the gamble.
- Jared Cook at Buccaneers (SNF)
- Jonnu Smith vs. Bears
- Hunter Henry vs. Raiders
- Hunter Henry vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $4,100)
- Jonnu Smith vs. Bears (DraftKings: $3,900)
- Logan Thomas vs. Giants (DraftKings: $3,700)
Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Hayden Hurst vs. Broncos: Hurst has been pretty reliable for fantasy fans in recent weeks, scoring at least 10.4 fantasy points in three straight weeks. That will keep him active in most leagues, but I'd beware of this matchup against Denver. Their defense has been tough on tight ends, as just two players at the position have scored more than 10 points against them, and none have put up more than 13.6 points. Sure, Hurst could see more targets without Calvin Ridley, but I would still temper expectations.
Mike Gesicki at Cardinals: Gesicki has been very frustrating for fantasy fans this season, as he’s scored more than eight points just three times and has four games with six or fewer points. That includes Gesicki scoring a combined 1.8 fantasy points over the last two games. Tua Tagovailoa barely threw the football in his first NFL start, and the Cardinals have allowed just one tight end (Jesse James of all people) to score more than 9.3 fantasy points against them this season. Gesicki is a fade for me in the desert.
Dalton Schultz vs. Steelers: Schultz put up a very respectable 11.3 fantasy points in Philadelphia last week, even though the Cowboys had third-stringer Ben DiNucci under center. The Cowboys will now switch to either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush under center, and I’d beware Schultz with a matchup against the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s defense has been tough on tight ends, allowing just one touchdown and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position. If you’re stuck with Schultz, don’t expect much.
Trey Burton vs. Ravens: Burton has become fantasy relevant in recent weeks, as he's scored the seventh-most points at the position since Week 6. However, he's still sharing time with fellow tight ends Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox, and an upcoming matchup against the Ravens makes him a risk in fantasy leagues. Tight ends have had mixed results when facing the Ravens defense, though no player at the position has scored more than 14.8 fantasy points. Just one tight end has had more than 55 yards, too.
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- Jack Doyle vs. Ravens
- Greg Olsen at Bills
- Chris Herndon vs. Patriots (MNF)
- Mark Andrews at Colts (DraftKings: $4,800)
- Mike Gesicki at Cardinals (DraftKings: $4,300)
- Evan Engram at Football Team (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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