Week 12 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Hunter Henry at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Henry has put up a touchdown and 13-plus fantasy points in two straight games, and he’s seen at least six targets in each of his last three. That bodes well for the veteran, who is in line for another nice game when the Chargers face the Bills. Buffalo’s defense has struggled against tight ends, allowing six touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points. In fact, four have scored 15-plus points, including three with more than 20 points.
Week 12 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Evan Engram at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Engram has been tough to trust this season, but he has been more reliable lately with 10-plus points in three of his last four games. He's a virtual must-start this week as the Giants travel to the Queen City to face the Bengals. Their defense has been generous to enemy tight ends, allowing six touchdowns and nearly 15 fantasy points per game to the position. At what is a super-thin position, Engram is a certain top-10 option.
Dallas Goedert vs. Seahawks (MNF, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Goedert has become the top option in the Eagles pass attack, earning a team-high 16 percent target share over the last two games. That's good enough to keep him in fantasy lineups at a thin position. The Eagles will be without Zach Ertz for at least another week as well, so Goedert should continue to see plenty of looks from Carson Wentz. In fact, no quarterback in the league targets tight ends more (10.2 per game).
Kyle Rudolph vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, FOX): It's the holiday season, so it's time for Rudolph to shine, right? The Vikings will be without Adam Thielen (COVID-19), and Irv Smith Jr. is very doubtful to be active. That leaves Rudolph as one of the top options in the passing game for Kirk Cousins when the Vikings host the Panthers. Rudolph was a stud last season in games with Thielen on the sidelines, and I can easily see him posting top-10 numbers a very thin position.
- Austin Hooper at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Eric Ebron vs. Ravens (Tues. 8 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Hayden Hurst vs. Raiders (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Evan Engram at Bengals (DraftKings: $4,500)
- Hayden Hurst vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $3,800)
- Kyle Rudolph vs. Panthers (DraftKings: $2,800)
Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Jared Cook at Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET): Cook was invisible in the stat sheets last week, catching just one pass on one target in a win over the Falcons. Cook has now seen a mere six targets in his last three games, and things aren’t likely to get better while Taysom Hill is under center for the Saints. In fact, Hill had near tunnel vision for Michael Thomas (52 percent target share) last week. The Broncos are tough against tight ends too, so Cook is relegated to the bench.
Jimmy Graham at Packers (SNF 8:20 p.m. ET, ESPN): Graham has a "revenge" game this week, facing his former team, the Packers, at Lambeau Field. While the veteran has averaged nearly 10 fantasy points per game on the strength of his five touchdowns, Graham has been anything but reliable from a fantasy perspective. He's scored fewer than 8.5 points in four of his last five games. Green Bay has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends too.
Trey Burton vs. Titans (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS): Burton put up a touchdown and 10.5 fantasy points in last week’s win over the Packers, but I wouldn’t chase the points when he faces the Titans. The last time he faced this AFC South opponent, he was held to three targets and 5.4 fantasy points. With the Colts now having their full complement of tight ends (Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox) available, targets could be uneven on a week to week basis. Consider Burton a No. 2 tight end, at best.
Noah Fant vs. Saints (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): Fant and every other Broncos pass catcher is a fade for me this week, not because of the matchup but because of the team's quarterback position. Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel are all out due to COVID-19, so Denver might have to start a wide receiver, Kendall Hinton, under center. He hasn't played quarterback since 2018 at Wake Forest. The pandemic is certainly taking it's toll on the NFL and fantasy managers alike.
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- Robert Tonyan vs. Bears (SNF 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Jordan Reed at Rams (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Chris Herndon IV vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Tyler Higbee vs. 49ers (DraftKings: $3,700)
- Jordan Reed at Rams (DraftKings: $3,600)
- Jared Cook at Broncos (DraftKings: $3,500)
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 all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!