Week 13 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Byes: Buccaneers, Panthers
Start of the Week
T.J. Hockenson at Bears (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Hockenson has been steady for fans at a thin position, averaging nearly 12 points per game while scoring nine or more points in all but one game. He should continue that streak against the Bears, who have been generous to enemy tight ends. The position has scored eight times and has averaged 15.6 fantasy points a game against them. What’s more, Hockenson beat Chicago for an impressive 16.6 fantasy points back in Week 1.
Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Austin Hooper at Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Hooper saw just two targets a week ago, but he turned one of them into a touchdown and scored 9.3 fantasy points. I see him as a low-end No. 1 tight end this week, as the Browns face the Titans. Their defense has struggled against the position, allowing seven touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points (14.5 PPG). The Titans defense has also surrendered 13-plus fantasy points to an opposing tight end three times since Week 9.
Robert Tonyan vs. Eagles (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Tonyan has put up two straight games with 15-plus fantasy points, and an upcoming matchup against the Eagles makes him a low-end No. 1 tight end. Philadelphia’s defense has struggled to keep the position in check, allowing six touchdowns and the 12th-most fantasy points (13.4 PPG) this season. So while the law of averages could bite Tonyan this week, the matchup is certainly in his favor in this important NFC battle.
Kyle Rudolph vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Vikings will get Adam Thielen back from the CVOID-19 list this week, but Irv Smith Jr. continues to deal with injuries and will be sidelined. That makes Rudolph a viable No. 1 option in fantasy circles. In two games without Smith (Weeks 10, 12), he's posted an average of 56.5 snaps with a combined 13 targets and 131 yards. A matchup against the Jaguars makes Rudolph an even more attractive option.
- Dallas Goedert at Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Mike Gesicki vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Kyle Rudolph vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Kyle Rudolph vs. Jaguars (DraftKings: $3,400)
- Jordan Akins vs. Colts (DraftKings: $2,900)
- Anthony Firkser vs. Browns (DraftKings: $2,500)
Week 13 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Jared Cook at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Cook was invisible in the stat sheets last week (again), scoring zero fantasy points against the Broncos. He has now seen a mere eight targets in his last four games, and things aren’t likely to get better as long as Taysom Hill is under center for the Saints. In fact, no offense in the NFL has run the ball more than New Orleans (60.8 percent) in the last two weeks.
Noah Fant at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): It’s tough to blame Fant for last week’s stinker, as the Broncos started a practice squad WR at quarterback due to COVID-19 protocols. However, Fant has still failed to score 10 or more points in each of his last four games and seven of his last eight overall. That includes a Week 7 game against his next opponent, the Chiefs, where Fant was held to just 6.8 points. At a very thin position, Fant is a low-end fantasy option at best.
Logan Thomas at Steelers (Mon. 5 p.m. ET, FOX): Thomas has scored 10-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games, and he’s scored double digits in four of his last six overall. Still, this week’s matchup against the Steelers makes him a fade for me. Pittsburgh has allowed just one touchdown to an opposing tight end, and the position has averaged a mere 8.0 fantasy points per game against them. If you’re looking for a streamer, I would look elsewhere for assistance.
Jimmy Graham vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Graham might be the No. 12 fantasy tight end this season, but he’s been tough to trust regardless. He’s failed to score even nine fantasy points in five of his last six games, and his last two contests have resulted in a combined six targets and 6.2 points. Next up is a date with the Lions, who have quietly been tough against tight ends. The position has averaged the seventh-fewest fantasy points against them, so Graham is a sit 'em.
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- Trey Burton at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Tyler Eifert at Vikings (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Tyler Higbee at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Evan Engram at Seahawks (DraftKings: $4,900)
- Hunter Henry vs. Patriots (DraftKings: $4,800)
- Hayden Hurst vs. Saints (DraftKings: $4,000)
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!