UPDATED: September 19, 2021
Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.
Week 2 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Tyler Higbee at Colts (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Higbee is in a great position to rebound from a disappointing 2020 campaign. He's now the unquestioned top option at tight end after Gerald Everett's departure, and Matthew Stafford's presence is a clear upgrade over Jared Goff. Last week, he popped for five catches on six targets, and this week's matchup against the Colts makes him a viable No. 1 fantasy option.
Week 2 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Noah Fant at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Broncos will be without Jerry Jeudy for a number of weeks, which opens the door for players like Fant to see more targets in the pass attack. Couple that with a favorable road matchup against a Jaguars defense that looked terrible a week ago, and Fant becomes a very attractive option for fantasy managers. Consider him a potential top-8 tight end in fantasy land this weekend.
Jonnu Smith at Jets (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Smith (55) and Hunter Henry (54) played almost an even number of snaps last week, but it was the former who led the duo in terms of targets, yards and fantasy points. This week's matchup against the Jets is favorable, as their defense has allowed eight touchdowns and the most fantasy points to tight ends over its last nine games. Consider Smith a low-end No. 1 option.
Robert Tonyan vs. Lions (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Tonyan and the entire Green Bay offense was in hibernation mode last week, but a home game against the Lions in front of a national TV audience should be good for what ails them. Detroit has given up the 12th-most fantasy points to tight ends since Week 9 2020, and Tonyan bit their kneecaps to the tune of 25.1 fantasy points in their two matchups from last season.
- Kyle Pitts at Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Rob Gronkowski vs. Falcons (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Jared Cook vs. Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Noah Fant at Jaguars (DraftKings: $4,200)
- Tyler Higbee at Colts (DraftKings: $4,100)
- Jared Cook vs. Cowboys (DraftKings: $3,900)
Week 2 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Mike Gesicki vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Fantasy managers who started Gesicki last week know at least part of the reason he’s this week’s top sit ‘em choice. He played just 21 snaps (17 fewer than Durham Smythe) and was held without a catch on a pair of targets. Gesicki's outlook is a bit better with news that Will Fuller V will miss this week's game, but I still consider the veteran a real risk against a tough Buffalo defense.
Austin Hooper vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): I liked Hooper last week in a positive matchup with the Chiefs, but David Njoku led the Browns' tight ends in the major offensive categories. If he shares time with Njoku and Harrison Bryant, even with Odell Beckham Jr. out of action once again, it could be tough for Hooper to produce. The Texans have also given up just three touchdowns to tight ends in their last 10 games.
Watch NFL games online all season long with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
Gerald Everett vs. Titans (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Everett put up a decent line in the opener, scoring a touchdown and 10 fantasy points. However, he was only targeted twice in the game, and Will Dissly had more targets, catches, and yards in a win over the Colts. I wouldn’t chase the points this week, as the Seahawks face a Titans defense that has allowed just four touchdowns to enemy tight ends in their last 10 contests.
Cole Kmet vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Kmet’s value is on the rise, as he seems to be the Bears’ No. 1 tight end. He played 51 snaps and had seven targets against the Rams, leading Jimmy Graham by wide margins in both categories. On the flip side, the Bengals have allowed just 4.4 catches per game and a mere two touchdowns to tight ends since Week 9 2020. At best, Kmet is a high-end No. 2 option for fantasy fans this weekend.
- Zach Ertz vs. 49ers (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Eric Ebron vs. Raiders (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Tyler Conklin at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Mike Gesicki vs. Bills (DraftKings: $4,000)
- Austin Hooper vs. Texans (DraftKings: $3,800)
- Zach Ertz vs. 49ers (DraftKings: $3,700)
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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!
Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.