UPDATED: October 8, 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 5 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Mike Gesicki at Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gesicki has emerged into a startable asset over the last two weeks, ranking third in fantasy points and second in targets at the position. He’s become a popular option for Jacoby Brissett, who will start another game for the Dolphins. The Buccaneers have struggled against tight ends, allowing the third-most fantasy points, and their secondary is a mess of injuries at this point.
Week 5 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Hunter Henry at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Henry has awoken a bit in fantasy, tallying nine catches in his last two games and scoring a touchdown last week in a loss to the Buccaneers. Next on the schedule is a great matchup against the Texans, who have allowed three touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. That includes a two-touchdown game from Dawson Knox in last week’s blowout loss.
Dalton Schultz vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Schultz has been one of the hottest tight ends in fantasy football, as he’s tied for fourth in points over the last two weeks. He saw a 36.3 percent target share last week, and Dak Prescott has faith in him in the passing game. He's a nice option against the Giants, who have given up four touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2021.
Dawson Knox at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Speaking of hot tight ends, how about Knox? He ranks second in fantasy points at the position over the last two weeks, and he’s seen five red-zone targets in that time. Available in many fantasy leagues, Knox is an add and start (where needed) against the Chiefs. SI Sportsbook has the over/under at 56.5, and K.C. has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends.
- Noah Fant at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Evan Engram at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Cameron Brate vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Mike Gesicki at Buccaneers ($4,200)
- Jonnu Smith at Texans ($3,300)
- Evan Engram at Cowboys ($3,200)
Week 5 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Robert Tonyan at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Tonyan has been tough to trust as a touchdown-dependent tight end who has only one end-zone visit in four weeks. He has also seen more than four targets just once, and he’s had a mere three red-zone targets. The Bengals have been sneaky tough against tight ends, allowing just one touchdown and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position. I’d keep Tonyan on the sidelines.
Jared Cook vs. Browns (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Cook put up a huge stat line against the Raiders last week, but an upcoming matchup against Cleveland makes him a fade for me. The Browns’ defense has been tough on tight ends, allowing just one (Travis Kelce) to score more than 5.8 fantasy points in their first four games. I would avoid chasing the points and keep Cook sidelined this weekend unless you’re in dire straits.
Maxx Williams vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Williams isn't rostered in many leagues, but he ranks fifth in fantasy points at the position over the last three weeks. Despite his emergence, I'd keep the veteran on the sidelines (or waiver wire) for a matchup against the 49ers. His targets have been somewhat sporadic, and the San Francisco defense has allowed just one touchdown to a tight end this season.
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C.J. Uzomah vs. Packers (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Uzomah was a hot add off the waiver wire this week, as he put up a huge stat line against the Jaguars last week. He also has a great upcoming matchup against the Packers, but can you trust a player who had seen just five targets in his first three games and no red-zone looks? The Bengals could also get Tee Higgins back this week, which would make Uzomah less attractive.
- Tyler Conklin vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Cole Kmet at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Jack Doyle at Ravens (Mon., 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
- George Kittle at Cardinals ($5,600)
- Dallas Goedert at Panthers ($5,100)
- Robert Tonyan at Bengals ($4,300)
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!
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