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.
Byes: Raiders, Ravens
Week 8 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Dallas Goedert at Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Goedert made good on his new “featured” role as the Eagles’ No. 1 tight end, catching three passes for 70 yards with a two-point conversion in a loss to the Raiders. He’ll be a top-10 option moving forward, and this week’s matchup against the Lions makes him a strong starter. Their defense has given up 10-plus points to four tight ends, including both Robert Tonyan and C.J. Uzomah.
Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Dalton Schultz at Vikings (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Schultz was one of the hottest tight ends in fantasy football before the Cowboys’ bye week, seeing at least six targets and scoring 12-plus points in four straight games. He should be back in starting lineups this week, as the Cowboys face a Vikings team that hasn’t faced many fantasy-relevant tight ends. If Dak Prescott doesn't play, however, Schultz will lose some starting appeal.
Hunter Henry at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Henry has been on a serious hot streak, scoring a touchdown in four straight games and averaging 13.4 points. This week’s matchup is a revenge game against the Chargers, who have allowed five touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. With Jonnu Smith also banged up, Henry is a solid option at what is a thin position in fantasy land.
Tyler Higbee at Texans (1 p.m. ET, Fox): No one will mistake Higbee for a fantasy star, but he’s had a decent floor over the last three weeks at a position that lacks real depth. He’ll be in the streaming conversation against the Texans, who have allowed 10-plus fantasy points to five different tight ends this season. Overall, their defense has surrendered six touchdowns and the fourth-most fantasy points a game to the position.
- Rob Gronkowski at Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Noah Fant vs. Football Team (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
- C.J. Uzomah at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Hunter Henry at Chargers ($4,200)
- Ricky Seals-Jones at Broncos ($3,800)
- C.J. Uzomah at Jets ($3,700)
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Jared Cook vs. Patriots (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Cook has produced 12-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games, making him a viable streamer in most leagues. He does have a tough matchup this weekend, however, as the Patriots have allowed just one tight end (Dalton Schultz) to score more than 9.2 fantasy points in a game against them this season. I’d keep Cook on the sidelines unless you’re in real need.
Mike Gesicki at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gesicki has been a fantasy star since Week 3, ranking second in points among tight ends in that time. So while this isn’t a stern “sit ‘em,” I would temper expectations. The Bills have allowed the eighth-fewest points a game to tight ends and held Gesicki to just 7.1 points in Week 3. I’d feel better about him if DeVante Parker were out again, but the matchup still doesn’t bode very well.
David Njoku vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Njoku has disappeared in the stat sheets in the last two weeks, scoring a combined 5.4 fantasy points after his 27.9-point bust out in Week 5. Mired in a tight end committee, it’s tough to trust the talented veteran in a matchup against the Steelers. Their defense has given up just two touchdowns to tight ends, and only two have scored more than 8.8 points against them this season.
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Cole Kmet vs. 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Kmet put up a decent stat line last week, catching five passes on six targets while scoring 9.3 fantasy points. That might be his ceiling in the Bears offense, however. Justin Fields has looked lost at times, and the offensive line has done their rookie quarterback no favors. The Niners have also let just one enemy tight end (T.J. Hockenson) score more than 11.5 points against them.
- Mo Alie-Cox vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Pat Freiermuth at Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Gerald Everett vs. Jaguars (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Mike Gesicki at Bills ($5,000)
- Pat Freiermuth at Browns ($3,600)
- Jared Cook vs. Patriots ($3,400)
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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