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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 9: Tight Ends - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Look for Mike Gesicki to have a big game against the Texans.

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: Buccaneers, Football Team, Lions, Seahawks


Miami Dolphins Mike Gesicki

Week 9 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends

Start of the Week

Mike Gesicki vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gesicki was listed as a "beware" in this space last weekend, and he finished with just 48 yards in a loss to the Bills. I like him to rebound this week, though, as the Texans have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. What's more, their defense has given up 10-plus fantasy points to five different tight ends while another three players have scored at least nine points.


Start' Em

Dallas Goedert vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Goedert has become a solid play for fantasy fans in recent weeks, playing 80.5 percent of the Eagles' offensive snaps while averaging 12.6 points in their last two games after the trade of Zach Ertz. This week, he'll remain a strong option as the Eagles host a Chargers defense that has given up five touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends this season.

Albert Okwuegbunam at Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Broncos could be without Noah Fant this week, as he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That makes the man we affectionally call “Albert O” a nice streaming option for those fantasy fans in need. He faces a Cowboys defense that’s allowed five tight ends to score at least 9.5 points, and Okwuegbunam is on the waiver wire in a lot of fantasy football leagues.

Tyler Conklin at Ravens (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Fantasy fans looking for a streamer this week should consider Conklin. He’s seen at least five targets in four of his last five games, and an upcoming matchup in Baltimore is favorable. No team has given up more points to opposing tight ends this season, and five players at the position have put up at least 12.5 points. With four teams on a bye, Conklin is well worth a look.

More Starts

  • Dalton Schultz vs. Broncos (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Zach Ertz at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Jared Cook at Eagles (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)

SI Recommends

DFS Bargains

  • Dallas Goedert vs. Chargers ($4,500)
  • Jared Cook at Eagles ($3,300)
  • Albert Okwuegbunam at Cowboys ($2,600)
Tyler Higbee, Fantasy Football, Los Angeles Rams

Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends

Sit of the Week

Tyler Higbee vs. Titans (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Higbee put up a stinker last week in what was a great spot against the Texans, seeing three targets on 46 snaps. I’d fade the veteran this week, as the Rams host the Titans at SoFi Stadium. Tennessee’s defense has allowed just three touchdowns to tight ends, and no player at the position has scored more than 13.5 fantasy points against them (and that was Travis Kelce).

Sit ‘Em

Hunter Henry at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Henry’s streak of four straight games with a touchdown (and good fantasy totals) ended last week, as he was held to just 4.3 points on three targets. Also, he has a tough matchup next on the schedule, as Carolina has allowed just three touchdowns to tight ends. What’s more, only one player at the position (Dalton Schultz) has scored more than 10.4 points against them this season.

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Pat Freiermuth vs. Bears (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Freiermuth is on a nice hot streak, scoring a combined 27.4 fantasy points in his last two games. So while he was a popular add off the waiver wire at a thin position, I would temper expectations for him on Monday night. The Bears have been tough on tight ends, allowing just one (Tyler Higbee) to score more than 9.9 fantasy points against them after the first eight weeks.

Dan Arnold vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Arnold was also a hot name off the wire this week, as he put up eight catches and 14.8 fantasy points in a loss to the Seahawks. He has a far tougher matchup this week, though, as the Jaguars face a Bills defense that’s allowed just one player (Kelce) to score more than 12.2 fantasy points against them. Their defense has also allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends this season.

More Sits

  • Austin Hooper at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • C.J. Uzomah vs. Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Cole Kmet at Steelers (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

DFS Fades

  • Hunter Henry at Panthers ($4,000)
  • C.J. Uzomah vs. Browns ($3,900)
  • Evan Engram vs. Raiders ($3,800)

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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