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: Cardinals, Chiefs
Week 12 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Rob Gronkowski at Colts (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gronkowski returned to action this past Monday night, and he looked great in a win over the Giants. The future Hall of Famer saw eight targets, hauled in six passes and scored 13.1 fantasy points in the game. He should be in starting lineups this week, too, as the Buccaneers face a Colts defense that has allowed six touchdowns and the sixth-most points per game to tight ends.
Kyle Pitts vs. at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Pitts has been a disappointment in recent weeks, failing to score more than 9.2 fantasy points in three of his last four games. However, I'd keep the faith in the rookie this week, as a matchup against the Jaguars is a positive one. Their defense has allowed five touchdown catches to tight ends, and a total of six players at the position have scored 10-plus fantasy points against them.
Pat Freiermuth at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Freiermuth has been one of the hottest tight ends in fantasy football, rankings third in points at the position since Week 7. He should remain in starting lineups this week, as the Steelers will be without Eric Ebron in what is a positive matchup against the Bengals. Over the last three weeks, their defense has two touchdowns and the second-most points per game to tight ends.
Noah Fant vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Fant’s numbers haven’t been all that impressive in recent weeks, as he’s scored in double digits just twice in his last five games. Regardless, this week’s matchup against the Chargers makes him a viable starter in most leagues. Their defense has allowed nine touchdowns, which is tied for the most in the NFL, and the second-most points per game to opposing tight ends.
- Mike Gesicki vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Dallas Goedert at Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Logan Thomas vs. Seahawks (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
- Noah Fant vs. Chargers ($4,600)
- Tyler Higbee at Packers ($4,200)
- Evan Engram vs. Eagles ($3,800)
Week 12 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Austin Hooper at Ravens (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Hooper has received 12 targets and scored 21.8 fantasy points over the last two games, and a matchup versus the Ravens looks good on the surface. However, their defense has allowed an average of fewer than 10 fantasy points to tight ends in the last four weeks and has held the likes of T.J. Hockenson and Mike Gesicki to minimal totals. Don’t chase the points, folks.
Tyler Conklin at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Conklin has been a popular add off the waiver wire in recent weeks, as he had scored 10-plus points in three of his last four games going into last week. However, he was held to just 6.5 points by the Packers, and a matchup against the 49ers makes him a fade. Their defense has allowed just two touchdowns and 9.3 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season.
Jared Cook at Broncos (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Cook has disappeared in the stat sheets in recent weeks, scoring fewer than six fantasy points in three of his last four games. He's also seen a decline in targets, as the Chargers have used Donald Parham and Stephen Anderson more often. The Broncos haven't allowed a touchdown to a tight end, and the position has averaged the second-fewest points per game against them.
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C.J. Uzomah vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Uzomah’s stock has sunk lately, as he has failed to score more than 7.3 fantasy points in three straight games. While he's playing a full complement of snaps, his target share leaves much to be desired. He should be on fantasy benches against the Steelers, who have allowed one score to the position. Also, just three tight ends have scored more than 8.8 points against them this season.
- Gerald Everett at Football Team (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
- David Njoku at Ravens (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Jonnu Smith vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Hunter Henry vs. Titans ($4,500)
- Tyler Conklin at 49ers ($3,700)
- Jared Cook at Broncos ($3,000)
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. 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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