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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 16: Tight Ends - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

With Tom Brady short on receivers this week, he'll be looking for Rob Gronkowski early and often.

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, Jonathan Taylor, 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 16 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends

Start of the Week

Rob Gronkowski at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gronkowski’s fantasy numbers have dropped in three straight weeks, culminating in a 4.9-point stinker against the Saints. I’d keep the faith in the future Hall of Famer though, as he still had 11 targets last week and has seen no fewer than eight in five straight games. The Buccaneers will also be without Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans is a question mark due to an injured hamstring.

Sep 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) looks on against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.


Start ‘Em

Dallas Goedert vs. Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Goedert has been on fire lately, scoring a combined 49 fantasy points in his last two games. During that time, he’s seen a combined 15 targets and hauled in 13 passes. He should be a top-10 fantasy tight end this week, too, as he’ll face a Giants defense that was just gashed by Dalton Schultz. In all, seven tight ends have posted double-digit fantasy points against them this season.

Zach Ertz vs. Colts (Sat. 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL): Ertz was a nice option for fantasy fans last week, seeing 11 targets and scoring 13.4 points in a shocking loss to the Lions. He’ll remain a top-10 option at the position this week, as the Cardinals face a Colts defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends since Week 9. That includes Hunter Henry’s 25.7-point performance in last week’s win over New England.

Dawson Knox at Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Knox posted an unimpressive stat line last week, and an upcoming matchup against the Patriots isn’t favorable. Still, the Bills being without Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis (COVID-19) creates a chance for Knox to see an uptick in targets. So while New England has allowed just two tight ends to score more than 9.2 fantasy points this season, I’m still rolling with Knox this weekend.

More Starts

  • Dalton Schultz vs. Football Team (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Mike Gesicki at Saints (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

DFS Bargains

  • Dawson Knox at Patriots ($5,300)
  • Tyler Higbee at Vikings ($3,800)
  • James O’Shaughnessy at Jets ($3,200)
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Week 16 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends

Sit of the Week

Tyler Conklin vs. Rams (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Conklin was a hot add off the waiver wire a few weeks back, but he’s failed to meet expectations. He’s failed to score more than 6.5 fantasy points in four of his last five games, during which time he’s seen more than three targets just once. He also has a tough matchup against the Rams, who have given up 10 or fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends in their last five contests.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Sit ‘Em

Evan Engram at Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Engram has a great matchup this week in Philadelphia against an Eagles defense that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. So, why is he a sit ‘em? Well, Engram has failed to take advantage of good matchups all season, including being held to just 6.7 points against these same Eagles in Week 12. The Giants quarterbacks are a mess, too, so Engram is a fade for me.

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Austin Hooper at Packers (Sat. 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox): The Browns were absolutely ravaged by COVID-19 last week, but the team is getting their players back including Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry and Hooper. That makes it tough to start the veteran tight end, as there will be plenty of mouths to feed in an offense that doesn't throw the ball much. The lone pass catcher I'd use is Landry, and even he's a risk this week.

Foster Moreau vs. Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Moreau is coming off a solid stat line against the Brown, seeing nine targets and scoring 13.5 fantasy points. I wouldn’t chase that performance, however, as a tough matchup against the Broncos awaits. Their defense has allowed just three tight ends to score double-digit fantasy points against them this season, and just one has finished with 60 or more receiving yards.

More Sits

  • C.J. Uzomah vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Ricky Seals-Jones at Cowboys (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

DFS Fades

  • Tyler Conklin vs. Rams ($3,900)
  • Evan Engram at Eagles ($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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