Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they’ll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Alvin Kamara will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system.
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Week 4 Start ‘Em: Tight Ends
Start of the Week
Evan Engram at Rams
Engram has been a disappointment for fantasy fans, scoring fewer than six fantasy points in two of his first three games. I’d keep the faith, though, as he’s averaged 57 snaps per game and ranks tied for sixth in targets among tight ends. Engram also has a positive matchup against the Rams, who surrendered a pair of touchdowns and 18.4 fantasy points to Tyler Kroft a week ago. Daniel Jones also ranks tied for fifth among quarterbacks in targeting tight ends, which benefits Engram.
Hunter Henry at Buccaneers
Henry posted a respectable 10 fantasy points last week, and he’s now scored double-digit points in four straight games dating back to 2019. He’s also fourth among tight ends in targets (23), and Justin Herbert has leaned on him in the passing game since his insertion into the starting lineup. This week’s matchup looks good too, as the Buccaneers have surrendered a combined 10 catches to Jared Cook and Noah Fant in their two 2020 games facing fantasy-relevant tight ends.
T.J. Hockenson vs. Saints
Hockenson lost a touchdown to Jesse James and didn’t put up a huge line last week against the Cardinals, but he was targeted seven times and played 55 snaps. I like him as a low-end fantasy starter this week, as the Saints visit Ford Field in a game with an over/under of 54 on DK Sportsbook. New Orleans has also been smashed by Darren Waller (28.5 points) and Robert Tonyan (16 points) over the last two weeks, so this unit has been vulnerable to tight ends (27.3 PPG) in 2020.
Dalton Schultz vs. Browns
Schultz didn’t put up a huge stat line last week (8.8 points), but he did see six targets in Seattle. He’s now seen 16 targets over his last two games, and an upcoming matchup against the Browns makes him a viable streamer. This unit has allowed the third-most catches (22) and the third-most fantasy points (19.3 PPG) to opposing tight ends, which bodes well for Schultz. Also, Dak Prescott leads the NFL in pass attempts, and he’s tied for eighth among quarterbacks in targeting tight ends.
- Noah Fant at Jets (TNF)
- Mike Gesicki vs. Seahawks
- Robert Tonyan vs. Falcons
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Week 4 Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends
Sit of the Week
Jimmy Graham vs. Colts
Graham is coming off a 10-target, two-touchdown game in a win over the Falcons, making him a popular add off the waiver wire. He’s also eighth in routes run and seventh in passing snaps among tight ends. Regardless, I would fade the veteran based on the matchup against the Colts that is anything but favorable. This unit has been tough on tight ends, surrendering an average of two catches for 32 yards and a mere 3.1 fantasy points per game to the position. Keep Graham sidelined.
Austin Hooper at Cowboys
This week’s matchup against the Cowboys is favorable on paper, but Hooper’s usage (or lack thereof) is of serious concern. He ranks 23rd in routes run among tight ends, and nearly half of the snaps he plays are run plays. That’s not a surprise in an offense with two stud running backs (Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt) and a quarterback in Baker Mayfield, who is 27th in pass attempts. So while Dallas is a vulnerable opponent because of its swiss cheese defense, Hooper remains a fade.
Rob Gronkowski vs. Chargers
Gronkowski showed some signs of life a week ago, posting six catches on seven targets in a win over the Broncos. He continues to share the tight end duties with O.J. Howard; however, nearly 45 percent of his offensive snaps have resulted in a running play. So while the potential absences of both Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Justin Watson (shoulder) could open up a few more targets, Gronkowski is no sure bet to produce against a very tough Chargers pass defense.
Jack Doyle at Bears
Doyle appears to have been “Wally Pipped,” as Mo Alie-Cox was the Colts top tight end last week. That came although Doyle was active, at least in terms of his status. He was on a milk carton in the stat sheets against the Jets, as the veteran didn’t see a single target despite running more routes (16 to 8) and playing nearly as many snaps (36 to 32) as his teammate. In what is looking like a tight end committee of sorts, starting Doyle isn’t a recommended course of action this week.
- Chris Herndon vs. Broncos (TNF)
- Greg Olsen at Dolphins
- Jordan Akins vs. Steelers
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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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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