Start Em Sit Em

2021 NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 1: Tight ends

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Zach Ertz
Philadelphia Eagles · TE
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons

I feel like all of you are rushing out a little too quickly to try to make Dallas Goedert a thing, while just ignoring Ertz. He was the most-targeted player by Jalen Hurts during the preseason. He’s been a top six fantasy tight end in two of his last three years. It would be a huge mistake just to overlook him against the Falcons who struggled against tight ends last season.

Austin Hooper
Cleveland Browns · TE
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends last year. And I wanted to see if Darren Waller had a couple of monsters against them. And while the Baller did do well (he scored a touchdown in each contest), there wasn’t anything that should have skewed the rankings. So I’m going to allow it. And both David Njoku and Hooper did well against the Chiefs in the playoffs last year. So of course, it’s will end up being Harrison Bryant and we will be shouting his name on That Helps No One. But still. 

Robert Tonyan
Green Bay Packers · TE
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints

*Game played at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field

Good to see people are still doubting Big Bob Tonyan after he hauled in 11 touchdown passes last year. Regression is likely to happen. I mean the dude had a catch rate that was somewhere near 90 percent. But Aaron Rodgers is still his starting quarterback. And the Saints defense has lost a lot of depth. There could be an opportunity for him here in this matchup. He seems like a lock for a top 10 tight end this week. 

Logan Thomas
Washington Football Team · TE
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers

Thomas led all tight ends last season with 609 routes run. I mean, far and away the best in the league. He had at least 10 fantasy points in nine of his final 11 games last year. Again, he might not reach those levels again because they were hard to sustain. But I like this offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jordan Akins
Houston Texans · TE
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars

I know, this is crazy. But give me one Danger Zone player to roll out here. Houston Texans tight ends are always the most unpredictable. So this is going to be a crazy reach, obviously. And I’m not going to roll him out over some of the tight ends with tough matchups. But if you really screwed yourself at tight end, this isn’t the worst option. The Jaguars allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends last season. 

Sleepers: Bears TE Jimmy Graham at Los Angeles Rams; Panthers TE Dan Arnold vs. New York Jets. 

Tough matchup, don't care: Lions TE T.J. Hockenson vs. San Francisco 49ers; Patriots TE Jonnu Smith vs. Miami Dolphins.

Tough matchup, I might not have a choice: Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki at New England Patriots.

Sit 'Em

Eric Ebron
Pittsburgh Steelers · TE
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills

The Bills gave up a lot of points to the tight end position last year. So you might be looking at Ebron to stream him. But he played just 67 percent of snaps against Buffalo last year, down from 80 percent the previous week against the Football Team. He did have five targets in that game and ended up with five points. But you can probably do better.

Dawson Knox
Buffalo Bills · TE
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bills have just Knox on their roster this season, and honestly, I would expect to see more four-receiver sets than anything. The most-damming thing for me is that you would normally want your tight end to see a bunch of end zone targets because that’s what we really want from tight ends. We know it’s going to be very limited for some of these choices. But Gabriel Davis actually led the Bills in end zone targets last year. The next time the Bills are near the goal line, I fear Gabe Davis taking all of those looks. 

Anthony Firkser
Tennessee Titans · TE
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals

Jonnu Smith did a nice job last season establishing himself as a legit end zone threat, which isn’t easy to do when you have a couple of beast like A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry there. But I don’t expect Firskser to just waltz in there and take a bunch of Smith’s production. I actually see Julio Jones being big in that sense. The Cardinals were tough on tight ends last year, so I’m going to wait to see how this shakes out before I roll with a Titans tight end. 

Gerald Everett
Seattle Seahawks · TE
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts

The Seahawks have always been looking for a reliable tight end. Jimmy Graham. Will Dissly. Luke Willson. No, the football playing Willson, not the dude from Wedding Crashers. I’m an Everett guy this season, but I don’t like the matchup against the Colts who allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position last year. 

Jared Cook
Los Angeles Chargers · TE
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team

Don’t be so dismissive about Cook this season. I do believe he has a bit of juice left for the coming season as a reliable No. 3 option for Justin Herbert behind Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, but this matchup against the Football Team is going to be pretty tough. The Football Team allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends last year. And if you take away the Mark Andrews game, they were damn-near dominant against the position. 

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