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NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: 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

Rob Gronkowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB · TE
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 6-5-0

Imagine my surprise when LaDainian Tomlinson told me on Total Access that he had dropped Gronk over the last few weeks. And I completely understand that. Tight end typically isn’t a position where you hold on to injured players or guys on a bye week. I mean, unless they are Travis Kelce. But you need to have Gronk in there by now (and I hope you grabbed him for Monday night). Gronk has four touchdowns in his last five games. He’s been top-10 in targets, receptions and receiving yards per game this season. And the matchup is great against the Colts, who have allowed the second-most yards to tight ends this year. 

Pat Freiermuth
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT · TE
Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 6-4-0

I went hard in the paint for Pat last week and I was sweaaaaating that for the longest time. Especially after Eric Ebron scored a touchdown. That was harrowing (I might be prone to exaggeration). Thankfully Pat eventually got into the end zone (making up for that botch at the 1-yard line earlier in the game). Dude has the most touchdowns by a tight end in the last four weeks. The Bengals have allowed the second-most touchdowns to TEs over the last month (3). He’s good to go this week. 

Noah Fant
Denver Broncos DEN · TE
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 6-4-0

It’s been a while since Noah has scored, but that could be changing this week. We all know that the Eagles are the cheat code for fantasy tight ends (good luck, Evan Engram), but did you know that the Chargers have allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends this season, one behind Philadelphia? This is a must-start moment for Noah against the LAC. He scored 11-plus in both games against the Chargers last season. 

Mike Gesicki
Miami Dolphins MIA · TE
Carolina Panthers
2021 · 5-6-0

I know a lot of you are still reeling from his donut a few weeks ago. But that’s what happens to most tight ends. The only thing you can count on is that they are going to let you down when you need him the most. But let’s be fair to Gesicki. He's been a top-five performer in targets, receptions and receiving yards since Week 3. The Panthers have allowed a top-15 tight end in two of their last three games. I fully expect to sit there and watch his stagnant scoring line for most of the day and then be like, "Yeah, that will do," when the afternoon is finished. 

Sit 'Em

Dan Arnold
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX · TE
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 4-6-0

The Arnold disappearance was a shocker to most people. Like he went full Gesicki on us. Just kidding. I said that we needed to be fair to him and we will be. Arnold had been so consistent and good. There could be a possibility for a rebound this week with Jamal Agnew out. Here is my thing, though. And I know this sounds reactionary. But this is a tough matchup against the Falcons who have allowed a top-15 tight end once in the last eight games. 

Tyler Higbee
Los Angeles Rams LA · TE
Green Bay Packers
2021 · 8-3-0

Higbee did have a touchdown against the 49ers. Wait, he did, right? He did. I double-checked. I also noticed this was his first touchdown in five games. And he also directly led to an interception by going full Sinjin Smith on a pass from Matthew Stafford. (Google it, kids. That was a dope reference.) But I don’t like the matchup against the Packers, who have allowed less than 20 points per game to tight ends which is the fifth-fewest in the NFL. 

Jared Cook
Los Angeles Chargers LAC · TE
Denver Broncos
2021 · 5-5-0

When Mike Williams is going well, it’s tough for Cook to get into the mix. And you might even argue that Cook might not be the best Chargers tight end. Though you didn’t hear that from me. Oh wait, you totally did because I just wrote that. But Cook has had fewer than 50 yards in eight of 10 games this year. The Broncos have not allowed any top-10 tight end this season. And they are in a division with Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. Although it’s fair to point out the Broncos have not played the Chiefs this year. 

Tyler Conklin
Minnesota Vikings MIN · TE
San Francisco 49ers
2021 · 5-5-0

Conklin has been solid, but he’s far down the pecking order behind Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook. He’s been a TE1 just three times this year. And the matchup is tough against the 49ers this week. San Francisco has allowed more than 40 receiving yards to a tight end just once this season. And that was way back in Week 1 when the Lions put up a ton of production in garbage time. 

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