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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: 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
Arizona Cardinals ARI · TE
Seattle Seahawks
2022 · 5-3-0

Ertz was the TE5 in Week 8, scoring 13.4 fantasy points. It was back into double-digit fantasy points for Ertz, who failed to do so for the first time in Week 7 against the Saints. There was concern that DeAndre Hopkins would eat into Ertz’s production on his return, but it now looks like a one-week blip on the radar. Scoring double-digits is about all we hope for out of our fantasy tight ends, and Ertz doing so in seven of the first eight weeks is enough to push him into must-start status. That is especially true against the Seahawks, who have allowed 15.1 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the 10th-most in the NFL. Play Ertz with confidence this week.  

Evan Engram
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX · TE
Las Vegas Raiders
2022 · 2-5-0

Engram has seen at least six targets in each of his last four games. Safe volume each week is a lot more than many tight ends can say. Engram has now scored at least nine fantasy points in four straight games and reached double digits in three of those. Last week, he scored a season-high 15.5 fantasy points as he caught his first touchdown as a member of the Jaguars. It was enough to make him a top-five fantasy tight end. This week, he faces the Raiders, who have allowed 16.2 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the third-most in the NFL. That includes six touchdowns, the third-most in the NFL. Engram is a strong streaming option who is quickly just becoming a weekly play at the tight end position.  

Gerald Everett
Los Angeles Chargers LAC · TE
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 4-4-0

Everett was on bye last week, which means two things are very possible: that fantasy managers dropped him for another streaming tight end and that they may overlook Everett, forgetting how he has been performing. Either way, take advantage. Everett has seen seven and nine targets in his past two games and has seen at least six targets in all but one game since Week 2. Everett has topped 11 fantasy points four times this season and is averaging 9.9 fantasy PPG. You can do much worse at the tight end position. Factor in that his volume should remain safe as long as Mike Williams is sidelined. And, if you’re still not sold, he gets the Falcons this week, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to tight ends (15.8). He is a strong streaming option this week.  

Noah Fant
Seattle Seahawks SEA · TE
Arizona Cardinals
2022 · 3-5-0

This is Fant’s second time as a start this season. The first time came in Week 6 when he faced the Cardinals. He finished that game with season highs in targets (seven) and catches (six) while going for 45 yards. He scored a season-high 10.5 fantasy points that week. That was the same week many others were suggesting Will Dissly. But it's Fant who has been seeing more usage in the passing game. Fant has four games this season with four or more targets. He has also played over 70 percent of the snaps in two straight games, over 60 percent in four and over half in every game this season. Meanwhile, Dissly has two games with more than three targets all year and in each of those games he had just four. He has also played 50 percent of the snaps or less in every game this season. It's frustrating that both can be involved at times but since Fant has more usage, he is the preferred option. The only reason it’s worth using either TE is because of the matchup. The Cardinals have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to tight ends (19.7), as well as the most catches and touchdowns and second-most yards. If you are diving a little deeper for a streaming option, you can start Fant.  

Sit 'Em

T.J. Hockenson
Minnesota Vikings MIN · TE
Washington Commanders
2022 · 4-4-0

Irv Smith Jr. suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 8 and will be sidelined for multiple weeks. That, also largely paired with Smith’s ineffectiveness this season, led the Vikings to make an in-division trade with the Lions, acquiring Hockenson on Tuesday. That gives Hockenson a couple of days to learn a new offense and familiarize himself with Kirk Cousins. It’s always tougher for a player in the passing game than, say, a running back to learn the offense, especially when talking about tight ends, as they need to learn blocking schemes as well as their routes. That could lead Hockenson to be largely limited early on in his Vikings tenure. There is upside as the season progresses, but I would take a wait-and-see approach with Hockenson, especially considering he is facing the Commanders, who have allowed a league-low 6.5 fantasy PPG to tight ends. In the past month, that number drops to 3.4 per game.  

Hunter Henry
New England Patriots NE · TE
Indianapolis Colts
2022 · 3-4-1

Henry looked like he was ascending a couple weeks back, but then returned to his early season form. In the past two weeks combined, Henry has three targets for two catches and 34 yards, leading to 5.4 fantasy points. That would be a bad game, let alone two weeks. He now has over four fantasy points in just two games all season. The Colts have been middle of the pack against tight ends, but with his usage being so volatile and the floor as low as it is, it’s best to go in another direction if you need to stream this week.  

Cole Kmet
Chicago Bears CHI · TE
Miami Dolphins
2022 · 5-3-0

Kmet was a popular breakout pick coming into the season, his quarterback has been playing much better and he just caught his first touchdown since 2020. Plus, he faces a Dolphins defense that has not been tough on many positions this year. All of that may lead you to consider streaming Kmet. However, he has one game all year with more than three targets and has yet to reach double-digit fantasy points in a game. Plus, while the Dolphins defense has allowed production, it is just outside the top 10 in fewest fantasy PPG allowed to tight ends. There is also the addition of Chase Claypool, who can steal some targets away now. There are better streaming options this week.  

Cade Otton
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB · TE
Los Angeles Rams
2022 · 3-4-0

Otton has seen five targets in two straight games after seeing seven targets a couple games prior. He has had mixed results in those games, reaching double-digits twice and scoring fewer than five in the other. However, while he has reached double-digits, he has just cracked it and has yet to reach 11 in a game. Plus, he faces the Rams this week, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to tight ends (6.7). In the past month, they have allowed just 2.9 fantasy PPG to the position, the fewest in the NFL. You may need to stream and think, “Hey this guy is Tom Brady’s tight end, worth a shot,” but trust me, there are better options out there this week.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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