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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: 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

Jared Cook
New Orleans Saints NO · TE
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 1-0-0

Cook outscored Michael Thomas last week, which was what we were all expecting coming into the first weekend of the season. I jest, obviously. But Cook had seven targets which he turned into five receptions and 13 fantasy points. What stood out to me was Cook had 75 air yards, which was fourth among tight ends. And then there is that huge bummer, where Michael Thomas is going to be out a few weeks with a high-ankle injury. Which means there could be even more opportunity for Cook in this offense.

Eric Ebron
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT · TE
Denver Broncos
2020 · 0-1-0

Ebron didn’t have a big debut for the Steelers in Week 1, which is kind of a bummer. Because he caused a stir in the fantasy industry this summer when he slammed analysts for not having him higher in the fantasy ranks. He scored 2.8 fantasy points against the Giants in Week 1. That’s cool. I won’t hold one week against you, Eric. Even though you didn’t take me up on my invitation to join one of my fantasy leagues. I do love the matchup this week for Ebron. The Broncos allowed 23.2 fantasy points and two touchdowns to the position in Week 1.

Evan Engram
New York Giants NYG · TE
Chicago Bears
2020 · 1-0-0

Loved Engram coming into this season because of the work Jason Garrett has done with tight ends over his career. Or maybe it’s just that Garrett worked with a really good one (Jason Witten). Like is Adam Clayton really one of the best bassists in the world, or is he really good because he’s in U2? (Ask your parents, they probably love that band.) I love Engram this week against the Bears, who have allowed the ninth-most points to tight ends since 2019.

Dallas Goedert
Philadelphia Eagles PHI · TE
Los Angeles Rams
2020 · 1-0-0

We are going to see a lot of 12 personnel (two tight ends) for the Eagles as they once again have to deal with injuries to the wide receiver position. Both Zach Ertz and Goedert are the most reliable targets for Carson Wentz. I mean, we know who Wentz is at this point. Goedert played 81% of the snaps (85% for Ertz) and turned his nine targets into 24.1 fantasy points. I can’t offer the same type of production for you this week. But he’s a great start for anybody who lost Blake Jarwin.

Noah Fant
Denver Broncos DEN · TE
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 1-0-0

Drew Lock loves Noah. I love Noah. He scored 19.1 fantasy points against the Titans on Monday night, including a touchdown. He led the team in receptions and receiving yards.  I’m under no illusion that this is a pretty tough matchup against the Steelers. But with Courtland Sutton’s status being up in the air and the fact (again) Lock is going to target him a lot, I’m going to prepare myself for disappointment. But still start him.

Sleepers: T.J. Hockenson (at Green Bay Packers); Logan Thomas (at Arizona Cardinals)

Sit 'em

Chris Herndon
New York Jets NYJ · TE
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 0-1-0

Listen, we are still big fans of Herndon. He wasn’t bad in Week 1 against the Bills, scoring 7.7 fantasy points. Hey, I didn’t say it was great! Just not bad. I don’t like the matchup this week against the 49ers. They did not allow a catch to a Cardinals tight end this week. But again, it’s the Cardinals. That would be like an NBA player bragging that he never allowed Shaq to ever launch a three-pointer over him. But the 49ers allowed only Tyler Higbee to top 65 receiving yards in 2019.

Rob Gronkowski
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB · TE
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 0-1-0

I love Gronk. He is my favorite WWE 24/7 Champion of all-time. But watching Gronk out there on Sunday gave me the same feeling as when the WWE does these reunion shows on RAW where they bring back people from the Monday Night Wars and you pop when you see them. But then you’re begging them not to do any moves. Tom might have thought the same thing, too, because Gronk didn’t have any red zone targets.

Jack Doyle
Indianapolis Colts IND · TE
Minnesota Vikings
2020 · 0-1-0

We keep trying to make Jack Doyle a thing. And I admire the persistence. He scored 7.9 fantasy points in Week 1 against the Jaguars (which was 19th among tight ends). So he wasn’t horrible. But the Vikings shut down the Packers tight ends last week. And I understand that Aaron Rodgers is rivaled only by the Cardinals in his lack of tight end usage, but it is still worth mentioning. And I’m going to avoid Doyle this week. So congratulations to all of you who like to do the opposite of what I say.

Greg Olsen
Seattle Seahawks SEA · TE
New England Patriots
2020 · 1-0-0

I watched a Best of Jay Cutler Mic’d Up and watching Jay drop dimes to Olsen during their BRIEF time together nearly broke my heart. Wait, no. It did break my heart. How do you call yourself an offensive coordinator and then not find a way to get Olsen involved? Trading away Olsen will only be matched by the Bears not extending Allen Robinson. And I guess that had nothing to do with what we’re talking about but the Patriots have allowed the fifth-fewest reeving yards per game to tight ends since 2019 (42.2).

Hayden Hurst
Atlanta Falcons ATL · TE
Dallas Cowboys
2020 · 0-1-0

They have established a pecking order in Atlanta (which I realize is based on only one week) and it appears it goes Calvin Ridley, Julio, Russell Gage, throwing the ball into the ground and then Hayden Hurst. I know some industry folks thought Hurst was going to inherit Austin Hooper’s vacated production, but we didn’t see that in Week 1. The Cowboys kept Tyler Higbee in check for most of Sunday, so I’m leaving Hurst on the bench until he proves he’s going to be a factor in this offense. 

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