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12 Formation: Tight End Start/Sits Week 12

We’re at Week 12, final push for the playoffs! Let’s win for the Chip!! @darthdbacks has the TE Start/sits! Also, Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May this Thanksgiving bless you and your family. May it allow you to reflect and enjoy all that we have and share. I know I’m grateful for many things like my family, health, safety, and football! Also, I’m very thankful for the position in football called the tight end!

What’s up, Nerds?! Who’s pumped for Week 12 to be here for the 2021 NFL Season!!! It’s time to make your playoff push so we can compete for the Championship!! The season is flying by already! We are past the halfway point of the season! I can’t wait to review these tight end starts/sits next week to see how they went. We have an amazing squad full of Nerds to provide you with all the starts/sits so you can win your matchup every week. This is going to be the longest season yet with 17-game schedules! More football is never a bad thing. I’m thankful too since this season is whizzing on by!

Gronk IS BACK! Ertz dominated Week 11 and we managed to only lose, so far, Adam Trautman to an MCL injury.

This Week 12 bye is so much nicer with only 2 teams instead of 6 NFL teams on bye, like with Week 7. Nonetheless, combine that with the endless amounts of injuries and well, this is a tough week! But, that’s why we are here to help! FYI: The 2 teams on bye this week are the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs. That means this is going to be a harsh week for the many teams that rely on Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.

The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. We will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow us, friend us, tweet us.

The Team doing Start/Sits

QB: Jayson Snyder @Spydes78

RB: Gage Bridford @GbridgfordNFL

WR: Tristan Cook @Tristancook_

TE: Jake Oliver @DarthDbacks

FLEX: Ethan Wyatt @ethanAwyatt

IDP: Jon Glosser @Glosser13

We look forward to hearing from you!
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc. It is referring to the fact that he is projected among the top-12 TE of the week. TE1=top-12, TE2=finishing between top-13-24. Finally, all rankings are taken from Fantasy Pros Weekly Expert Consensus Rankings.

Now, you may be wondering who I am since I’m not the same guy from last year. My name is Jake Oliver. I’ve been with the Nerds since June. I have written a lot of articles with this wonderful team since then.

These articles are made out of love and passion for fantasy football, the NFL, and helping others. If you all have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter, in the comments here, or on Discord in Fantasy Football Chat! I’ll be posting a bunch and love to engage with anyone. We would appreciate it a lot if y’all checked out the other start/sit articles as they rock too! One final tidbit, if you’re wondering why Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, or Mark Andrews aren’t listed, well, that’s because you need to START YOUR STUDS! These guys are ones that you start them once and forget about them. I’ll be focusing on the other tight ends that are a bit trickier to decide whether you should start them or not.

Week 11 Review

First, let’s review my picks from last week. I’m curious to see how well I did in Week 11 and to keep myself accountable. Hopefully, I didn’t mess up too much!

Pat Freiermuth: I was really nervous that Pat was going to put up a massive stinker after so many were hyping him. He nearly did, but a 4th Quarter touchdown got him over 10 PPR points! He ended the day with 4 catches on 7 targets for 11 yards and a TD. Not what you expected, but any TE over 10 points is a good week.

Mike Gesicki: Gesicki had another solid afternoon, a great bounceback from the zero he put up last week. 5 receptions for 50 yards and a 10 point PPR total is nice indeed.

Dalton Schultz: On a day where the Boys’ lost Amari and Ceedee and played with Dak not being Dak, Schultz did well. He got you 11.3 PPR points from catching 6 balls for 53 yards. Nice bounceback effort and a solid start!

Adam Trautman: Trautman’s been on the upswing for the past few games, finally delivering on his promise! So, of course, he gets hurt. At least he still delivered a great day for those who started him by catching 5 of 8 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown.

Tyler Conklin: In the high-scoring game between the Packers and Vikings, one would expect Conklin to have gone off. This was not the case as JJeff and Thielen led the way. Conklin had 3 receptions for 35 yards, sorry y’all.

CJ Uzomah: Joe Burrow forgot how to throw the ball like he has been all season and the team relied on Mixon as a result. CJ only caught 2 of 3 targets for an embarrassing 9 yards. Another L on my part, sorry.

Gerald Everett: Another team you just don’t start any tight ends against is the Cardinals. Once again, they held the opposing tight end, Everett, to only 3 catches for 37 yards. Ouch.

Dan Arnold: I told y’all not to start Dan! Guess what he didn’t see any of on Sunday? A target! That’s right, besides getting a zero, he had zero targets. Don’t play TEs against the 49ers.

Geoff Swaim: He ended up sitting and missing the game against the Texans. Lucky him.

Cole Kmet: On Sunday, the Bears’ offense was in total disarray once again. Cole suffered due to that as he had 2 targets, 1 catch, and only 12 yards. He’s on your bench until furth notice.

Mo Alie-Cox: Sunday was Jonathan Taylor’s day. All Cox had to do was watch him soar and block for him. Due to that, he had only one target and failed to reel that in.

Jared Cook: Hope you didn’t start Cook, as he only caught 3 balls for 28 yards. He had some huge drops too. Disappointing effort and one that happened on your bench, I hope.

Overall, for the week: 10/12. Overall, for the season: 74/108 69%

Tight End Starts

Dynasty Nerds, tight end start/sits Week 12 Logan Thomas Washington Football Team
Credit: VendettaSportsMedia

Tight End Start of the Week: Logan Thomas

He’s backkkkkk, practicing at least. He’s set up to make his return this Sunday if he avoids any re-injury during practice this week. Logan couldn’t be returning at a better time too as the Washington team faces the Seattle Seahawks this week. Before his injury in Week 4, he had played 100% of the snaps and had 12 catches for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. Don’t forget that he didn’t finish Week 4 or accrue any stats in the few minutes he played.

With most of the Football Team’s offense banged up or hurt, if Thomas is a go, he’s going to get showered with targets. Especially those juicy red-zone targets. In just his short time to start the season, he had 3 such targets for 2 touchdowns! In those 3 weeks that he played, he was a top-12 tight end and there’s no reason to think he won’t be going forward.

We already know that Heinicke and Thomas have great chemistry, especially in the red zone. What a great time to make his return too as he will be facing the Seahawks. This is a plus-plus matchup for Logan as the Seahawks are atrocious against covering tight ends. They allow the 5th-most ppg to tight ends with 10.1. Last week, they allowed the great Colt McCoy to carve them up using Zach Ertz. They gave up 8 receptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both those touchdowns happened in the red zone, which is Thomas’s best area. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him score.

Start: Noah Fant

Fant is back this week! It’s always hard not having your starting tight end on bye weeks. Noah’s having another solid year so far. Of course, it would be better if the Broncos had a better QB besides Teddy Bridgewater. Nonetheless, I’ll gladly take his 10.9 PPR ppg average. There are far worse options you could be stuck with.

Over his 8 games this season, Fant has 42 catches on 59 targets for 379 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s averaging a healthy 9.0 ypr. 6 of his 8 games, Noah got targeted more than 6 times. I love that. You want guys who get targets. If Teddy keeps targeting him that much, good things are bound to happen. Something else I love is his wonderful 85% snap share with which he’s been able to produce on. Noah’s the clear TE1 in Denver out-targeting Albert O by a margin of 59-21. Guess what else I like? Well, I love his 17.9% target share. The higher that is, the more it signifies that he’s a clear factor in this offense.

Now, this week is a great matchup for the Broncos and Fant coming off his bye. They face their rivals, the Chargers. Never fear the Chargers if you’re starting a tight end against them. The Chargers are third-worst when it comes to covering tight ends. As such, they’ve given up an average of 10.6 ppg to that position. I look forward to watching Fant once again.

Start: Dalton Schultz

Told you to start him last week, and I sure hope you did! Now, Dalton’s set for a primetime Thanksgiving explosion! He killed it last week against the Chiefs in a game that saw Ceedee Lamb get a concussion and Dak Prescott struggled mightily. Of course, they were missing their Left Tackle Tyron Smith who should be back this week. It’s yet to be seen if Ceedee can get cleared in time. Of course, they’ll be without Amari Cooper due to a positive Covid test. Regardless, I fully expect Schultz to finish as a TE1 once again this upcoming week.

Dalton’s the leading tight end on the team with 59 targets. He’s the TE9 overall in PPR leagues. Dalton’s 78% snap share is one of the highest among full-time healthy tight ends. His 5.5 yards after the catch show that he is capable of extending plays. Furthermore, he has caught 75% of his targets, which is a high number among tight ends. His 44 receptions rank 6th among all tight ends while his targets are 8th. Schultz has a nice 11.2 yards per reception (ypr) and is 7th in yards with 491. Suffice to say, Dalton’s been a stud this year and will get a great contract in free agency in a few months.

Why am I so hyped for Dalton this week? Well, besides the fact he might be the #1 target for Dak this week, his matchup is great. Dalton faces the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving. They allow the 2nd most ppg with 11.5. On a short week, with Las Vegas playing in a harsh environment, and having lost their previous 3 games, fire up Dalton. I expect a great week from the break-out tight end.

Other Starts: Rob Gronkowski, Evan Engram, Austin Hooper

Tight End Sits

Minnesota Vikings, Tyler Conklin, Dynasty Nerds, tight end start/sits Week 12
From Vikings Territory

Tight End Sit of the Week: Tyler Conklin

Conklin’s a streaky player. He’ll string together some good weeks and then bust for a few weeks. It’s hard to trust who will be the #3 target in the Vikings offense. Additionally, while it seems like Conklin has done a lot, he’s only scored over 10 points PPR 4 times. He’s not your definition of a trusted fantasy asset. Make no mistakes, he’s done admirably filling in for Irv Smith. However, this is not a week you want to start Conklin.

Conklin’s 80% snap share is great, but his 14.5% target share is not. He’s not getting near enough targets for the amount of time he’s on the field which makes sense. Tyler’s blocking for Dalvin Cook. You’ve been lucky that he’s caught 3 of his 5 receptions in the red zone for touchdowns. Of course, don’t expect that to happen this week. Conklin’s a short-yardage target for Kirk. He’s a safety valve. His 188 air yards are not great. It shows that most of his targets occur within 5-7 yards of the line of scrimmage. I want deeper routes than that!

Finally, his matchup is one that you must avoid. He’s facing the dreaded tight-end killers, the 49ers. They are the nightmares of all tight ends. Just look at what they did last week against Dan Arnold. He got zero targets and zero points. I’d expect roughly 5 PPR points for Conklin in this game. That’s more than the average ppg (3.8) the 49ers give up to tight ends. Avoid starting Conklin if you can.

Sit: Tyler Higbee

The last time Tyler Higbee played was in Week 10 where he actually caught a touchdown against that vaunted 49ers defense. Of course, that was the only thing he did that week, but still. Regardless of that and the fact he’s had a solid season, he’s still a sit for me. On many teams, Higbee is likely your only startable option in which case play him. On the contrary, just don’t expect a lot of points. Do I think he’ll get you around 7-8 points, yes. Am I believing he goes for 10+ like last week, no I am not. Not unless he scores a touchdown.

He’s having a great season by tight end standards and is on pace to potentially set career highs. Through 10 games, he recorded 38 receptions on 51 targets for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns. The downsides are that the Rams’ offense is in a state of confusion and we still don’t know how OBJ will affect things. It’s clear that Matthew Stafford needs to adjust to how defenses are playing him. Plus, while Higbee leads all tight ends in both receptions and targets in the red zone, he only has 3 touchdowns to show for it. I just want to see what this Rams’ offense looks like before I trust anyone besides Henderson and Kupp.

Of course, the matchup this week against the Packers is no walk in the park. It’s a strange year when you can say that the defense is the best asset on the Packers. They have been keeping the team afloat while locking down tight ends. Just look at what they did against Conklin last week. He only had 3 catches for 35 yards. That’s probably what you’re hoping Higbee can do against De’Vondre Campbell. Just, if you can, bench Higbee this week.

Sit: Dan Arnold

What did I tell you? I sure hope you didn’t start Dan Arnold last week. The 49ers and Fred Warner don’t mess around with opposing tight ends. They are elite at it and that showed as Dan Arnold didn’t even get a single target! I doubt the same happens this week. Dan will surely get some targets against Atlanta, especially with breakout WR Jamal Agnew now out for the rest of the season with a hip injury.

Arnold is the TE18 overall, averaging 8.3 ppg. Although Dan may be the TE1 on the Jaguars, the tight end still only has 51 targets. Arnold only has 4 targets in that zone with 2 catches and zero TDs. I’m not a big fan of that at all. His 55% snap share leaves plenty to be desired, especially since this offense is passing a lot more than it’s rushing. Plus, he has zero touchdowns. That doesn’t fly with me.

Yes, Arnold has what seems to be a good matchup with the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. The only issue is that they have held tight ends in check surprisingly this year. The Falcons only allow 6.0 ppg to the tight end position, which is the top-10 lowest points allowed. Seeing as how the Jaguars would be wise to start getting some more targets to their WRs, I have a sneak suspicion that Arnold will disappoint this week.

Other Sits: Jared Cook, Cole Kmet, Jonnu Smith

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Good luck with your Week 11 matchup, especially with your tight end starts! I truly hope you win! Give me a follow on Twitter @DarthDbacks. I love to talk football, baseball, movies, shows, Star Wars, Marvel, and of course to interact with the fantasy football community. Join Fantasy Football Chat and get tons of access to the best fantasy football chat group where many Nerds hang out in. It’s free too!

As always, May the Force be with You…

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