What’s up, Nerds?! Who’s pumped for Week 13 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! Schultz and more did great. Unfortunately, we lost Waller to hopefully one-week absence and lost Dan Arnold for the season.
This Week 13 bye is harsh with 4 teams on bye. 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 4 teams on bye this week are the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and Tennessee Titans. Luckily none of those teams except maybe the Browns have fantasy-relevant tight ends.
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 12 Review
First, let’s review my picks from last week. I’m curious to see how well I did in Week 12 and to keep myself accountable. Hopefully, I didn’t mess up too much!
Logan Thomas: Thomas was rusty in what was a rough win for the WFT. Additionally, he also had a touchdown taken from him by the refs. Regardless, final stats were 3 of 6 targets for 31 yards.
Noah Fant: I just don’t understand the Broncos or their game plan. Fant is one of their best pass-catchers yet Teddy never throws him the dang ball. He caught all 3 of his targets for 12 yards. Sorry.
Dalton Schultz: Another great week for Schultz as he caught yet another TD and 3 of 7 targets for 46 yards.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronk blew up last week. He caught 7 of 10 targets for 123 yards. Total domination over the Colts.
Evan Engram: I knew better than to trust Engram. Sorry. 3 of 6 targets for only 37 yards against an easy defense. Figures.
Austin Hooper: Hooper had a massive L as he failed to catch any of his 3 targets.
Tyler Conklin: Glad you benched him as he caught 2 of 3 targets for 25 yards. A worthy sit indeed.
Tyler Higbee: Hope you sat Higbee as he caught just 1 pass for 3 yards in a harsh game for the Rams.
Dan Arnold: Dan caught one pass for 9 yards before injuring his knee. Now, he has an MCL sprain and is out for the year.
Jared Cook: Cook caught a TD, but only caught 2 of 5 targets for 25 yards. Ouch.
Cole Kmet: Suffice to say, I didn’t think the Bears would figure out that throwing the ball to Kmet would be a good idea. He caught 8 of 11 targets for 65 yards. Solid day for him.
Jonnu Smith: Smith had a season-high in yardage with 49! Wait, only 49? He caught 3 of 4 targets. Not enough to be truly fantasy-relevant.
Overall, for the week: 8/12. Overall, for the season: 82/120 68%
Tight End Starts
Tight End Start of the Week: Kyle Pitts
It’s Pitts-time! Well, sorta. He’s having a tremendous rookie season as he’s currently TE7 in PPR points. His 45 receptions rank 7th while his yards (661) rank 3rd among all tight ends. Additionally, he’s 6th in targets with 75 and 2nd in yards per reception (ypr) at 14.7. To make your team even happier, he’s averaging 10.6 ppg which is 9th. All around, I’d say he was well worth your mid-1st round pick you used to get him. Despite these wonderful baseline stats and more, he’s truly struggled a lot in the last two weeks. Against New England and Jacksonville, he managed a combined line of 5 catches on 11 targets for only 54 yards and no touchdowns. He was doing that on average over the season before these two weeks.
As such, one might be worried that perhaps Pitts is a sit. I wouldn’t be worried. Except for Week 3, he has been targeted at least 5 times and averages 6.81 per game. If there’s one area of his game I might be a bit worried about, it’s his red-zone game. While his 10 targets there are quite nice. He’s only caught 3 of them. You’d like that to be higher. Despite that, you love his 19.5% target share and that he’s playing on 74% of the snaps.
Furthermore, his matchup this week is tasty. He’s facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are one of the worst teams when it comes to covering tight ends. They have given up the 7th-most ppg to tight ends at 9.5. In Pitts’ first matchup against Tampa, he lit up their defense for 73 yards on 5 catches. I expect another similar game this week. I mean, Tampa gave up a touchdown to Jack Doyle last week.
Start: Pat Freiermuth
The rookie dynasty tight end that has some ranking him in the top-10 for tight ends long-term is having a great season. Truly, I don’t think anyone expected this level of play from Pat on a crowded offense. Of course, it helped that Juju lost his shoulder, Chase Claypool has been dealing with injuries, and Eric Ebron is injured. Throughout the season, Pat’s stats are 40/53 for 327 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s averaging 9.7 ppg and is the TE11 overall this year. That’s better than Kittle, Goedert, Fant, and Gronkowski. Not sure anyone predicted that.
Pat’s got a great future. Over his past 6 games, he has had at least 4 targets and 4 receptions in each of them. Additionally, he’s scored 5 touchdowns over this same time frame. Suffice to say that he’s fully heated up and is on fire now. His golden 15 red-zone targets rank 2nd in the league behind Tyler Higbee. All 6 of his touchdowns have been scored in that area too. The fact he is doing this on only 59% of the snaps shows me just how special a talent he is.
Thankfully, this is just another week for you to play Pat. He’s facing the Baltimore Ravens who have been rather shockingly poor against tight ends. They are tied for 7th with the Bucs at giving up 9.5 ppg to the tight end position. With the Steelers likely down in this game, look for Big Ben to be throwing often. That will benefit Pat and your fantasy team.
Start: George Kittle
Where art thou Kittle? Dismayed by last week twas I. Fear not for the Monster known as Kittle shall make his reckoning in Week 13. Scratch Week 12 as he had 1 catch on 2 targets for 13 yards. The Vikings know how to shut down tight ends. This was his first bad game since coming back from injury. Over his previous 3 weeks, he had 15 receptions on 19 targets for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not bad. With Deebo Samuel being injured and potentially out, Kittle shall feast once more.
People are acting like Kittle sucks now. I don’t understand it as his 12.1 ypr is 10th among TEs. Additionally, his 3 TDs are tied for 5th. Another important point is that his 11.8 ppg average is 7th among TEs. Is it top-3 as we expected? No, but then again the 49ers’ offense is wildly different too. No worries on his health either as he’s playing on 89% of the snaps. That’s huge as we need him healthy. Once more, all 3 touchdowns of his have come in the red zone. I love that. That’s where the points are and it’s nice to see Jimmy G is targeting him there. Have no fears about Kittle.
As for his amazing matchup this week? Well, he’s facing the pitiful Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are 5th in allowing the most points to tight ends. Their 9.6 ppg makes me quite happy knowing that Kittle gets to face them. Fire up Kittle and watch him dominate!
Other Starts: Logan Thomas, Noah Fant, Dallas Goedert
Tight End Sits
Tight End Sit of the Week: Gerald Everett
What a shocker it has been to see Russell Wilson come back and start force-feeding targets to Everett. Maybe that’s why they are losing games. Russ hardly targeted any of his WRs. Due to that, it’s no wonder that Gerald has been somewhat hot. Of course, that’s not saying much. Before the last three games, he had only caught or been targeted 4 or more times once this year. That was way back in Week 3. That’s not a good indicator of a breakout about to happen. Over his last three weeks, he has produced more than all of his season until then. Very odd.
Gerald’s the TE24 on the season, averaging only 7.8 ppg in his 79 games this year. His season totals are lackluster as they only amount to 30 receptions for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns. His target share of 12.6% is abysmal as is his total target of 38. Thankfully, his snap share is 72%. Otherwise, I’d be saying he’s close to droppable. I just don’t trust this offense or Wilson. Plus, Wilson is going to wake up at some point and realize he needs to throw the ball to DK and Lockett.
Now, for the matchup, this week is going to hurt Everett. Why? Well, he’s facing the 49ers. They just are the (checks notes and eyes pop) #1 team against tight ends. San Fran is the team that you absolutely don’t start nearly any tight end against. Their defense allows only 3.7 ppg to the tight end position. Yes, only 3.7! Bench Everett if you want any points.
Sit: Cole Kmet
Yup, I’m doubling down on benching Kermit. I don’t think anyone expected his blow-up game with Andy Dalton last week where he caught 8 of 11 targets for 65 yards. Now, this week Fields will be back which means a QB that has no eyes for Kmet usually. Sigh. It’s not that Kmet has been bad. I mean, his stats are sad, but his playing isn’t bad. He’s overtaken Jimmy Graham and dominates the playing time with 84% of the snaps. His 57 targets far outpace Jimmy’s 12 too.
Thus, why is he a sit? If you ignore his 37 catches on 57 targets for 361 yards and zero touchdowns, I’ll tell you. His zero touchdowns are eye-popping. How does he have zero? He has 6 red-zone targets and caught 4 of them. Yet, no touchdowns. Factor in the fact that he’s only had 4 games above 5 catches or 43 receiving yards, and I’m painting a picture of a tight end that you just can’t trust.
To make matters worse, he’s got a super tough matchup this weekend. Cole’s facing the Arizona Cardinals. Aside from the 49ers, you don’t start tight ends against the Cardinals. You just don’t. They are the 2nd-toughest team to play against in terms of ppg allowed to tight ends. They allow only 4.5 points and they make you work for them. I wouldn’t dare start Cole Kmet even if that meant I had to go pick up someone on waivers.
Sit: Dawson Knox
Fort Knox has been a fantasy tight end revelation this year. He exploded onto the scene with 5 touchdowns through the season’s first 5 games. However, last week against the Saints, his third game back from injury, he scored two more touchdowns. So, why in the world would I be telling you to sit the TE8 overall? Well, I don’t truly trust the Buffalo offense and his matchup is terrible.
Dawson’s far too reliant on the touchdown as if we took his 7 touchdowns away, he would be left with only 31 receptions on 41 targets for 415 yards. Those are awful numbers, but they wouldn’t be sniffing the top-12 of tight end. Thankfully, he gets targets in the red zone. His 11 targets are top-5 among tight ends. He has caught 8 of them for 4 touchdowns. That’s good. So is his snap share of 82%. Thus, why would he be a sit?
The Bills have struggled against tough defenses. This week, they have an extra tough defense to face. That defense is the New England Patriots. The Patriots are one of the best defenses against tight ends. Just look at how much Mike Gesicki has struggled against them. They give up the 3rd-fewest points to tight ends with only 4.7 ppg allowed. Knowing that the Bills have plenty of weapons, look for them to throw to other positions besides Knox. I’d bench him if you can unless you’re in a tight-end premium league.
Other Sits: Tyler Higbee, Foster Moreau, Jonnu Smith
Make sure to subscribe to the #NerdHerd, where you get exclusive content, dynasty/rookie rankings, and DynastyGM! Additionally, if you want 15% off of ANY SUBSCRIPTION, USE PROMO CODE ‘MAYTHEFORCEBEWITHYOU’ or CLICK HERE.
Good luck with your Week 12 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…
Get the Edge – Join the #NERDHERD
- #Nerdherd Members Only | Unisex Fleece Hoodie 39.99$ – 41.99$
- Dynasty Nerds Logo | Trucker Cap 24.50$
- Boxer Briefs 29.95$ – 32.45$
- Dynasty Nerds Embroidered Champion Packable Jacket 49.00$ – 52.00$
- Dynasty Nerds Sticker Pack 7.99$