What’s up, Nerds?! Happy Halloween! Let’s hope for more Treats than Tricks this week! Who’s pumped for Week 8 to be here for the 2021 NFL Season!!! The season is flying by already! 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. Week 7 was rather meh for tight ends with many coming back to life, exploding, and/or falling flat. Uzomah, Gesicki, Seals-Jones, and Ertz are BACK.
This Week 8 bye is so much nicer with only two 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 Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
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 George Kittle 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 7 Review
First, let’s review my picks from last week. I’m curious to see how well or horrible I did in Week 7 and Tight End Week and to keep myself accountable.
Zach Ertz: What a DEBUT as an Arizona Cardinals player. Can I be biased for a second and say I hope he retires in AZ and showcases what the Eagles failed to do with him? Anywho, he was featured in the powerful offense and went 3 receptions out of 5 targets for 66 yards and a TD. Even better, he had the longest TD grab of his career, a 47-yard catch. Finishing as TE6 overall, what a great start!
Mike Gesicki: Another week, another TE1 start for Gesicki. With 7 receptions on 8 targets for 85 yards and a TD, that’s a dub. He finished TE3 overall as he averaged 12.1 yards per reception.
Dallas Goedert: Well, the receptions and touchdown weren’t there this week, but that doesn’t matter. With a 23.3 ypr, his 3 catches got him 70 yards. He’s dominating snaps and 10+ points are always good in the TE wasteland. TE8 overall finish.
Hunter Henry: Another week, another TD for Hunter Henry. With Jonnu coming alive finally only to suffer an injury, Hunter’s spot is safe yet again. Keep sending him out there. This week, he went 2/4 with 23 yards and a TD en route to a TE14 overall. W.
Kyle Pitts: The Pitts-mania is about to overtake our lives. He decimated the Dolphins’ defense with 7 receptions for 163 yards on 8 targets. He now has the most yards for a rookie TE through their first 7 games in NFL history. He’s pretty good and got you a TE2 overall finish.
Ricky Seals-Jones: Another week of a WFT TE getting you over 10 points as RSJ got 6 receptions on 7 targets for 51 yards. As long as Logan Thomas is out, fire up RSJ. Maybe the Seal will blow you a kiss in more weeks with another TE1-tier finish.
Cole Kmet: Cole had his 2nd best game of the year, although that’s not saying much. He only had 43 yards, 2nd highest for him this year, on 5 receptions off of 6 targets. He finished as TE16 overall. Hope you sat him.
Mo Alie-Cox: Big Mo got you another TD. That’s what he relies on. In fact, if he didn’t get a touchdown, he would have 3 catches for 25 yards. Yes, he finished as a TE1-tier this week, I’m sorry. But I’d still sit him every time.
OJ Howard: Orange Juice was a massive let-down this week after exploding last week. He had 1 catch off of 3 targets for 9 yards. Gronk’s practicing again too. Maybe you should switch to Apple juice.
Robert Tonyan: Okay, it was National Tight End Day. I’m sorry, I should’ve known that Tonyan would blow up and score a tuddy. I didn’t foresee him going 4 catches for 63 yards, and a TD on 5 targets. Misfire on my end.
Jonnu Smith: Just when you thought Jonnu was starting to come to life, he disappeared again. He ran 19 routes, had 5 targets in the first half of the Jets game. Then, he got hurt, and his day ended with only 2 receptions for 52 yards. Hope you sat him.
CJ Uzomah: If you sat King Uzomah because of me, I’m beyond sorry. I honestly didn’t see him exploding, or the Bengals going Donkey Kong on the Ravens. I was expecting a much closer game, and one in which the Ravens figured out how to play defense. A TE1 finish overall due to 3 receptions for 91 yards and 2 TDs wasn’t an expectation.
Overall, for the week: 10/12. Overall, for the season: 42/67
Tight End Starts
Tight End Start of the Week: Tyler Higbee
No, I am not just choosing whichever TE is blessed enough to play the Houston Texans. Although, that’s not a bad strategy. I’d happily do that, but let’s dive a little deeper. The Texans are the worst in the NFL covering TEs. They allow on average 11.9 points per game (ppg). It’s fair to say that the Texans should be a team you target when you go to set your lineups. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Higbee is a great tight end. He’s 13th in total fantasy points for the TE position this year.
Additionally, he’s averaging 91% of snaps per game. That’s huge for TEs as the more time they are on the field, the higher the chance they will get targets and/or fantasy points. You can’t get receptions while on the bench. His 27 receptions on the year rank 9th in the NFL for TEs. Plus, his 33 targets are 10th among TEs. Tyler’s 248 receiving yards aren’t great, but it’s still good enough for 13th across the TE wasteland. He has 33 of the Rams’ 34 TE targets this year.
His 33 targets equate to 13.8% of the team’s total targets. The higher that number is, usually the better. What’s the best news? He has 12 red-zone targets, fantasy gold, which is the highest among TEs in the NFL. The more red-zone targets, the more chance he has of scoring a touchdown! He’s caught 9 of those targets in the red zone, although only 2 have gone for TDs. However, the likelihood of more going for TDs is great due to the number of chances he’s getting. One last thing, he’s had 13 targets over the last two games and has at least 36 yards in 5 games this year. Fire up, Higbee!
Start: Hunter Henry
Hunter is a Touchdown Machine! The endzone fears the Henry Terminator. He’s scored 4 touchdowns in his last four games. Talk about consistency. Plus, it’s not appearing to be a mirage of luck like with Robert Tonyan last year. He’s had at least 30 yards receiving or a TD in every game this year. That’s rather consistent for the TE world we live in. To improve Hunter’s chances, Jonnu Smith is now hurt. If Smith does play, I doubt he will do much to risk his injury when the team already has Henry.
Hunter’s gotten 4 receptions off of 5 targets in the red-zone so far this year. All 4 of those receptions resulted in a touchdown as well. That’s excellent and exactly what you want. He’s 10th in the NFL among TE with 27 receptions. Plus he ranks 12th in both receiving yards (264) and targets (32) among tight ends. Another positive to look at with Hunter Henry, or any TEs in general, is their air yardage. The more a player has in terms of Air Yards (how many yards a ball travels until it hits the player), the better the overall outlook on that player is in terms of stat production. Currently, Hunter’s 7th with 189 air yards among TEs. He’s the TE10 overall for fantasy PPR points too.
Now, for the matchup that Hunter Henry has. He’s facing the Los Angeles Chargers, a defense that should not scare you. We all saw Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield rip apart this defense. David Njoku had over 100 yards receiving. They are the 5th worst at covering tight ends with an average of allowing 11.2 points per game. Plus, the Chargers should be without their best linebacker, Kenneth Murray. Look for Big Mac Jones to target Henry and get your fantasy points.
Start: CJ Uzomah
Normally, I’d tell you to not chase the fantasy points. Uzomah already scored two touchdowns on your bench. You can’t get them back. However, when the TE landscape is as sad as it is right now with so few options that you can rely on, there are worse options to take a risk on than Uzomah. He’s got a great matchup and some great stats.
CJ has 19 targets on the team which lead the TE room. He’s playing on 77% of the snaps, which is great. He has a decent target % of 9.2, which is surprising when you realize the team has to feed Joe Mixon, Jamarr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins. In three of his last 4 games, Uzomah has a touchdown. The connection between Burrow and CJ is growing every week. His yards per reception is an astonishing 15.1, which is amazing for a tight end. When you look at just how far his receptions are going this year, he has 6 over 20 yards, and 4 over 30 yards. Talk about a tight-end deep threat!
Uzomah’s 11th in fantasy points for TE overall this year. I promise you that no one thought that Uzomah, coming off an Achilles Tear, would have more fantasy points than Dallas Goedert, Tyler Higbee, George Kittle, or many others through 7 weeks. Yet, this is where we find ourselves. What’s even better is CJ’s matchup. He’s facing the Jets, in which the Bengals should destroy the Jets. The Jets are one of the worst covering TEs, allowing an average of 10.5 ppg. Look for CJ to get some deep passes, and hopefully, a touchdown to keep his and yours hot-streak going.
Other Starts: Rob Gronkowski (if he plays), Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki
Tight End Sits
Tight End Sit of the Week: Cole Kmet
Look, when your TE is 27th in overall TE points with only 36.3, you probably shouldn’t start him. This may be Halloween, but I am not trying to be scared to open up my team’s match-up and check my scoring. As such, don’t start Cole. The Muppet has had only 3 games this year in which he had 4 or more receptions. The last time I checked, that’s not good.
While he’s gotten 30 targets, he only has 19 receptions. Once again, that’s scary for your TE. Yes, one could say Cole has become a zombie. His snap% of 83.5 is terrific, as he’s proven that the TE-room is his alone in the Bears’ horrific offense. Matt Nagy might very well be Freddy Krueger for Chicago Bears’ fans. Cole only has 173 receiving yards. Sorry Bears fans, close your eyes, but that’s lower than EVAN ENGRAM’s yard total. Yes, Evan Engram, who struggles to stay healthy and has played in fewer games than Cole Kmet. To make matters worse, his reception total is lower than Evan Engram’s. Cole’s gotten 97 air yards, which is not good. Nothing about this Bears offense is good.
To further deflate your hopes about Kermit the Frog being a thing this week, the Bears are facing the best defense against TEs so far this year. The San Francisco 49ers have allowed only 2.5 points per game on average so far this year. That’s amazing through 6 games so far in which they have faced down TJ Hockenson, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Robert Tonyan. Don’t start Kermit, sorry Kmet, this week. Do yourself a favor.
Sit: Ricky Seals-Jones
What a revelation Ricky Seals-Jones has been for fantasy players the last few weeks. He’s been scoring touchdowns and keeping many teams afloat at the TE position while Logan Thomas has been. However, Logan is back sooner than later and that will send Ricky back to the TE dungeon. In fact, this could be his last week, and while I hope it ends on a great note. I’m not expecting it too.
The Washington Football Team is facing the Denver Broncos, which should be a positive. It is, unless you happen to play tight end. Uh-oh. Denver’s been one of the best against TE in which they allow a meager 5.9 ppg to the TE position. They are not a team you want to stream against, or even bet against. Especially not when the Football Team can throw to McKissic, McLaurin, and others instead of RSJ. It’s not like Seals-Jones has been dominant either, as he’s been relying on touchdowns.
He has 9 red-zone targets, which is great, but he’s only caught 5 of them. This helps explain his absolute atrocious 81 air yards he has so far. Ricky should hopefully be around 10 points, but if you have another option, start them. I’m not expecting a lot from Ricky, and you shouldn’t either.
Sit: Jared Cook
Big Jared Cook can be safe on your bench cooking up some burgers for you. He’s not been a great tight-end this year so far. In fact, his snap share is scary for those you care about snaps. He’s only playing on 61% of the snaps. While it’s good he’s getting the dominant share of the targets for the TEs in LA with 33, that’s not enough. He’s only got 21 receptions, tied for 13th among TE. Despite those 21 receptions, he only has 235 yards, which means he’s not doing much with the catches. Even worse is the fact he has only 2 touchdowns despite being in a high-powered offense where he should get open plenty.
His target share of the team’s targets is 13.7% which isn’t zombie-scary. However, it’s still vampire-scary. It doesn’t help he’s only caught 3 of his 5 valuable red-zone targets. Nor does it help that Herbert has to feed Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and more.
Now Cook faces the Sunday the 13th version of the Patriots. Their defense is holding opposing TEs to only 5 points per game. Talk about nightmares for fantasy owners of Jared Cook who might start him this week. Remember when the Pats held Mike Gesicki to ZERO points? I do. Mike’s 10x better than Cook at this stage of their careers. I’d rather start Seals-Jones over Cook. At least Seal can blow me a kiss.
Other Sits: Mo Alie-Cox, Tyler Conklin, The Browns’ Tight Ends
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Good luck with your Week 1 matchup, especially with your tight end starts! I truly hope you win! As always, I hope you follow me @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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