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12 Formation: Week 5 Tight End Starts/Sits

The tight end position on bye weeks always makes starts and sits tougher, but here are some you need to know for week five.

Week 5 has already started. We need to begin game-planning for our lineups. I will be here weekly with my starts/sits of the week at tight end. Tight ends are tricky since you’ll likely want to start the best six to eight tight ends no matter what. I will give some players right after that elite tier that you can play and a few sleepers lower in the rankings. Tight end sits will be strictly based on matchups and may impact some of the elites.

Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.

Changing the Call (QB): Mike Hicks
The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver
Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook
12 Formation (TE): Steven Pintado
Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown
IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser

Recapping Last Week

Last week, we went three for six. Gerald Evertt and Chig Okonkwo did not step up in a favorable matchup. Noah Fant was ranked outside the top 24 tight ends but finished as TE18, which is decent for any starting lineup. Jake Ferguson stepped up for a strong week four game on the bust side in a tough matchup. Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert continued to have bad games and were good sits in week four.

Start ‘Em

Tyler Conklin, Jets – TE20

My first start of week five is Tyler Conklin, who has a favorable matchup. Tyler Conklin continues to lead the Jets tight end room in snaps, routes, and targets this season. One concern is that he had his lowest snap count of the season in week four but probably had his best game of the year. The Jets play the Broncos, who allow the second most fantasy per game to tight ends. The Broncos just gave a massive game to Cole Kmet, who scored two touchdowns in week four. They have allowed a few tight ends over 40 yards this year. When Conklin can see six targets in a game, he has produced over 50 receiving yards. The Jets offense looks like they have a spark, and in a favorable matchup, Conklin may help your lineups.

Jonnu Smith, Falcons – TE19

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 17: Atlanta Falcons tight end Jonnu Smith #81 runs the football after a catch during the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons on September 17, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)

This one is wild, but Jonnu Smith has fantasy appeal in week five. It’s risky because he is the supposed backup tight end, but that position is looking like a partnership. Smith has been on par with offensive snaps with the current starter, Kyle Pitts, for the last three weeks. The Texans are a decent matchup this year, as they have allowed two tight ends over 45 yards in four games. The Falcons use their tight ends to have one of the highest target share to the position in the league. You have to continue to go with the hot hand in Smith. Smith has needed two more targets in the last three weeks over Pitts. Smith has produced over 30 yards in each game and saw 90 yards in week four. It’s a risky play, but Smith is producing enough to give your tight end position a solid floor.

Zach Ertz, Cardinals – TE11

Zach Ertz is ranked as a TE1 already, but he could see a fantastic game in week five. Many owners may not think Ertz is worth a start, but he is in week five. Ertz plays the Bengals, who allow the fourth most fantasy points per game in the tight end position. They have allowed three touchdowns in four weeks to opposing tight ends. Ertz has seen eight-plus targets in three of four games this season. He has six receptions in those games but just missing on the touchdowns. Ertz has seen five targets in the red zone so far this season. It’s a matter of time before Ertz can get his first touchdown, and it should come in week five.

Sit ‘Em

Tyler Higbee, Rams – TE10

INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) catches the ball for a gain during the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams on December 25, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

Tyler Higbee may be hard to sit since he has back-to-back eight-plus fantasy points. He also has produced 60 yards in back-to-back games in favorable matchups. The matchup for Higbee is favorable with the Eagles, who allow the third most fantasy points to tight ends. Why sit him, then? Over the last two weeks, the Eagles have shut down opposing tight ends with a combined 63 yards allowed and zero touchdowns. Also, the return of Cooper Kupp could dramatically drop Higbee’s targets in this game. Higbee is now averaging seven targets per game, which could fall under five with Kupp’s return. Higbee may be a fourth or fifth option on this team. I’d lower your expectations for Higbee in week five.

Dallas Goedert, Eagles – TE8

I hate putting Dallas Goedert on this list since he is such a great player, but he is not performing for us in fantasy right now. The Rams are a decent matchup for Goedert, but he is not doing well with his opportunity this year. The two Eagles receivers dominate the target share, and the run game is thriving. That leaves Goedert on the outside looking in. His YPR is 6.8 this year, and he has not gained over seven fantasy points. The Rams allowed just one tight end over 40 yards, but they gave up two touchdowns to the position. They may look worse on paper than on defending tight ends. Dallas Goedert could be in for another disappointing fantasy day.

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