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12 Formation: Week 8 Tight End Starts/Sits

Which tight end will help you get a Week 8 victory? @Culture_Coach looks at five start/sit options.

Welcome to Week 8. I am coming off the bench to sub in for @EthanAWyatt this week. I look at the top 24 tight ends to see where we can gain an advantage on the scoreboard. After the top 2-3 tight ends, the position gets murky. 42 different tight ends have finished as top twelve tight ends through the first seven weeks. That leaves a lot of opportunity to find a difference maker.

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

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

Kyle Pitts TE8 – Sit vs. Carolina Panthers

Has there been a more disappointing usage of a player in recent memory? Pitts burst onto the scene as a rookie with 110 targets and 68 catches. 2022 was supposed to be more of the same, but as of this writing, Pitts is on pace for just 80 targets and 42 catches. Across the fantasy sphere, there is not a lot of belief that Arthur Smith will change his stripes and suddenly start feeding Pitts targets.

The Carolina Panthers have been a hot mess in 2022. Grabbing the mantle as the first team to can their head coach, the Panthers season looked to be over. Lo and behold, if the Panthers win Sunday, they will be in first place in the NFC South. The Panthers give up the 12th fewest fantasy points to the tight end position. With the Falcons being in the bottom 12 in fantasy points to tight ends and top 12 in fantasy points given up to RBs/WRs, I am not looking for a Kyle Pitts resurgence this week. Adding to the limitations on Pitts is that Atlanta is tied for the second-fewest pass attempts in the NFL this season.

I expect Pitts to be outside the top 12 tight ends in Week 8, and I am looking for other options in single tight end leagues.

Hayden Hurst TE10 – Start @ Cleveland Browns

The Bengals have lost wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, for the next few weeks to a hip injury. Already one of the best receiver rooms in the NFL, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd will no doubt step up in the absence of Chase. As Higgins and Boyd move up the target tree, so does tight end Hayden Hurst.

Hurst has six receptions in two of his last three games with two touchdowns. Cleveland gives up a lot of fantasy points to wide receivers. With the quality of the Bengals receivers, I expect the Browns to roll coverage to the wide receivers opening up opportunities for Hurst to produce. The TE10 has averaged 6 receptions for 50 yards and 0 touchdowns per week. To jump from TE10 to TE5 is just 1.5 points. I’m looking for a top-five finish from Hurst this week.

Robert Tonyan TE11 – Sit @ Buffalo Bills

The receiving options for Green Bay have been a mess this year. It has been well-documented that Aaron Rodgers needs to build trust with his receivers, which takes time. My thinking this offseason was that Tonyan would be a primary beneficiary of the ‘trust factor.’ Instead, Tonyan has just two games with more than five targets.

In Week 8, the Packers take on the Buffalo Bills, who give up the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Green Bay faces the league-leading Buffalo Bills defense this week, and all signs point to the Packers struggling. I have Tonyan finishing outside my top twelve tight ends in Week 8.

Mike Gesicki TE17 – Start @ Detroit Lions

Fantasy football is a game of numbers and narratives. With the NFL trade deadline looming Tuesday at 4 pm, the narrative around Gesicki is the Dolphins are looking to move him. Gesicki has had a season-high seven targets each of the last two weeks, and he has been the TE3 during that span. With the Lions giving up the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends, Week 8 looks like a perfect showcase game to facilitate a trade for Gesicki. I am looking for a top-twelve finish in Week 8 Gesicki.

Juwan Johnson TE19 – Start vs. Las Vegas Raiders

There is some risk in starting a New Orleans tight end not named Taysom Hill. I get it. Hill is not a conventional tight end. That player is Juwan Johnson. Johnson has been TE12 over the last four weeks and TE2 over the last two. In Week 8, the Saints/Raiders game has a healthy 49.5 over/under, noting that Vegas expects a high-scoring game.

I am not banking on Johnson getting two touchdowns like he did in Week 7, but the Raiders give up the third most fantasy points to tight ends. I’d count a 4/50 stat line as well within the range of outcomes. That stat line lands Johnson right in the TE11/12 range for the season average.

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