Week 9 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.
Recapping Last Week
Week eight was not kind to my tight end starts and sits. We went one and six last week. Taysom Hill, Trey McBride, and Cole Kmet all had stellar games in fantasy. Hunter Henry failed to take advantage of a good matchup. Michael Mayer had to deal with this terrible Raiders offense and could not get anything going. Ferguson was able to live up to his expectations in fantasy.
Gerald Everett/Donald Parham, Chargers – TE19/23
My first start of week nine is the duo for the Chargers. It will come down to who plays, as Gerald Everett is questionable in week nine. Everett was coming off back-to-back games over nine fantasy points before missing week eight. Donald Parham stepped up with Everett out and has a great game over 12 fantasy points. Parham has four touchdowns on 13 receptions. The matchup against the Jets is favorable for these two tight ends. The Jets allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to the tight end position. They have given up a league-high five touchdowns to the position. If Everett plays, he could be worth a shot to play in fantasy. He has been used in the red zone often in the last two weeks. The better option would be in Everett sits, as Parham would likely be 100% healthy and had a nose for the endzone.
Jonnu Smith, Falcons – TE15
My second starting tight end is Jonnu Smith. Smith has been a nonfactor the last two weeks in fantasy. He has just four targets and finished with a combined six fantasy points. Smith is out snapping Kyle Pitts as the starting tight end as Pitts looks to play out wide more. Drake London is going to miss week nine with an injury. London was averaging around seven plus targets per game. The recent change in a quarterback to Taylor Heinicke may help this offense in the passing game. The Vikings have only let two tight ends produce against them, but this Falcons team knows how to get their tight ends the ball. Smith could get back up over six targets in this game and finish as a borderline TE1 in week nine.
Mike Gesicki, Patriots – TE25
This one is a deep sleeper of mine for week nine. Mike Gesicki is that more athletic tight end that we’ve seen the line up out wide more in the Patriots offense. Gesicki has the 6th most slot snaps among tight ends this season. The Patriots are using the bottom of the barrel regarding their wide receiver depth. Gesicki has a good chance to produce that hybrid tight end. The Commanders allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, so Gesicki could find himself out wide more often and take advantage of the matchup. It’s more of a deep shot, but if you are struggling at tight end, it may be a good call.
Cole Kmet, Bears- TE13
I’m doubling back down on Cole Kmet as a bust in week nine. I was wrong last week, as Kmet was a surprised with 10 receptions. That’s the most he has ever had in one game. Kmet is still not a consistent fantasy option each week. Kmet has upside, but he continues to show off but then follows it up with a one catch for ten yards performance. The Saints have always been a pretty good defense against tight ends. Just three of the eight tight ends the Saints faced could get over 40 receiving yards. Tyson Bagent is still not a quarterback we can trust to keep our fantasy skill players consistent. He is a risky option in week nine.
David Njoku, Browns- TE12
It’s time to cool down David Njoku, who had a great week in fantasy. Njoku finished with four receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Deshaun Watson is returning, which may not be great for Njoku’s value. Watson is still dealing with a shoulder injury that may affect his game as he is set to play on Sunday. Njoku has just been a guy who can get you seven to eight fantasy points, but his upside is capped. The Cardinals are a good defense against tight ends. They have allowed just one touchdown to opposing tight ends this year. They have allowed just three of seven tight ends over 40 yards. Njoku could fail to live up to his TE12 ranking heading into week nine.
Dalton Schultz , Texans – TE7
The way the tight end landscape is this week, Dalton Schultz is sitting at TE7. Schultz has a beware tag attached to him in week nine. The Bucs were pretty good all season, keeping all tight ends under 43 receiving yards. In week eight, they allowed Dalton Kincaid 65 yards and a touchdown. I don’t think the Texans offense is on the same level as the Bills this season. Schultz struggled to come off the bye week with five yards. His targets have dropped in each of the last three weeks. As the receivers get healthy, Schultz may fade a little in fantasy. I don’t think he can live up to his TE7 rank from week nine.