Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends: Week 1

Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em tight ends Week 1

Getty Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends edition for Week 1 of the NFL season. This edition features the return of Rob Gronkowski, plus a big-ticket free agent with a tough matchup.

* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Travis Kelce will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of such caliber check out our weekly fantasy football tight end rankings.

Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]

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TE: Start ‘Em

Start of the Week: Mark Andrews vs. CLE

Andrews may be an obvious start, but for argument, he did score below double-digit points on six separate occasions last season. Luckily, none of those occurred while facing off against this week’s opponent. Andrews averaged 20.2 points over his two games against the Browns in 2019, including a monstrous 93-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 16. Cleveland allowed the ninth-most fantasy points and tied for second in most touchdowns surrendered to tight ends last year.

Tyler Higbee vs. DAL

Higbee has been, on average, the ninth tight end off draft boards this summer. I’d argue a tad too low for a player who’s 91.8 fantasy points over the final five weeks of last season was just 0.5 points behind George Kittle for most amongst all tight ends. Part of Higbee’s prolific streak to close out the year included a 12 reception 111 yard showing against the Cowboys, his opponents this week. A defense who was second to only the Cardinals in terms of points surrendered to the tight ends in 2019. Higbee has averaged 11-plus targets over his last six games.

Noah Fant vs. TEN

Speaking of being undervalued, Fant’s ADP places him on the outskirts of a TE1. However, the former first-rounder ranked as fantasy’s TE11 from Week 9 through Week 15 of last year, despite nearly half of those games coming with Brandon Allen as his quarterback. The Titans allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the position in 2019, as well as ranking in the bottom five in opponent red zone scoring (TD only) percentage.

Sleepers: Dallas Goedert at WAS

Ertz is still the tight end to own in Philly, but by how much is the question? Over the final 11 weeks of 2019, Ertz averaged just 2.8 ppg more than Goedert, who ranked as the TE8 in fantasy over that span. Washington allowed the fourth-most fantasy points and fifth-most touchdowns to tight ends last season.

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TE: Sit ‘Em

Sit of the Week: Austin Hooper at BAL

Hooper got off to a great start last season. However, after suffering an MCL sprain in Week 8 he went on to average just 8.5 fantasy points for the rest of the season. No team was more stringent against TEs last season, allowing an average of just 8.2 ppg to the position. Hooper will serve as a viable starter at times this year, however, this doesn’t feel like one of those weeks.

Mike Gesicki at NE

Gesicki came on strong at the end of last year, scoring five touchdowns over his final six games. With that said, the Patriots did hold the opposition’s highest-scoring tight end below double-digit fantasy points on 10 separate occasions last season. Their 40.4 yards per game allowed to the position group also ranked fifth-fewest in all of football.

Chris Herndon at BUF

Speaking of defenses who make it tough for tight ends to succeed, only the Ravens surrendered fewer fantasy points than the Bills did to the position a year ago. Baltimore held all but four tight ends below double-digit points in 2019.

Buyers Beware: Rob Gronkowski at NO

The biggest question mark at the position, will Gronk regain his status as a bonafide top fantasy option, or revert back to his 2017 form where he was no more than a fringe starter? I’d say somewhere in the middle, but likely leaning towards the latter. With tons of mouths to feed in the passing game and a budding running back duo in the fold, touches will be hard to come by for Gronkowski. There’s a solid chance he’ll be limited between the 20s, which means if he can’t hit paydirt inside the 20s, you could have yourself a dud on your hands.


    1. *Check out our other Week 1 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
    2. Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]

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