Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends edition for Week 6 of the NFL season. This edition features a budding star met with a matchup to cause pause for owners. Plus, a former superstar not worthy of a play.
* 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.
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TE: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: T.J. Hockenson at JAC
It’s worth noting that Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce each have top-two matchups this week, but as they are already locks for your fantasy lineup, we’ll settle on Hockenson. The second-year pro has scored a touchdown or seen at least seven targets in all but one game this season. The Jaguars have allowed four touchdowns to the position since Week 2.
Mike Gesicki vs. NYJ
After back-to-back one-reception outings, Gesicki bounced back with a five-reception, 91-yard outing this past weekend. Yes, 70 of those 91 yards came on one play. However, a matchup with the Jets should bode well for Gesicki to maintain his fantasy relevance. New York has allowed one-plus touchdowns and/or five receptions to opposing tight ends since Week 2.
Evan Engram vs. WAS
Engram’s target share a week ago may appear infuriating on the surface, but if you watched the game, it’s clear New York is getting creative in getting their best playmaker involved. Expect that to continue against a Washington defense that allows the fifth-most fantasy points and the second-most TDs to TEs this season.
Eric Ebron vs. CLE
Chase Claypool stole the show for big-bodied Pittsburgh pass-catchers a week ago. With that said, Ebron has quietly emerged as a security blanket for Big Ben. Ebron has been targeted 18 times over the past three weeks, logging at least 43 receiving yards in every game and hauling in one touchdown over that span. Cleveland has allowed three opposing TEs to log 42-plus yard receiving outings against them this year, as well as surrendering four total TDs to the position.
Sleeper: Irv Smith Jr. vs. ATL
After logging just 12 pass routes the week prior, Smith saw his usage skyrocket this past Sunday night. The former ‘Bama standout logged a season-high in targets (5), receptions (4) and yards (64). The Falcons defense allows the second-most passing yards in football, as well as the second-most fantasy points to the TE position this season.
Temper Expectations: Robert Tonyan at TB
Is Tonyan worth a play this week? Yes. However, with the likely return of Davante Adams back in the lineup, don’t expect Tonyan to continue his pace of 20.1 ppg in Week 6 against the 12th-best fantasy unit at defending the TE position. Still, the fact that Tampa Bay has allowed a TD in each of the past two weeks to the position makes Tonyan a serviceable play.
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TE: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Rob Gronkowski vs. GB
After a slow start to the season, Gronk has shown some signs of life of late, recording six-plus targets in two of his last three games. With that said, he’s scored double-digit points just once all year long. Only one opposing TE has logged more than four targets and/or 9.1 fantasy points against the Packers this season.
Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett at SF
Higbee’s target share has disappeared this season, averaging less than four targets per game. Everett exploded for 90 receiving yards a week ago, yet the majority of those yards came on a 40-yard catch and run. Avoid Rams tight ends in a matchup against a 49ers defense that has yet to allow more than 35 receiving yards, nor a touchdown to a tight end this season.
Buyers Beware: Austin Hooper at PIT
Hooper has reemerged over the past two weeks, seeing 17 total targets come his way, while scoring the sixth-most points by a TE over that span. However, the Steelers allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points to TEs this season. The position averages just 2.75 targets per game against Pittsburgh in 2020.
- *Check out our other Week 6 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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