Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends edition for Week 13 of the NFL season. This edition features a once shoo-in starter likely making his return to the gridiron. Plus, a top-10 scorer at the position is met with a grueling 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.
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TE: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: T.J. Hockenson at CHI
Fresh off a season-high 89 receiving yards, Hockenson has now scored double-digit points in all but three games. Since Week 7, all but one starting TE has scored double-digit points against the Bears. Chicago allows the third-most points and is tied for the fourth-most TD surrendered to TEs this year.
Jonnu Smith vs. CLE
Smith has been somewhat frustrating this season, essentially being TD or bust. With that said, with eight total TDs on the year, more times than not he’s gotten the job done. The Browns have allowed 22 red-zone targets and 14 red-zone touches to TEs this year, each is most in the NFL. Cleveland has allowed a TD to the position in every game since returning from a Week 9 bye.
Robert Tonyan vs. PHI
Tonyan has now scored in back-to-back games after going scoreless in his previous six. More importantly, he’s averaged 55.5 ypg over that span and totaled 10 receptions, both of which are tied for his largest two-game average and total since prior to his Week 5 bye. Philly ranks in the top-eight in both points and receptions surrendered to TEs.
Zach Ertz at GB
The Eagles activated Ertz on Wednesday, meaning fantasy owners will likely finally get him back come Sunday. While it may be trendy to bash all things Eagles at the moment, we’re riding with one of the most consistent players at a position riddled with inconsistency. Ertz has averaged 7.5 targets in his six games this season. If Richard Rodgers can score 10.0-plus points in four of his last five games operating alongside Dallas Goedert, we’ll bank on Ertz being able to do the same. Green Bay has allowed a TD to the position in two of their last three games.
Sleeper: Jordan Akins vs. IND
Akins disappeared last week after a season-high 83 yards the game prior. He’s far from a guarantee, as he, Darren Fells and Pharoah Brown have played an almost identical number of snaps over the last month. However, with Will Fuller suspended, Randall Cobb on IR and Kenny Stills released, the Texans will be looking elsewhere for production. Over the last four weeks, the Colts allow the fourth-most points to TEs.
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TE: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Logan Thomas at PIT
Thomas found the end zone last week but was held scoreless in the three games prior. He’s also totaled just 26 yards over his past two games. The Steelers allow the second-fewest points to TEs this year. In fact, only one player at the position has found the endzone against Pittsburgh this year.
Trey Burton at HOU
We like Burton’s target share, as 11 looks over the past two weeks are nothing to downplay. However, he’s had no more than three catches since Week 6. Houston hasn’t surrendered a TD to a TE since Week 7.
Buyers Beware: Hayden Hurst vs. NO
Hurst was shut the last time he played the Saints. He’s also failed to score a TD in six of his last seven games. Plus, Julio Jones may be back this week, further eating into his target share. The Saints have allowed just one TE to top two receptions against them since Week 5.