Saturday, October 9, 2021

Fantasy Football TE Week 5 Start'em, Sit'em

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Dawson Knox is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 5 with him as my starting tight end.

Then again, Knox may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Travis Kelce and Knox, you should start Kelce and, in turn, bench Knox.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 5 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (at KC)

Knox had a big week against the Houston Texans as he finished with five catches for 37 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets (26.67%). While Knox has yet to reach the 50-yard mark this season, he has scored in three consecutive weeks. In addition, he has at least four catches in three of four games this season.

Winning their past three games by a combined 97 points, the Bills have the ability to score points in bunches. While their recent games haven't been close, this week's matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense should result in a shootout. No game has a higher total (57.0) and even though the Bills are three-point underdogs, they still have a top-seven implied total.

The third-year tight end will look to extend his scoring streak and weeks with a top-12 fantasy finish to four weeks. Over the past three weeks, he has finished as the TE11, TE8 and TE2 (half-PPR), respectively. Knox currently ranks top-six in all scoring formats.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG)

Over the past couple of weeks, Schultz has been as good as it gets. Following up his 6/80/2 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3, Schultz had six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers. In those two games, he had a 28.0% and 36.36% target share, respectively. On the season, Schultz now has six receptions in three of four games and he has scored the fourth-most half-PPR fantasy points.

Not only have the Giants allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, the Cowboys have a top-three implied total this week.

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NYJ)

If you've drafted Pitts, you're likely frustrated with the production so far. As he takes his talents across the pond for a matchup against the New York Jets in London, Pitts could see even more targets than he's seen up to this point. With a minimum of six targets in three of four games, Pitts enters Week 5 tied for sixth amongst tight ends in targets (26). Given that both Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage are out this week, Olamide Zaccheus is the team's "WR1" in Week 5.

Week 5 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (at CIN)

Even though he was only targeted 59 times in 2020, Tonyan was extremely efficient -- 88.1% catch rate, 11.3 Y/R and a TD scored per every 5.36 targets. While there have been some difficult matchups, Tonyan has done nearly nothing outside of a Week 2 matchup against the Detroit Lions (3/52/1). In his other three games this season, Tonyan has scoreless receiving lines of 2/8, 1/6 and 2/8, respectively. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots (at HOU)

Perhaps listing him here is the jinx that helps him breakout in a big way in an ideal matchup (if you need to start him). Smith is way more talented than his 2021 production has shown and this matchup provides an opportunity to smash.

On a positive note, Smith has a minimum of five targets in all four games this season, but he hasn't been able to do much with that volume. On the season, Smith has a total of 13 catches for 88 yards (6.77 Y/R) and a touchdown. Ranked as a TE2 (and behind teammate Hunter Henry in my rankings), Smith is a TD-dependent play instead of a must-start this weekend.

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (at LAC)

Hooper is tied with Odell Beckham for the most targets in Cleveland's passing game (16, 14.81%) this season. Unfortunately, that volume trails 17 other tight ends through Week 4 and Hooper has only been able to parlay those modest amount of targets into an even more modest receiving line of 11/97/1. Not only is he fifth on the team in receiving yards, but he is averaging a career-low 8.8 Y/R. As Hooper seeks his first top-12 fantasy finish of the year, he remains more of a mid-tier TE2 that will likely need a score to become a TE1.

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