Saturday, September 22, 2018

Week 3 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, George Kittle is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 37 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Rob Gronkowski and Kittle, you should start Gronk -- and in turn, bench Kittle.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 3 Fantasy Football TE Start'em


TE - Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts (at PHI)

With Jack Doyle (hip) out in Week 3, it boosts the outlook for Ebron, who is off to a good start with the Colts. Scoring in both of the first two games, Ebron has just nine total targets so he's been a TD-dependent fantasy option. But given that he has scored in both games, he has finished as a top-10 weekly tight end each week.

The duo of Doyle (7.5 targets per game) and Ebron (4.5) have averaged 12.0 targets per game and it'd, of course, be unreasonable to expect that volume for Ebron with Doyle out. That said, he should certainly get more than the 4.5 per game that have come his way early this season. If he gets 7-8 targets, his production this week will be less dependent on whether he finds the end zone or not.

TE - George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (at KC)

After a big (that could have been bigger) Week 1 performance against a tough defense, I expected a bigger outing from Kittle in a more favorable Week 2 matchup. On a positive note for Week 3, Chiefs safety Eric Berry is likely to be out this week, which sets Kittle up for a big day in a potential shootout against the Chiefs. As a matter of fact, the Chiefs allowed Steelers tight end Jesse James to go off for 5/138/1 last week.

TE - Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (at MIA)

Less involved in Week 2 (4/49 on four targets) than Week 1 (9/180 on 12 targets), Cook has scored the fourth-most fantasy points amongst tight ends (and most in PPR formats) going into Sunday's games. While the Dolphins have yet to allow a touchdown to opposing tight ends, they have allowed the eighth-most receiving yards (155) to the position this season. Especially if you play in PPR formats, Cook is at least a back-end TE1 for Week 3.


Week 3 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em


TE - Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (at CAR)

When healthy, Eifert is always a threat to score a touchdown (or two or three). Through two games, Eifert has five scoreless receptions for 67 yards. In a relatively difficult matchup against the Panthers, Eifert is outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for Week 3.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (vs. MIN)

So far this season, tight ends have performed fairly well against the Vikings. Both Kittle and Jimmy Graham have had 90-yard games against them. The streak will end this week as there's virtually no chance that Clay gets 90-plus yards against the usually stout Vikings defense. No team is projected to score fewer points than the Bills (based on implied totals from Vegas odds) and Clay has just two catches for 23 yards on five targets so far this season.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. PIT)

Like me, Brate is still waiting for his first catch of the season despite fellow Harvard alum Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for 400-plus yards and four touchdowns in back-to-back games to open the season. Meanwhile, teammate O.J. Howard has five receptions for 150 yards (insane 30.0 Y/R) and a touchdown on just six targets. Finishing as the TE9 and TE3 in the first two weeks, respectively, Howard is a low-end TE1 or high-end TE2 in a favorable matchup against the Steelers. That said, Brate should be benched -- or more precisely, dropped.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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