There are always a few players at each position that fantasy managers need to start regardless of matchup, those are the obvious ones. But here, we’ll go a bit deeper and examine a few matchups in Week 11 where tight ends have a huge advantage or disadvantage. Hopefully, this gives you a leg up in deciding who to start and who to hold off on in your fantasy lineup this weekend.
Tight End Starts
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Gesicki is a massive part of the Dolphins pass-heavy offense. He was held off the stat sheet last week, getting zero catches, but still saw seven targets. This week, he’ll be sure to see around the same number of targets, if not more, but will probably be able to get more production against a weak Jets defense against tight ends. They’re averaging giving up about 14 points per game to opposing tight ends, which ranks 20th in the NFL.
Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have a good defense against tight ends, ranking in the top 10 in the NFL, but Arnold is essentially the entire passing game for Jacksonville. He’s been by far the most productive receiver since he arrived via trade before Week 3. He’s started three less games than most Jags pass-catchers but only has about 100 fewer yards than their top target. Arnold is also the most productive when he hauls in passes, going for an average of 12 yards per catch.
Tight End Sits
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Cook has seen his target number decrease seemingly every week since the season has begun. He’s started to split reps with other tight ends on the roster as well and saw his worst level of production all year last week against the Minnesota Vikings with just one catch on three targets. The matchup against Pittsburgh isn’t particularly favorable either, they’ve allowed an average of just 12 points per game to the opposing team’s entire TE corps. Since Cook is splitting reps and seeing the ball less and less, it’s highly likely he’ll get five points or less.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Conklin is coming off his most productive game of the season, catching two touchdowns in a win over the LA Chargers. Don’t expect him to pop off like that again. This game seemed like an outlier since he only got 11 yards and just happened to make those two catches in the end zone. He hasn’t been a major part of their red-zone game plan this season, scoring just one other touchdown all season outside of last week.