The 2021 NFL season is rolling right along. Week 3 kicks off on Thursday night, so it’s time to start finalizing your lineup decisions for this week. The tight end position is fantasy football’s thinnest, meaning that if don’t have one of a small handful of the obvious must-start players like Travis Kelce or Darren Waller on your roster, you’ll have to think critically about who you’re going to start from week to week.
To help make those decisions, here’s a look at two players to avoid and two in line for a big outing this week.
Tight End Starts
T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. Ravens
The Lions tight end has kind of entered that rarified air of elite fantasy status, a guy who should probably be in your lineup every week he’s on the field. He’s the Lions’ receiver so far this season, and paced his team in targets in each of the last two. Darren Waller and Travis Kelce each had more than 100 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in the last two weeks. Hockenson should follow that pattern this week.
Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Giants
There is not much to like about the Falcons offense, but Pitts is too talented to be held back for long. The rookie is second on the team with 14 targets, and he really made the most of those catches last week against the Buccaneers, rolling up 73 yards on five catches. He’s moving all over the field too, working from the slot and on the outside. With Matt Ryan starting to trust him and injury concerns for Atlanta’s No. 2 receiver, Russell Gage, this should be the week Pitts breaks out for a big game, Only four teams are giving up more fantasy points, on average, to tight ends each week than the Giants.
Tight End Sits
Adam Trautman, Saints vs. Patriots
Despite some early season excitement about Trautman’s fantasy prospects as the top tight end in New Orleans’ offense, his output been pretty underwhelming so far. The second-year tight end has just three catches on six targets for a grand total of 18 yards so far this season. Opposing tight ends have exactly four catches for 27 yards against the Patriots through two weeks this season.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins vs. Raiders
After being held without a catch on three targets in the season opener, Miami’s tight end found his way into the box score last week with three grabs on six targets for 41 yards. But don’t get too excited. The Dolphins have been giving plenty of snaps to the other tight ends on the depth chart, meaning less work overall for Gesicki. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is this week too, replaced by Jacoby Brissett, which is definitely not a great situation. And if you’re still not convinced, the Raiders have given up just 56 yards to opposing tight ends in two games.