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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 12: Tight ends

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes´╗┐. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

T.J. Hockenson
Minnesota Vikings MIN · TE
New England Patriots
2022 · 6-4-0

Hockenson has been awesome with the Vikings. He has seen at least nine targets in each game. Travis Kelce is the only tight end with more targets or air yards in the last three weeks. He has averaged 11.97 fantasy PPG with the Vikings -- and that is without scoring a touchdown, which is surprising since he is tied for the team lead in red-zone (six) and end-zone (two) targets in that span. He has a safe floor and I am not sure we have seen his ceiling with the Vikings just yet. This could be a week to show it off as the Patriots allow 12.9 fantasy PPG to receivers this season, which is just outside the top 10. That jumps to 13.6 in the past month, the fifth-most in the NFL. Hockenson is one of the few reliable tight ends still standing in fantasy. Start him with confidence.

Pat Freiermuth
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT · TE
Indianapolis Colts
2022 · 4-6-1

Freiermuth has low key been a very reliable fantasy tight end as of late. He started off slow and missed some time, which seemingly made people forget how strongly he finished the season last year for the Steelers. Freiermuth has averaged 12.2 fantasy PPG in his last four games. He leads the Steelers with a 30% target share and a 32% air yard share in the last two weeks. He is coming off a game with a season-high 12 targets and has at least seven in four straight games. That sort of volume is just too good to pass up at the tight end position. The Colts rank middle of the pack against tight ends this season, but it does not matter. When you get the sort of volume that Freiermuth is currently drawing, it's enough to make him a start at the weakest position in fantasy football.

Dawson Knox
Buffalo Bills BUF · TE
Detroit Lions
2022 · 4-6-0

Knox was a sit last week and I will take that L. He finished with a season-high 14 fantasy points, catching all seven of his targets for 70 yards. He put up season highs across the board. He has also seen 13 targets in his last two games. That was after only seeing over five targets once in his first seven games. The increased volume means we can start to trust Knox as more than a pure touchdown-dependent tight end. That is especially good this week against the Lions, who have allowed 14.9 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the fourth-most in the NFL. That jumps to 18.6 fantasy PPG, the second-most, in the past month. Knox is in play for those who need help at tight end -- and there are many managers out there that do. 

Juwan Johnson
New Orleans Saints NO · TE
San Francisco 49ers
2022 · 6-4-0

Johnson has been a great fantasy asset as of late. He has now scored a touchdown in three straight games, including having five in his last five games combined. He has scored over 12 fantasy points in four of his last five games, which is absurdly good for a tight end. He is averaging 12.98 fantasy PPG since Week 7, which again is very, very good for a tight end. He is the TE3 in the last month. The floor is not all that safe, but outside of the few set tight ends that you can start each week (and that list is dwindling), no tight end brings a safe floor. Very few though have brought the consistent upside that Johnson has been bringing as of late. The 49ers have been tough on tight ends, but Johnson has been too good as of late to get away from this week. I would continue to ride the hot hand with Johnson this week.  

Sit 'Em

Austin Hooper
Tennessee Titans TEN · TE
Cincinnati Bengals
2022 · 6-4-0

Hooper scored just under 20 fantasy points in Week 11, which was enough to make him the top scoring tight end until Travis Kelce played. Hooper caught four balls for 36 yards and two touchdowns. It was his first two touchdowns of the season. Prior to Week 11, Hooper had not had a game with double-digit fantasy points. He has less than six fantasy points in seven of 10 games, including five times finishing with fewer than three fantasy points. Over the last month, the Bengals have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to tight ends at 4.3 per game. With no teams on bye this week, you can find better options to stream. Get away from Hooper.  

Robert Tonyan
Green Bay Packers GB · TE
Philadelphia Eagles
2022 · 9-1-0

Tonyan has been trending down ever since that one big random game where he had 10 catches for 90 yards. In five games since then, he has racked up 14 catches for 123 yards on 19 targets. That is nearly the same amount of production that he had in that one game alone. He has fewer than five targets in all but one of those games. The Eagles have also been extremely stingy to tight ends. On the season, they are allowing 9.8 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. In the last month, that drops to 8.4 fantasy PPG, the sixth-lowest in that span. Stay away from Big Bob this week.  

Trey McBride
Arizona Cardinals ARI · TE
Los Angeles Chargers
2022 · 5-5-0

McBride is the new TE1 for the Cardinals after Zach Ertz suffered a season-ending injury in Week 10. He finished with four catches for 14 yards on four targets. He played 76% of the snaps, which is an encouraging sign for the rookie, but we need more volume before we justify starting him, especially with no teams on bye. The Chargers got lit up last week by Travis Kelce, but they were in the bottom 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to tight ends before that big game last week. I mean, Kelce has 75% of the touchdowns and 25% of the yards that the Chargers have allowed to the tight end position this season. McBride has a bright future, but he is not Kelce at this point. Stay away from the rookie this week.  

Hunter Henry
New England Patriots NE · TE
Minnesota Vikings
2022 · 8-2-0

Henry has averaged two targets, 1.8 catches and 26 yards per game over the past month. In that span, he has a total of eight targets, seven catches and 104 yards. That would be a good game for some tight ends, but that is an awful month for any. There simply just has not been enough volume to trust Henry, especially considering there are no byes this week and Henry has a tough matchup. The Vikings have allowed just 8.2 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the fourth fewest in the NFL. There are better streaming options out there for those in need of a tight end.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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