You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Christian McCaffrey. But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.
Kincaid was the Bills’ top option in Week 9. He led the team in routes (38), targets (11) and catches (10) and was second in yards (81). He tied the record for most catches by a tight end in Bills franchise history. He also tied the rookie TE record for most catches in a three-game span (23) and is the second rookie tight end since the 1970 merger to have three consecutive games with five-plus catches and 50-plus yards. He had a huge fumble, but that doesn’t matter much in fantasyland. He still finished with more than 16 fantasy points -- his third straight game topping 15. Kincaid has quickly become a must-start tight end and the No. 2 target for the Bills. He needs to be started this week against a Broncos defense that has allowed the fourth-most yards and third-most fantasy PPG to tight ends this season.
Hill just keeps producing. He scored 20.62 fantasy points this past week, his second straight game topping 20. He has now crested 16 in three straight and has at least 12 in each of his last four. In fact, the only TE to score more fantasy points over the last month is Travis Kelce. Hill ran 13 routes last week, catching four of five targets for 13 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball 11 times for 52 yards and while he didn’t score a touchdown on the ground, he was heavily used near the goal line. Plus, he threw a touchdown pass. Hill contributing as a receiver, runner and passer is just becoming a trend in this offense. The floor may not be the safest and a let-down game is always possible, but the usage and fantasy production are both far too high to get away from now. Keep riding the hot hand.
Schultz ran a team-high 34 routes with 11 targets, 10 catches, 130 yards and a touchdown last week. He finished with 27 fantasy points to make him the TE1 on the week. Schultz has a TD in four of his last five games and has topped 13 fantasy points in all four of those games -- going over 16 in three of them. He has one down performance in that stretch, showing that like most tight ends, the floor is low. But he has been far too productive and consistent to get away from this week. Especially since he’s facing the Bengals, who have allowed the fourth-most yards, sixth-most touchdowns and second-most fantasy PPG to tight ends this season. Schultz is a strong start in this matchup.
I didn’t think Kmet was worth a start last week with a rookie QB in a tough matchup, especially if you had another option that you liked at tight end. Boy, was I wrong. Kmet finished with 23.5 fantasy points on six catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Kmet has now topped 15 fantasy points in four of his last six games. The issue is, in the other two he scored fewer than three. But you can live with a low floor when the ceiling is both extremely high and hitting more often than not. The Panthers might not have allowed a ton of production to tight ends this season, but they have allowed a 101.5 passer rating when tight ends are targeted against them. Kmet is definitely in play this week.
IF YOU NEED A STREAMER ...
Otton is quickly becoming a fan favorite of Bucs fans and my grandma. He had a potential breakout game last week, going for 70 yards and two scores, dropping 23 fantasy points. He has now topped eight fantasy points and six targets in three straight games, showing that he is a consistent option in the Bucs' passing attack. That usage is enough to have him in play this week with a couple starting tight ends on bye. Also, Gerald Everett is an option, as the Lions have struggled against tight ends and the Chargers need to score to keep up with the Detroit offense. Noah Fant is in play as a deep sleeper, as the Commanders have allowed the sixth-most yards and most touchdowns to tight ends since Week 5.
Even in a game with no Drake London and a backup QB willing to air it out more, Pitts failed to reach double-digit fantasy points. He once again took a backseat to Jonnu Smith (who had a huge day). Pitts has been held to single digits in three straight and in all but two games this season. It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t matter what we think, because hope and armchair coaching doesn’t score fantasy points. Pitts is simply not seeing a consistent fantasy-friendly role, and we have to come to terms with that. Now he gets the Cardinals, who have allowed the seventh-fewest yards to tight ends since Week 5. They are not the tight-end friendly matchup they have been in the past. This is a week you can get away from Pitts.
Njoku has been putting up better results of late, scoring double digits in three straight games. But only one of those came with Deshaun Watson. In the four games he’s played with Watson in total, Njoku has scored fewer than seven points three times. Meanwhile, the Ravens have allowed the fourth-fewest yards and only one touchdown to tight ends this season. They’ve given up the second-fewest fantasy PPG. There will be weeks you can use Njoku, I would just avoid doing so in this matchup.
Mayer is a young tight end with a lot of upside. The emergence of other rookie tight ends has fantasy managers clamoring for more, but this is not the week to get Mayer into your starting lineup. First, he has only one game this season with double-digit fantasy points and has been held to fewer than four in three straight. Second, the Jets are not the friendly matchup to tight ends that they were earlier this season. Since Week 5 they have allowed the third-fewest yards and only one touchdown to the position. The floor is way too low to trust against this defense.
Johnson caught a touchdown last week, ironically thrown by the superior Saints tight end (at least for fantasy purposes), Taysom Hill. It was great to see Johnson more involved in the passing game, but Hill continues to eat into his routes and targets. Johnson has yet to top 40 yards in a game this season and four times has been held to fewer than 30. Without a touchdown, you’re looking at a very low floor. And even with a touchdown, the upside is not much higher. Until we see him getting more consistent usage -- and production -- you can avoid for fantasy purposes.