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.
Dalton Kincaid is a must-start option now and too obvious to write about. So, I have to pivot to the next best Dalton. Schultz has scored more than 11 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, with a touchdown in five of them. Sure, he will put up the occasional dud, but as far as tight ends go that’s a very safe floor. And he pairs it with upside, having scored more than 16 fantasy points three times in that stretch. Just like the other Dalton, he is working his way into must-start status in one of the best passing attacks in the league.
It’s been a bit up-and-down with McBride, as the young tight end scored more than 21 fantasy points in two of his last four games but was held to single digits in the other two. As always, context is needed. His 5.2-point game in Week 9 came with Clayton Tune at quarterback, against the Browns defense. In Week 11, he hit 9.3 fantasy points, which is a solid floor for a tight end. He has 16 targets in the two games with Kyler Murray, most on the team. McBride is a top-six fantasy tight end and a must-start option.
Do not let one down week and a bye erase your memory of just how dominant Hill has been. From Weeks 6 to 9, Hill averaged 18 fantasy PPG. He disappointed in Week 10, but that was a game where Derek Carr was injured and Jameis Winston stepped in. Hill still is utilized as a tight end, a running back (especially near the goal line) and occasionally even a quarterback. His usage is elite, even if he doesn’t bring the sturdiest floor. Not many tight ends are safe week-to-week and few bring the upside that Hill does on any given Sunday. He remains in play for fantasy football, especially since the Falcons have allowed the fourth-most yards to tight ends.
This is a bit of a deep call, but with no Mark Andrews, you might be able to pivot to Likely. He has played the secondary role for much of this season, outside of Week 1, when he disappointed with Andrews inactive. But last year, he had two games without Andrews and a third where the lead TE exited early. Likely went for more than 75 yards or scored a touchdown in all three of those games. He came up big in Week 18, catching eight of 13 targets for 103 yards. There is no replacing Andrews, but Likely might be your best bet off waivers. He’s a good option against the Chargers, who have allowed the second-most yards and fifth-most fantasy PPG to tight ends.
IF YOU NEED A STREAMER ...
If you’re diving a little deeper this week, Thomas is an option for you. He brings a very safe floor, with more than seven fantasy points in all but one of his games this season. He’s only reached double figures three times but has surpassed 16 twice, showing he does bring some upside. The Cowboys are middle of the pack against tight ends but they’ve allowed a 120.5 passer rating to the position when targeted. An even deeper option would be Michael Mayer, who has a tough matchup against the Chiefs but has been seeing more work of late. He has been targeted five times in two straight games and topped eight fantasy points in each.
Freiermuth is back for the Steelers but can remain on the waiver wire in fantasy land. Muth has seven yards or fewer in four of his five games this season. You read that right: yards, not fantasy points. He has 14 targets in those five games combined. The Steelers' passing attack can’t elevate their top two receivers, so there’s certainly no room for a third target. Muth is a must-sit right now.
Higbee would be more in play if Cooper Kupp (ankle) sits this week, but he has a tough matchup either way. The Cardinals have allowed the seventh-fewest yards to tight ends. Even with Kupp exiting early last week, Higbee was limited to fewer than three fantasy points. He has reached double figures just twice this season, with both of those games coming before Kupp was activated. Higbee is a low-floor, low-ceiling play.
If you look up “touchdown-dependent” in the fantasy dictionary, you will find a picture of Henry. He has reached double-digits in fantasy points three times this season -- in each of the games in which he caught a touchdown. He’s been held to fewer than six fantasy points in six games this season. The G-Men have allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends all season. Henry is on bust watch and should not be in your starting lineup.