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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 17

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.

Start 'Em

David Njoku
Cleveland Browns CLE

I was a big fan of David Njoku coming into this season and while it took longer than expected, it really has worked out in the second half of the year. Since Week 7, he has just one game with single-digit fantasy points. He has scored more than 16 in each of his last three contests, topping 26 in two. The Jets secondary is very stingy against receivers but vulnerable to tight ends, having allowed double-digit fantasy PPG to the position. If Robert Saleh's unit can slow Amari Cooper down a bit, Njoku could see even more volume Sunday. He is a must-start option in championship week. 

Sam LaPorta
Detroit Lions DET · TE

A week after carrying teams to the fantasy semifinals, Sam LaPorta disappointed against Minnesota. He finished with just three catches for 18 yards, good for just 4.8 PPR points. Now, he gets a tough matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed the fourth-fewest yards and third-fewest fantasy PPG to TEs. It doesn’t matter. LaPorta has two games with more than 28 fantasy points in the last month. The floor may not be the sturdiest, but the upside is far too high to ever turn away from. He’s a huge reason why fantasy teams have gotten this far.

Isaiah Likely
Baltimore Ravens BAL

Last week, I had Isaiah Likely as a start option in what I thought would be a high-scoring battle between the Ravens and 49ers. Well, one of those teams delivered on that premise (and it wasn’t the Niners). Likely had a floor game, catching three of four targets for 56 yards. But in four games without Mark Andrews, he has scored at least eight fantasy points in every game and topped 18 twice. That’s two (solid) floor games and two ceiling games. This week could once again be a potential high-scoring matchup, if the Dolphins show up against the tough Ravens defense. Either way, Likely has been too productive not to play him.

Darren Waller
New York Giants NYG

Last week was a rough one at the end of a rough year for Darren Waller managers. But if you survived, you could be rewarded with a big performance in championship week. The Rams are in the top five in yards allowed to tight ends on the year. They’ve given up the second-most touchdowns and fifth-most fantasy PPG to the position. Covering tight ends has been a weakness for this Rams defense all year. Waller is in play due to the matchup this week. 


Chigoziem Okonkwo
Tennessee Titans TEN

Better late than never. After being a top sleeper all offseason, Chig Okonkwo has finally started to come to life. He has scored more than eight fantasy points in four of his last five games, a safe floor for a tight end. And now he’s coming off his best game of the season, where he caught six passes for 63 yards and a touchdown (from Derrick Henry) on a team-high six targets. This Sunday, he faces the Texans, who are in the top five in yards allowed to tight ends this season and have allowed the sixth-most fantasy PPG to the position. Okonkwo is a plug-and-play option if you’ve been streaming tight ends. 

Sit 'Em

Dalton Kincaid
Buffalo Bills BUF

It was a fun ride for Dalton Kincaid and there will be plenty of excitement around him next season, but it’s OK to get away from the rookie in championship week. In his last two games, Kincaid has posted fewer than two fantasy points combined. In the three games since Dawson Knox returned, the rookie is in single digits … total. While he maintains a slight usage edge over Knox, the two are splitting work in a Bills offense that has increasingly become more run-focused. Plus, the Pats have allowed the second-fewest yards to tight ends and just two touchdowns on the year. Get away if you can. 

Kyle Pitts
Atlanta Falcons ATL

Kyle Pitts snagged a 24-yard touchdown catch last week. It was awesome, but besides that, he had just two receptions for 25 yards the rest of the game. It was his second time topping double figures since Week 7 -- both times he needed a touchdown to do so. It’s hard to bank on a score when Pitts has just six games with double-digit fantasy points in three NFL seasons. Plus, he now faces the Bears, who have been playing much better defense of late. This could be a low-scoring grinder kind of game. I would avoid Pitts. 

Taysom Hill
New Orleans Saints NO

I had Taysom Hill as a start last week … my bad. He scored just 0.2 fantasy points on two rushing yards. A ways back, Hill looked like he was developing a safe floor and high ceiling for the Saints, but over his last two games, he has scored just 1.7 fantasy points combined. He has just three rushing attempts in that span and has two or fewer targets in each of his last four contests. He’s not throwing much either, which takes out yet another avenue for Hill to find fantasy value. Due to the lack of usage and the very low floor, you can avoid Hill in championship week. 

Tucker Kraft
Green Bay Packers GB

Tucker Kraft has blossomed into a reliable fantasy tight end down the stretch. He has topped double figures in three straight games and has more than nine fantasy points in four of his last five. But this week, he faces a tough Vikings defense, which has allowed the second-fewest yards to tight ends and no touchdowns since Week 12. You should be able to find a better option than Kraft either on your roster or waivers. I’d pivot to that option and avoid this matchup. 

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