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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tight ends for Week 9

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 (unless he's on bye). 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

Dalton Kincaid
Buffalo Bills BUF

Kincaid was a start last week and came through with 17.5 fantasy points. He caught five of seven targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. He was heavily featured in the red zone for the Bills. He should once again be heavily featured with Dawson Knox sidelined. Kincaid brings lineup-altering upside as he can win in a variety of ways and is quickly becoming the number two target for Josh Allen. He is in play in what could be a high scoring game against the Bengals, who have allowed the sixth-most yards and most fantasy PPG to tight ends. This is on track to be Sam LaPorta 2.0, where I tell you to start Kincaid weekly until I no longer have to. 

Trey McBride
Arizona Cardinals ARI

McBride was a streaming option last week and had a massive game. He played 83 percent of the snaps, ran the most routes on the Cardinals and finished with 10 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. All those numbers led the team last week. He finished with 25.5 fantasy points and was the TE1. Yeah, that’s a tight end you’re going to want to start, even in a tough matchup against the Browns. All the significant Zach Ertz volume has carried right over to McBride. He will clearly remain a large part of their offense. 

Taysom Hill
New Orleans Saints NO

Bit of a humble brag, but Hill has been featured here the last couple of weeks and has scored more than 16 fantasy points in each of those games. He has topped 12 in three straight. Even last week with Juwan Johnson back, Hill was used in a variety of ways and finished with 22.46 fantasy points. He did split reps with Johnson, running 12 routes to Johnson’s 15, and only had one target, which he caught for 14 yards. But -- and this is what matters with Hill -- he also threw two passes, completing one for 44 yards, and ran nine times for 63 yards and two touchdowns. He is heavily featured near the goal line. The floor isn’t all that safe, but the upside is very high and keeps him in play against the Bears' weak defense. 

Jake Ferguson
Dallas Cowboys DAL

Ferguson bounced back this past week with four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. He has scored nine or more fantasy points in four of his last six games. The floor is low, but he brings enough upside to start this week. The Eagles have been in the middle of the pack against tight ends. But they are so tough against the run that the Cowboys will likely have to throw -- and we know they will have to put up points against Philly. That’s enough to make Ferguson a start this week. 


Gerald Everett
Los Angeles Chargers LAC
Donald Parham
Los Angeles Chargers LAC

For as good as the Jets' defense has been this season, its one weakness has been against tight ends. The Jets have allowed the most touchdowns and eighth-most fantasy PPG to the position. They had been allowing the most PPG as well, but a matchup against the Giants in which Darren Waller was injured (and the Giants had no passing production) bumped them down several spots. Meanwhile, Everett had scored a touchdown and topped double-digits in each of his last two games before injury. He was starting to get used more in the red zone, as well. He is in play as a streaming option in this matchup as long as he suits up. If Everett is out again this week, then you can pivot to Parham. 

Sit 'Em

Cole Kmet
Chicago Bears CHI

Kmet put up numbers last week with Tyson Bagent, catching all 10 of his targets for 79 yards. He is not a must-sit by any means, but if you have another tight end you feel good about, I would go in that direction. Kmet has a very tough matchup against the Saints this week, as New Orleans has allowed the third-fewest yards and ninth-fewest fantasy PPG to tight ends. The only teams to allow fewer yards have already had their byes. Given the tough matchup, Kmet is on bust watch this week against a smothering defense. 

Tyler Higbee
Los Angeles Rams LAR

Higbee is averaging just 4.8 fantasy PPG since Cooper Kupp returned. Three times in that span, he has scored four fantasy points or fewer. There just isn’t enough volume to sustain Kupp, Puka Nacua, Higbee and Tutu Atwell. Add in that his quarterback is dealing with a thumb injury and that the Packers have been stingy against tight ends for most of the season, and things aren’t looking good. There is just not enough floor or upside to trust Higbee in fantasy football right now. 

Luke Musgrave
Green Bay Packers GB

The Rams have struggled mightily against tight ends this season. You may see that and consider streaming Musgrave this week, but I would avoid doing so. Musgrave was limited to just three targets this past week, catching two for just nine yards. He has reached double-digit fantasy points just once all year and three times scored fewer than five. The floor is very low and the ceiling isn’t much higher. Plus, he has flopped in good matchups before. I would avoid falling for the matchup trap. 

Juwan Johnson
New Orleans Saints NO

Johnson returned last week but did not make much of an impact. He caught one of his two targets for five yards. He has put up fewer than 15 yards in three straight games played. He is now splitting reps with Taysom Hill and has yet to score a touchdown this season. The floor is entirely too low and the upside is capped as long as Hill remains involved. Stream elsewhere this week. 

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