Aside from the obvious must-start guys like George Kittle or Travis Kelce, this season has been kind of a bust for tight end production. You really have to play the matchups at this position. To help with that, here are some suggestions for Week 7.
Tight End Starts
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons
Hockenson has scored in both of the Lions’ last two games. Unfortunately, he’s failed to top 20 receiving yards in either of those outings. This week is probably his best chance to to have a good game, against a Falcons defense that’s the second-worst when it comes to giving up points to tight ends.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Hooper has 143 yards and a touchdown in his last three games. Even more encouraging for his fantasy value is that he’s been targeted 23 times in those games. The Bengals have give up double-digit points to tight ends in their last two outings, so this is shaping up as another good week for Hooper.
Tight End Sits
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
There’s a chance that Michael Thomas could come back this week, and if he does, that takes away work from Cook. But even if Thomas is still out, this is a brutal matchup. The Panthers are the fifth-best defense in fantasy against tight ends.
Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions
Hurst was a victim of hype this season. He’s been okay, but it’s hard to live up to the kind of expectations fantasy prognosticators had for him. Hurst tends to go up and down, one good game followed by a dud. This week he’s on track for a dud, not because of our specious statistical rationale of on and off games, but because the Lions are the third-best team in fantasy against tight ends.