Week 13 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em is geared toward season-long leagues but can also be used for daily fantasy purposes. Anybody can tell you to start the Chris Carsons, D.J. Charks, and George Kittles of the world. That’s not what I’m doing here. I’m looking deeper at legitimate mostly-borderline candidates who owners may truly be contemplating using in lineups. Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean I advocate playing these guys over your weekly studs.

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week: Josh Allen at Cowboys: Fantasy’s overall QB7 in points per game, Allen has been rock solid all season, and especially since the calendar flipped to October. Allen has multiple touchdowns in seven straight games. When he can put together a game with multiple touchdowns as either a passer or runner along with at least one score in the other area, the sky’s the limit for Allen. And we saw it two weeks ago in Miami when Allen tossed three touchdowns and ran in another, finishing Week 11 as the overall QB1. He has seven rushing scores on the year, including four over his last four contests. Allen’s game is pretty much matchup-proof after we saw him put the QB10 day on the board last week against Denver’s stout defense. Dallas is a middling 18th in pass-defense DVOA, but top-10 in passing yards allowed per game (No. 6), opponent yards per attempt (No. 5), passing touchdowns allowed (No. 6), and fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks (No. 8). However, the Cowboys play at the third-fastest offensive pace, and the Bills are also in the top half of the league in pace at No. 14. This game will be played in the friendly confines of the JerryWorld dome with a 46-point total, the sixth-highest of the 16-game Week 13 slate. The Bills are going to have to keep up with Dallas. Dual-threat Jeff Driskel put up 209 yards and two touchdowns as a passer with 51 rushing yards and a third score on the ground against the Cowboys in Week 11, finishing as the QB5. Daniel Jones led the Giants with 54 rushing yards in Week 9, adding 210 yards and a score as a passer. Allen has the most upside of any QB on the Thanksgiving Day slate.

Starts

Sam Darnold at Bengals: Darnold is the overall QB5 over the last three weeks after big games against the Giants, Redskins, and Raiders. Weeks ago, we were eyeing this part of the schedule for the sophomore quarterback, but after his “seeing ghosts” performance against the Patriots followed by subpar road games in Jacksonville and Miami, Darnold’s star seemed to fade. But he now catches another plus-plus Sunday matchup. The Bengals are 31st in pass-defense DVOA, 21st in passing yards allowed, 26th in opponent completion rate, dead last in opponent yards per attempt, 30th in opponent passer rating, and 26th in fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks. Mason Rudolph/Devlin Hodges predictably did very little against Cincinnati last week outside of a Hodges-to-James Washington 79-yard score. But Derek Carr put up the QB11 day the week before, and Jared Goff had the QB8 week in Week 8, his lone remotely useful performance of the past five weeks. Cincinnati is 31st in sacks with just 16. The 41-point total for Jets-Bengals is the fifth-lowest of Week 13, but this is an easy enough individual matchup for Darnold to flirt with 300 yards and multiple scores. All of his pass catchers, including Le’Veon Bell, catch easy draws. At worst, Darnold is a top-15 option.

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Carson Wentz at Dolphins: A colossal 2019 disappointment, Wentz is the overall QB22 in fantasy points per game, 21st in completion percentage, and 30th in yards per attempt. The Eagles have absolutely zero semblance of a vertical passing game without DeSean JacksonAlshon Jeffery can barely move anymore, and Nelson Agholor is a running joke among Philly fans. JJ Arcega-Whiteside can’t seem to get on the field. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert have been good, but neither stretches the field and are more extensions of the running game. However, Jeffery (ankle) and Agholor (knee) are expected back from injuries this week. And the Dolphins present possibly the easiest matchup of the season for Wentz. Miami is dead last in pass-defense DVOA and dead last in adjusted sack rate. They’ve placed No. 1 CB Xavien Howard and both starting safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on injured reserve in recent weeks. The Dolphins are 22nd in passing yards allowed per game, 20th in opponent completion rate, 26th in opponent yards per attempt, 31st in touchdowns allowed, 31st in opponent passer rating, and 29th in fantasy points yielded to quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield tossed three first-half touchdowns last Sunday, finishing with 327 yards as the overall QB6. Josh Allen put the QB1 day on the board in Week 11 in Miami. Wentz doesn’t have a 300-yard outing since Week 6 and has five straight one-touchdown games. His supporting cast has just been decimated, but there’s enough meat on the bone here to go back to Wentz as a streamer. The Eagles’ implied team total of 27 points is the third-highest on the board.

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Eagles: Fitzpatrick has been his usual high-ceiling, low-floor self in Miami. He has four multi-touchdown games over his last six outings and is coming off the QB5 week against the Browns last Sunday. FitzMagic is the overall QB5 since Week 7 and has three rushing touchdowns in that span. It’s not always pretty with Fitzpatrick, but it’s clear when watching the Dolphins that his teammates love playing for him. Even in a lost season, Fitzpatrick’s compete level remains at 100. The Eagles held Russell Wilson to the QB19 week in Week 12, but Wilson had a long touchdown dropped by DK Metcalf and another potential long sideline grab by Metcalf clank off his hands. Wilson also missed a wide-open Jacob Hollister in the end zone. The wind played a factor in Philly. Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins have posted top-12 days against the Eagles since Philly’s Week 5 bye. The Eagles are 10th in pass-defense DVOA, 12th in passing yards allowed per game, sixth in opponent completion rate, 17th in opponent yards per attempt, 18th in passing touchdowns allowed, and 12th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Easy matchups with Luke Falk, Mitchell Trubisky, and Tom Brady have played a part in spiking those numbers. Fitzpatrick has a basement-level floor but top-10 upside anytime he takes the field. DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki are both in good individual spots.

Sits

Baker Mayfield at Steelers: Mayfield has shown signs of life in recent weeks with three consecutive multi-touchdown passing games, including last week’s 327 yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins as the QB6 for Week 12. Since Week 10, Mayfield is the overall QB10 in fantasy points per game. And that includes the Week 11 matchup with these same Steelers. However, Mayfield only had 193 passing yards in that game, but he did throw two touchdowns and ran in another for his second career rushing score. We can’t bank on the rushing output with Mayfield, especially touchdowns with his feet. Simply remove that touchdown from his stat line and Mayfield would have been the QB18 versus Pittsburgh. The Steelers field an elite pass defense, checking in at No. 4 in DVOA versus the pass, No. 8 in passing yards allowed per game, No. 10 in opponent completion rate, No. 9 in opponent yards per attempt, No. 5 in opponent passer rating, No. 2 in adjusted sack rate, and 11th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Mayfield completed just 53% of his throws at 6.03 yards per attempt two weeks ago against the Steelers. Jared Goff had 243 scoreless yards and two picks in Pittsburgh the previous week. And Ryan Finley was obviously shut down with ease last Sunday. A difficult matchup in a game with a measly 40-point total between two offenses that are in the bottom third of the league in offensive pace isn’t where I’m looking for a QB streamer.

Ryan Tannehill at Colts: Since he took over as starter in Week 7, only Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have scored more fantasy points than Tannehill. Marcus Mariota was so bad that he has Tannehill looking like the Titans’ version of Jackson. He’s coming off yet another stellar game against the Jaguars last week, finishing as the overall QB2 behind Jackson. Tannehill, however, is averaging 18.5 passing attempts over his last two games but has scored three rushing touchdowns over his last three outings. He’s always possessed that athleticism, but it’s hard to keep up scoring with his feet, especially when Derrick Henry is on the same team. Tannehill has been phenomenal; I just can’t see him maintaining this astounding pace on such low pass volume. This game has a 43.5-point total with a 2.5-point spread, so it’s not as if Tannehill is going to have to win this game for the Titans. The Colts are 12th in pass-defense DVOA, 16th in passing yards allowed per game, 12th in passing touchdowns allowed, 19th in opponent yards per attempt, and 10th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. DC Matt Eberflus’ zone scheme does a good job of limiting big plays and keeping the ball in front of the defense. The Colts are also pretty good at keeping dual-threat QBs contained to the pocket, as Deshaun Watson has 3-10 and 3-32 rushing lines against Indy this season. The Colts play at the third-slowest offensive pace and are No. 5 in opponent plays per game. Tennessee doesn’t play much faster, checking in at No. 10 in pace. This isn’t a game that screams fantasy upside.

Philip Rivers at Broncos: Rivers has really bottomed out in recent weeks and comes into this AFC West matchup as the overall QB24 in fantasy points per game for the season. He has a high-water mark of QB9 against the Dolphins way earlier in the year and has just four touchdowns to eight interceptions over his last four games coming into this one. Meanwhile, the Broncos are 15th in pass-defense DVOA, No. 5 in passing yards allowed per game, No. 6 in opponent yards per attempt, No. 6 in passing touchdowns allowed, 14th in opponent passer rating, and No. 4 in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. When these two teams squared off in Week 5, Rivers manages 211 yards, his third-fewest of the season, no scores, and two interceptions, averaging a pitiful 4.4 yards per attempt. The Chargers play at the fourth-slowest offensive pace, and this game’s 38.5-point total is tied for the lowest of Week 13.

RUNNING BACK

Start of the Week: Ronald Jones at Jaguars: This Bucs backfield remains a three-way committee, but with game script on his side last week in Atlanta, Jones was in on his second-highest snap rate of the season, playing an even 50% of the downs while leading the Bucs in carries and targets. Jones managed a 12-51-1 rushing line and continues to be the 1A of this backfield whenever the Bucs are competitive. Sunday sets up another opportunity for that with the Bucs as mere one-point underdogs in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are really scuffling and just got annihilated by the Titans last week. Jacksonville is dead last in run-defense DVOA, 26th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, dead last in opponent yards per carry, 29th in rushing yards allowed per game, and 31st in rushing touchdowns allowed. Derrick Henry (19-159-2), Jonathan Williams (13-116), and Marlon Mack (14-109-1) all have 100-yard games against the Jaguars the last two weeks since Jacksonville’s Week 10 bye. Carlos Hyde (19-160) lit this defense up in Week 9. The 48.5-point total and one-point spread suggests a potential shootout. The Bucs are No. 2 in offensive plays per game. Jones is a lock-and-load RB2.

Starts

David Montgomery at Lions: Montgomery has been in on at least 61% of the Bears’ offensive snaps four of the last five games and is averaging 19 touches per contest in that span. The rookie’s efficiency has severely lacked with a grotesque 3.3 yards per carry average, but Montgomery has three touchdowns in his last five and is tied with Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook for the league lead with 13 carries inside the five-yard line. The volume and premier chances at the goal line are more than enough to play Montgomery every week. He now draws a Detroit unit that is 20th in run-defense DVOA, 24th in rushing yards allowed per game, 20th in opponent yards per carry, and 31st in fantasy points allowed to running backs. These two clubs met back in Week 10, and Montgomery registered 17 carries, his fourth-most of the season, but turned them into 60 scoreless yards. Ezekiel Elliott found the end zone twice against Detroit in Week 11 despite poor efficiency. Josh Jacobs went 28-120-2 two weeks before that. And Saquon Barkley totaled 183 yards with a score the previous week. Montgomery is unlikely to have a huge game, but his snap rate, volume, and plus draw make him an RB2.

Bo Scarbrough vs. Bears: Since being promoted from the practice squad ahead of Week 11, Scarbrough has played exactly 50% of the Lions’ snaps while handling 32 carries and turning them into 153 yards and one touchdown. The downside to his game is Scarbrough is essentially a zero in the passing game with one empty target in that span. He’s still the overall RB28 in half-PPR points per game since his promotion and third among qualified RBs in yards after contact per attempt. Scarbrough is dominating the touches in this backfield, as J.D. McKissic and Ty Johnson both have nine total over the last two weeks. Since DT Akiem Hicks was injured back in late September, the Bears have allowed over 107 rushing yards per game. Todd Gurley (25-97-1) had his best game of the year against the Bears in Week 11. Jordan Howard (19-82-1) found the end zone in Week 9. And Latavius Murray (27-119-2) put the RB1 day on the Bears in Week 7. Only the Packers and Panthers have surrendered more rushing touchdowns. Scarbrough is a much better play in standard leagues, but he’s a strong RB2/3 in all formats. He could see even more work if Jeff Driskel’s hamstring issue keeps him confined to the pocket.

Jonathan Williams vs. Titans: Since Marlon Mack broke his hand midway through Week 11, Williams has stepped in with 13-116 and 26-104-1 rushing lines against the Jaguars and Texans. He was in on over 67% of the snaps last week against Houston and is Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 back in elusive rating the last two weeks. Williams has always had talent, and he’s finally getting a chance in his fourth season after numerous trips around the league. Playing in a true workhorse role, Williams now gets a Titans Defense that just got hammered for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 33 touches by Leonard Fournette last Sunday. The previous week, Damien Williams had one of his better games of a disappointing season with 19-77 on the ground. And in Week 10, Christian McCaffrey did his usual thing with 166 yards and three touchdowns. The Tennessee run defense has sprung leaks since November, and Williams received an elite workload last week with 29 touches, even in a loss. Titans-Colts sports an ugly 43.5-point total and two slow-paced offenses, but Williams is the Colts’ offensive centerpiece with Mack still out, T.Y. Hilton playing at far less than 100%, and Eric Ebron now on I.R.

Sits

Carlos Hyde vs. Patriots: I saw a tweet somewhere earlier this week — and forgive me for not remembering who posted it, but I merely caught it as I was scrolling through the timeline — and it said Hyde’s rushing output accounts for over 93% of his fantasy scoring, the highest rate in the league among running backs. In other words, he’s a virtual zero in the passing game with six catches for 22 scoreless yards on the season. If he isn’t running scoring touchdowns (four) and/or running for 80-plus yards (five times), he can basically sink a fantasy lineup. The Patriots have allowed one rushing touchdown all season and are No. 1 in fantasy points allowed to running backs and No. 9 in rushing yards allowed per game. This isn’t a good-looking spot for Hyde owners to roll with him with the fantasy playoffs on the very near horizon.

Tevin Coleman at Ravens: Since scoring four touchdowns and finishing Week 8 as the overall RB2, Coleman has zero games of more than 40 rushing yards with just one touchdown. Weeks 9-12, Coleman was the RB35 in half-PPR points per game. He still has a firm grip on lead-back duties for the run-oriented Niners, but they’ll now travel cross-country to face a Ravens team fresh off giving the Rams a beatdown on Monday night. Todd Gurley managed 19 scoreless yards on nine touches in that game. Baltimore is No. 3 in rushing yards allowed per game and No. 9 in fantasy points given up to running backs. While both these teams are top five in offensive plays per game, the defense are both top three in opponent plays per game. Something has to give here, and I’m going to lean with the Ravens at home controlling this affair. San Francisco’s implied team total of 20 points is the ninth-lowest of Week 13.

Kenyan Drake vs. Rams: Drake has been in over 80% of the Cardinals’ snaps since he was acquired from the Dolphins. He hasn’t scored since Week 9 against the Niners, but Drake has shown a nice PPR floor with six catches in back-to-back games. Arizona, however, is now coming off its bye. David Johnson had more time to rest his ailing back while Chase Edmonds (hamstring) returned to practice and is expected to be back in uniform. The big question is how the Cardinals are going to divvy up the playing time. Drake is probably their best overall back right now, but Johnson is making all the coin, and Edmonds was productive prior to his hammy pull. Despite getting trampled by the Ravens Monday night, the Rams are No. 3 in run-defense DVOA, No. 3 in opponent yards per carry, 11th in rushing touchdowns allowed, and 19th in fantasy points given up to quarterbacks. The Cardinals and Rams are both top four in offensive pace and are the bottom two teams in opponent plays per game. This looks like a great game to attack for fantasy purposes, but this backfield is too much of a mess to trust any of these Arizona runners as anything more than low-floor RB3 plays. If for some reason Edmonds is unable to go, Drake will get a serious boost to high-end RB2 status. The 47.5-point total for Rams-Cardinals is the fifth-highest on the board.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: DK Metcalf vs. Vikings: Top 24 in the NFL in air yards this season, Metcalf should have had a much bigger Week 12 in Philadelphia. Metcalf went 3-35 on six targets last week, but he dropped a would-be 38-yard touchdown in the end zone and was unable to come down with a diving sideline grab later in the game. On a day Russell Wilson threw the ball just 25 times, Metcalf’s six targets led the team. Metcalf has three touchdowns over his last four games and is the overall WR43 in half-PPR points per game on the season. However, he’s seen at least five targets in six consecutive games and has at least 53 yards and/or one touchdown in five of those. The Vikings are 16th in pass-defense DVOA and 28th in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. Only the Panthers and Bucs have surrendered more catches to the position. Prior to last week’s bye, the Vikings gave up big receiving games to outside wideouts Courtland Sutton (5-113), Amari Cooper (11-147-1), Michael Gallup (4-76-1), and Tyreek Hill (6-140-1) in the month of November. Metcalf is a mega-upside WR3 in a game with a 48.5-point total.

Starts

Anthony Miller at Lions: Taylor Gabriel suffered his second concussion of the season last week against the Giants. That’ll put Javon Wims and Miller on the Thanksgiving week map for fantasy purposes. Wims is expected to be a near-every down player opposite Allen Robinson, and Miller will maintain his role in three-wide sets. With the Bears down to their Nos. 4 and 5 tight ends on the year, three-wide should be a regular package for coach Matt Nagy. Miller has been targeted 20 times over the last two weeks, securing 12 of those for 131 scoreles yards. Still without a touchdown catch on the season, Miller is well past due after scoring seven times as a rookie. The Lions are 24th in pass-defense DVOA and 20th in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. Fellow slot man Randall Cobb put a 4-115-1 line on the Lions in Week 11. Hunter Renfrow had 6-54-1 two weeks before that. And Golden Tate went 8-85 in Week 8. Lions slot CB Justin Coleman has surrendered a league-high five touchdowns among qualified nickel corners. Mitchell Trubisky is a big drain on this Bears Offense, but there’s enough data points here to roll the dice on Miller, particularly on the Thursday slate for daily fantasy purposes.

Cole Beasley at Cowboys: Very clearly the Bills’ No. 2 wideout, Beasley has at least four catches and/or one touchdown in six straight games and 10-of-11 games overall. He’s lagging behind John Brown in targets by a pretty decent margin, but nobody is really threatening Beasley for the second fiddle role in Buffalo. This is a #RevengeGame for Beasley after spending the first seven years of his career in Dallas and then calling out the coaching staff on his way out last offseason. He definitely wants to have a good game in his return to JerryWorld. The matchup isn’t jumping off the page by any means with Dallas 18th in pass-defense DVOA and No. 5 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. But the #narrative and the fact the Bills will be up in pace against Dallas’ third-fastest paced offense along with this one being played in a dome gives Beasley enough to warrant WR3 usage in season-long leagues and small-slate DFS. This game’s 46-point total is the sixth-highest of Week 13.

DeVante Parker vs. Eagles: Fantasy’s overall WR38 in half-PPR points per game, Parker has at least 56 yards and/or one touchdown in 10-of-11 games this season. He’s averaging 5.5 catches per game over the last six weeks. Since Preston Williams went down with a torn ACL in Week 9, Parker has posted 5-69 > 7-135 > 6-91 receiving lines on 31 targets. He’s seeing legit No. 1 receiver usage in a Dolphins Offense that is routinely playing from behind. The Eagles have surrendered the sixth-most touchdowns and seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts. As mentioned earlier, DK Metcalf should have had 80-plus yards and a touchdown last week. Parker should get peppered with targets Sunday. That alone puts him on upside WR3 map.

Sits

Marquise Brown vs. 49ers: Hollywood caught two first-quarter touchdowns this past Monday night against the Rams but finished with fewer than 50 receiving yards for the sixth time in his last seven games. The touchdown appeal and big-play ability is obviously there for the speed demon out of Oklahoma, but the Ravens run the ball so well and spread it around in the passing game, that it is becoming impossible to predict Brown’s big games. He’s extremely boom-or-bust and now catches a 49ers pass defense that eliminated Aaron Rodgers last week and is No. 2 in DVOA and No. 7 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. Brown has distinct speed advantages over Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon, but they have size and length on their side. Brown is likely going to have to get loose for a touchdown to have any fantasy worth. Davante Adams (7-43-1), Christian Kirk (6-41), Larry Fitzgerald (5-37-1), Tyler Lockett (3-26), Fitzgerald (4-38) and Kirk (2-8) again, Curtis Samuel (4-46), and D.J. Moore (5-38) have all been held in check over the 49ers’ past five games. Brown is a low-floor WR4 play.

Will Fuller vs. Patriots: In his first game back from another injury, Fuller exploded for 7-140 on 11 targets last Thursday night against the Colts en route to the WR10 finish. He has two games with double-digit targets this season and has posted a combined 21-357-3 line in those two contests. In his six other games combined, Fuller has a 20-233-0 line with zero games of 70 yards or more. He now gets a Patriots Defense that is No. 1 in pass-defense DVOA and No. 1 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. Only one receiver has reeled in a touchdown against New England this season, and it was Golden Tate all the way back in Week 6. The Patriots have surrendered the third-fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards. Amari Cooper (0-0), Michael Gallup (4-55), Nelson Agholor (4-40), Marquise Brown (3-48), Jarvis Landry (5-65), and Odell Beckham (5-52) have all failed to make much of a dent against this defense in the last four weeks. Fuller can score from anywhere on the field against anyone, but his odds aren’t high in this spot.

Tyrell Williams at Chiefs: Williams opened his season with a touchdown catch in each of his first five games played but has failed to reach pay dirt in each of the last four. He doesn’t have a 100-yard game since Week 1 and has been limited to 48 yards or fewer in six of the last eight games. Williams saw a season-high seven targets when the Raiders and Chiefs clashed in Week 2, but Williams amassed just 46 yards, though he obviously did find the end zone. He’s about as TD-or-bust an option there is among wideouts. And even as the de facto No. 1 receiver in Oakland, Williams’ target counts are pretty low. He’s a field-stretcher in an Oakland offense that doesn’t stretch the field but instead chooses to dink and dunk its way. The Chiefs are No. 6 in pass-defense DVOA and No. 8 in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. This game has the highest total of the week at 51.5 points, but Darren Waller should pace Oakland in targets while the Raiders try to hammer Josh Jacobs against the Chiefs’ 30th-ranked run defense.

TIGHT END

Start of the Week: Dallas Goedert at Dolphins: Goedert played a season-high 88% of the snaps last week against the Seahawks and set season bests in targets (8) and catches (7) but only turned them into 32 scoreless yards and a lost fumble. That was still good enough for the TE10 week in PPR, showing just how bad the land is at tight end. Goedert has essentially been an every-down player since Week 4. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are coming back from injuries this week, but Goedert and Zach Ertz are still Carson Wentz’s biggest playmakers. Goedert leads the team in targets inside the 10-yard line and now catches a Miami defense that has yielded the eighth-most yards to tight ends. Dawson Knox (2-32-1), Eric Ebron (5-56), Jack Doyle (3-44-1), and Ryan Griffin (6-50) all had productive games against the Dolphins in November. Goedert should be treated as an every-week TE1 moving forward. The Eagles’ implied team total of 27 points is the third-highest on the board.

Starts

Jacob Hollister vs. Vikings: Hollister was targeted just four times last week against the Eagles, but Russell Wilson threw the ball only 25 times in an easy win. Hollister caught two balls for 22 scoreless yards, but Wilson badly overthrew him in the end zone on what was a wide-open touchdown. The Vikings should give the Seahawks more of a run for their money and force Wilson to throw the ball more as he tries to catch Lamar Jackson in the MVP race. Hollister gets plenty of looks in the scoring area and has three touchdowns over his last three games. Minnesota has allowed the fourth-most catches and seventh-most yards to tight ends. Noah Fant (4-60) and Travis Kelce (7-62) both had productive games against the Vikes this month. Seattle’s implied team total of 25.75 points is sixth-highest of the week.

Greg Olsen vs. Redskins: Olsen has ran the most routes of any tight end this season while playing 91% of the Panthers’ snaps. I could just stop there, and that would be enough to make Olsen an elite TE1 play every week. The bad news is Olsen hasn’t scored since Week 3 and has been held to 44 yards or less in 4-of-7 games since. The Redskins are getting trampled by tight ends this season, surrendering the eighth-most fantasy points to the position. Ryan Griffin (5-109-1) had the best game of his career versus Washington in Week 11. Olsen’s playing time clip and the Panthers’ implied team total of 25 points against a bad defense lock him in as a TE1.

Noah Fant vs. Chargers:  Since Emmanuel Sanders’ trade to the Broncos ahead of Week 8, Fant has played over 80% of the Broncos’ snaps and has ran the seventh-most routes among tight ends when isolating those contests. The Chargers have handled tight ends well this season, checking in at 13th in fantasy points allowed to the position, but Fant’s snap share and routes run put him squarely on the TE1 radar. Since Week 8, Fant is the TE12 in half-PPR.

Sits

Due to the lack of quality talent at tight end, it’s impossible for me to argue against anyone at the position. It’s a total crapshoot, and all we’re looking for among streamers are ones who can maybe fall into the end zone. Predicting touchdowns is the hardest thing to do in football. Just finding a tight end who is on the field enough and runs plenty of routes is hard enough.

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