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Fantasy Points Against: Tight Ends to Start and Sit in Week 10

Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr

Fantasy stats based around 4 points per passing TD and 0.5 points per reception.

There are two main approaches when look at fantasy player scoring trends. The first is to see how that player is performing from an output perspective. The second is to look at how their upcoming opponent has performed.

This article leans heavily on Fantasy Points Against (FPA). This number measures the total fantasy points given up per game to a position group by a defense. Other stats referenced may come from sources including Pro Football Reference, Pro Football Focus, and Football Outsiders.

STARTS:

Eric Ebron

One of the key explanations of the Pittsburgh Steelers undefeated season has been their depth at offensive skill positions. Five different Steelers have caught at least three touchdown passes this season.

Steelers TE Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron (Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Steelers look to continue their undefeated reign against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have been one of the weakest tight end defenses this season.

Eric Ebron has take charge as the starting tight end for Pittsburgh. He’ll go against the Cincinnati defense that has allowed the second most FPA to tight ends including five top 12 tight end performances.

Ebron has seen at least five targets in six of his last seven games. Tight ends seeing five or more targets against Cincinnati average almost 13 fantasy points per game.

Ebron can comfortably be started as a tight end streamer. He has a favorable stretch of matchups and is worth a roster spot.

Irv Smith Jr

Irv Smith has been featured in this spot before. He once again finds himself in a strong matchup in a surprising spot.

Another Monday night snoozer comes in the form of Vikings-Bears. As good as the Bears defense has been, they have allowed six top 12 tight end performances. They have also allowed the fourth most FPA to tight ends. Tight ends have caught three touchdowns against Chicago in their last four games.

The Bears also have the second fewest WR-TE FPA. By taking the tight end FPA away from the wide receiver FPA, it is revealed that the Bears are proportionately weak to tight ends when compared to their elite wide receiver defense.

This ends up being more of a sleeper play but teams with Travis Kelce that want a primetime opportunity can start Smith.

SITS:

Mark Andrews

Way back in draft season, Mark Andrews was touted as a top 5 fantasy tight end. He hasn’t quite returned that value this season as the current TE9. This week doesn’t seem like a likely improvement on that figure.

The Baltimore Ravens face a New England Patriots defense that has allowed the second fewest FPA to tight ends this season. In that, there have been only two top 12 tight end performances.

Only three tight ends have caught at least three passes against the Pats and only two have eclipsed 50 receiving yards. Those two were Travis Kelce and George Kittle.

Ravens TE Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews (Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Andrews has taken a step back in overall fantasy performance and is in a bad spot this week. Owners dissatisfied with his season to date can look elsewhere this week.

Gerald Everett

Just as the Bears defense having any sort of Achilles heel was surprising, it is equally shocking the Seattle Seahawks defense is stopping anyone. The Seahawks have beens stingy against tight ends this season with some shocking numbers.

To supplement their seventh fewest FPA to tight ends and single top 12 tight end allowed, the Seahawks have stats that should worry fantasy owners. No tight end that has caught a touchdown against Seattle has caught more than one pass. No tight end has seen 60 receiving yards or five receptions either.

The Seahawks have a massive WR-TE FPA. They are the worst in the league at stopping wide receiver fantasy production so opponents mostly throw to wideouts. This week, that means Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds see a boost and Gerald Everett takes a hit.

Everett probably isn’t a locked in tight end any week but he can safely reside on fantasy benches against the Seahawks.

Featured Image courtesy of John Autey

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