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.
The NFC East has been atrocious and no team appears to want to separate from the pack. Dallas and Washington square off in one of the games sure to be worst on the eyes.
Andy Dalton is now 0-1 with a disappointing start for the Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 6 but the skill position players still have potential. Dalton Schultz, specifically, has seen six targets per game this season including five with Dalton at the helm.
The Washington Defense is the worst in differential between FPA to wide receivers and FPA to tight ends. This indicates a comparative vulnerability to tight ends on defense. They have also allowed five touchdowns to tight ends and three performances of 50+ yards to tight ends.
Schultz may not be the most appealing option but can be started in a pinch and should creep towards Top 12 tight ends this week.
It is painful to imagine going back to the same crummy divisional game, but Logan Thomas has opportunity to take advantage of a weak opponent also.
Dallas has the 6th most FPA to tight ends this season including allowing five Top 12 tight end performances. Thomas specifically matches up well against the Cowboys because of his target share.
As the second-most targeted player on the team, Thomas has played more snaps out of the slot than any other tight end in the league. He has also received at least four targets in every game this season. Tight ends who receive more than four targets against the Cowboys have averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game.
That last stat alone should put Thomas on the bubble for a tight end start but his target share and snap count give him a stronger shot to reward fantasy owners.
Jonnu Smith gets the Pittsburgh Steelers defense in Week 7 in a battle of undefeated teams. The Steelers have allowed the 6th fewest FPA to tight ends. In five games, the Steelers have allowed only one Top 12 tight end and one touchdown to a tight end.
Smith also has been on the injury report with an ankle injury. Corey Davis is expected to return to the Titans lineup which may eat away at Smith’s target share.
Smith has had two fantastic performances this season but both came against the 3rd and 7th worst fantasy defenses by FPA to tight ends. This will be toughest challenge Smith faces this season. He will likely be started for most teams due to roster depth but it wouldn’t be surprising for him to miss the Top 12.
In an expected shootout, there are many Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions who merit a starting look this week. Both tight ends have been popular in fantasy this year. TJ Hockenson has an amazing draw and should already be owned and started just about everywhere.
Hayden Hurst, on the other hand, is not quite as playable. He faces a Lions defense that has allowed only 5.7 fantasy points per game, 3rd fewest in the league. They haven’t allowed a single Top 12 performance to a tight end. They also haven’t allowed more than 25 receiving yards to a tight end this season.
Hayden Hurst is the fourth option in Atlanta with fewer targets per game than all three starting wide receivers (Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage). Hurst should be in little to no starting lineups this week.
Featured Image courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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