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 Chicago Bears were ridiculed in the offseason for their unnecessarily high amount of tight ends on the roster. Seven weeks into the season, Chicago has potentially two useful tight ends in Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet. The Bears face a New Orleans Saints team that has been horrible at defending against tight ends this season.
The Saints have allowed the second most FPA to tight ends and five top 12 tight end finishes. Last week was also the first game in which the Saints did not allow a receiving touchdown to a tight end.
Kmet hasn’t seen much of an increase in target share recently so Graham is still the tight end to play in Chicago. Graham should be started with confidence in Week 8.
The Tennessee Titans have played in many close games this season and face a potent Cincinnati Bengals offense on Sunday. Fortunately, the Bengals defense doesn’t muster the same intimidation that their offense does.
The Bengals have allowed five top 12 tight end performances as a part of their third most FPA to tight ends this season. They have allowed six receiving touchdowns to tight ends all of which have come in the last three weeks.
Jonnu Smith settled in as a top tight end option seeing at least five targets in each of his first four games. Since coming back from a light injury that volume has dropped. Smith should comfortably be started as that top tight end we saw earlier in the season.
The Los Angeles Rams have had a bit of a carousel at the tight end position. Tyler Higbee had one great game this season but has been otherwise ineffective or injured. Gerald Everett has been solidly the number one option in Higbee’s absence.
The Rams get the Miami Dolphins who have allowed the second fewest FPA to tight ends and no top 12 performances at that position. The Dolphins have faced very weak tight end opponents but did hold George Kittle to a low 6.4 points.
Everett should be getting attention for stream potential going forwards but this week is fine to keep him in free agency.
Tight ends can get tricky when it comes to projecting a weekly performance. Hunter Henry, for example, has been an adequate tight end but has lost spontaneous points to two games where backup Donald Parham catches a touchdown.
Henry and the Chargers face the Denver Broncos defense that has only allowed one Top 12 tight end performance. Denver is in the middle of the league for FPA to tight end but has allowed 6+ fantasy points to multiple tight ends twice this season.
With only one tight end scoring more than eight fantasy points against the Broncos defense, Hunter Henry can ben started with tempered expectations or benched in rosters that can afford to gamble.
Featured Image courtesy of Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire
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