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Fantasy Points Against: Tight Ends to Start and Sit Week 9

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:

Noah Fant

One statistic that feels recurring week over week is the Atlanta Falcons FPA to tight ends. Each week they continue to remain at the bottom of the barrel, allowing the most FPA to tight ends.

The Falcons have allowed eight receiving touchdowns to tight ends. They also have allowed six top 12 tight end performances, tied for most in the league.

Noah Fant hasn’t quite lived up to the hype generated after two astounding performances to open the season. He also hasn’t had the fairest shake, dealing with an ankle injury recently. Fant can confidently being started at tight end this week in all formats.

Rob Gronkowski

At the start of the season, Tampa Bay had three tight ends. Finally there is clarity at the position for fantasy stakeholders. Rob Gronkowski is not only the top tight end for the Buccaneers, but he is approaching status as an every week starter.

Gronk faces a New Orleans defense that has allowed the 4th most FPA to tight ends. They have also allowed five top 12 performances to tight ends.

The weak Saints defense faces Gronk on a hot streak. Though there is reason to believe Antonio Brown will take away targets in the pass game, Gronk is a must start with a shot at being a top shelf tight end this week.

SITS:

Hayden Hurst

The Falcons-Broncos tilt has littered this week’s batch of articles. Matchups across the board are either very favorable or very unfavorable. Hayden Hurst is in one of the unfavorable ones.

The Denver Broncos defense hasn’t been great at stopping tight end production as they rest at only allowing the 10th fewest FPA to tight ends. They have, however, only allowed one top 12 tight end performance.

Hurst has been fairly average with five of his eight games yielding between five and ten fantasy points. Four of those games were against top 10 tight end fantasy defenses. That range of points is a reasonable expected outcome but the lower end seems most likely. Hurst is a shaky tight end start and merits bench consideration.

Mike Gesicki

Remember Week 2 when Mike Gesicki caught eight passes for 130 yards and a touchdown? He scored 23 fantasy points that week in 0.5 PPR. Since then he has scored 22.9 fantasy points. Gesicki has been targeted four times and caught a single eight-yard pass.

Gesicki doesn’t get a favorable matchup. The Arizona Cardinals defense has allowed only one top 12 performance to a tight end. They have only allowed one tight end to go over 50 yards receiving and only two touchdowns to tight ends.

There is a case to be made that with Tua Tagovailoa taking over the value of offensive pieces in Miami could change. Maybe Gesicki is worth a roster spot but not a starting spot this week.

Featured Image courtesy of Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

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