Week 4 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Tight Ends

Sep 28, 2022
 Week 4 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Tight Ends

Wondering who to start and sit at quarterback this week? Below are two top-notch start and two sit options at the quarterback position for Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sit: QB | WR | RB

Week 3 Review – Half-PPR scoring



Tight Ends – Starts

Evan Engram (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Philadelphia Eagles

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram has both the usage and historical tight end production on his side this week. With three games in the books, Engram owns the position’s seventh-highest route participation rate, 80.2%, successfully clearing the elite 80.0% route participation threshold, per 4for4's NFL Player Stats Explorer. The veteran tight end has also earned the T-10th most targets at the position, 17, and sits ninth in average receptions per game with 4.0.

The Philadelphia Eagles built their defensive personnel groupings by placing an emphasis on slowing opposing wide receivers and are often happy to allow tight ends to get open over the middle, rather than allowing an explosive downfield reception by a wide receiver. Through three games, enemy tight ends are averaging 7.33 targets per game against Philadelphia. Were those targets to make a composite tight end, he or she would rank No. 6 overall in average targets per game.

Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams) @ San Francisco 49ers

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is T-No. 5 in NFL tight end targets per route run, 24.0%, T-No. 4 in total targets, 24, and No. 3 in routes run, 87.6%. This week, Higbee will be taking his elite usage numbers to the Bay Area for a bout with the San Francisco 49ers, a team whom the veteran tight end fared moderately well against last year. In his three 2021 showings vs. San Francisco, Higbee averaged 5.33 targets, 3.66 receptions, 31 yards, and one touchdown. Though touchdown production can be a risky thing to chase, Higbee has definitively operated as Los Angeles’ preferred tight end in scoring position, playing on 100.0% of the team’s red zone snaps this year, and currently has a 20.0% end zone target share.

San Francisco notably placed safety Jimmie Ward on Injured Reserve just before Week 1, which helps Higbee’s odds of finding the end zone in Week 4.

*4for4's full TE rankings can be found here.

Tight End – Sits

Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Miami Dolphins tight end had a fine Week 2 showing, catching four-of-four targets for 41 yards and one touchdown, but it was largely the result of slot wide receiver Cedrick Wilson suffering a ribs injury (along with the comeback of the year performance from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa), after already popping up on the injury report with a toe injury in the lead-up. Outside of that performance, Gesicki has earned just two total targets, both of which were caught for a grand total of seven yards. His 50.0% route participation rate leaves 30.0% to be desired. Gesicki is safely droppable in 12-team leagues.

Irv Smith Jr. (Minnesota Vikings) @ New Orleans Saints

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. is a talented player, but his passing game usage is not where it needs to be, and he has a tough matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

From Weeks 1-3, Smith has operated as the team’s primary pass-catching tight end, yet his route participation rate sits at just 55.6%, 25.4% lower than the desired threshold. Backup tight end Johnny Mundt is somehow commanding a 34.7% route participation rate and his 7.1% target share is badly reducing Smith’s, who owns a paltry 14.2%. Making matters worse, No. 3 wide receiver K.J. Osborn just went off for five catches on eight targets, 73 yards, and one touchdown. While Mundt is a problem, Osborn is Smith’s primary target competition.

New Orleans also boasts one of the league’s tight end coverage trifectas in safety Tyrann Mathieu and linebackers Demario Davis and Pete Werner. It is best to look elsewhere for tight end help this week.

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