Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Tyler Kroft in Week Thirteen?

Three straight weeks, three straight tight end pieces about Tyler Kroft as a fantasy football commodity. In the last two iterations of this article, I begged you to start Kroft. I told you all about his role in the offense as the de facto Tyler Eifert now that the offense doesn’t have the actual Tyler Eifert anymore. He rewarded you if you listened to me the last two weeks. His yardages were low (26 yards combined in the last two weeks), but he scored a touchdown in each of the last two games. Those seven points he got you in each of the last two weeks were good enough to be TE11 and TE10 in weeks eleven and twelve, respectively. That’s a starting-caliber tight end for free off the waiver wire. Now that I’ve made it three weeks in a row of discussing Kroft, is he a situation to keep in your lineups this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football?

In a word? No. In a few words? No, that’s crazy his production isn’t sustainable. Do you want more words? Okay fine, I’ll get this to at least… say, 300? Tyler Kroft’s recent “production” is a complete mirage. Sure, he has the touchdowns that vaulted him to TE1 status over the last couple of weeks, but it took him seven targets and five catches to get that yardage, too. That blistering 3.71 yards per target doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in continued production.

Then there’s the issue of his quarterback. The Prime-Time Andy curse is real. According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, since 2011, only two players (Mark Sanchez and Christian Ponder) have a lower QBR in primetime than Andy Dalton. However, FanSided’s Shelby Dermer crunched the numbers on Dalton’s last nine prime-time games, and they aren’t as dire. He calculated prime-time Andy’s recent output to be 236.4 yards per game with 12 scores and six picks across nine games. The six picks are less than I expected, but the 1.33 touchdowns per game is what concerns me with regards to Kroft. With so few touchdowns to potentially go around, and one being earmarked by A.J. Green in a matchup of two of the NFL’s best wide receivers, there’s really nothing left for Tyler Kroft.

That will go double this weekend, given that the Pittsburgh Steelers allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Ironically, the last touchdown they allowed was to Kroft, but that was back in week seven. That was one of just two touchdowns that the Steelers have allowed to tight ends all year and represents one of only two times they’ve allowed at least seven fantasy points this season.

Tyler Kroft has been a wonderful streaming option for us for two straight weeks, but it’s time to get away from him. His production isn’t sustainable, and Andy Dalton has some issues doling out scores in primetime. If &E can get scores on this Steelers defense, it won’t be to Kroft.

Should you be starting Tyler Kroft? Well, I just spilled 306 words to say what I could say in one word: no.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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