Fantasy Football Week 12: Start or Sit Engram, Rudolph, or Cook?

Waiver Wire Tight End
Fantasy Football Week 12: Start or Sit Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, or Jared Cook?

Week twelve is upon us, which means that some of us are just two games away from worrying about our fantasy football playoffs. If you’re still reading this, congratulations, the marginally-long slog of the fantasy football season hasn’t broken you yet. Every week, we at Football Absurdity like to highlight players with marginal matchups that you might get a wild hair about. We hope to provide you with some basic facts to help you inform your start or sit decisions. These tight ends were considered high-end TE1s at one point or another in the recent past, but circumstances change. Their changing circumstances and difficult matchups make them less-than-stellar plays this week.

Start or Sit Evan Engram at Philadelphia

Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard have been embroiled in a season-long game of tug-of-war over production. Shepard popped while Engram was out, and now that Engram has worked his way back from injury, he seems to have stepped up as the #3 option for the New York Giants offense. His yardage has increased in every game since returning from injury (from 16 to 25, to 46, to 66). However, he had those 66 yards on the lowest targets this season in a game he started and finished. That’s not a great volume to try to bank on for reliable production this week. That’s doubly bad given the opponent. The Eagles allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, which is a pretty bad indicator of production for opponents. They’ve allowed two touchdowns all year (and none in their last three games). The next game that they allow double-digit fantasy points in half-PPR to a tight end will be the first time since week two. Evan Engram has too much going against him this week and has struggled since returning from injury. To start or sit Engram is a legit question, right now, and this week, I would sit him in a difficult matchup.

Start or Sit Kyle Rudolph versus Green Bay

I’ve lamented Kyle Rudolph’s season in these weekly start or sit articles several times throughout the year, and nothing has really changed since the last time I wrote about him. He hasn’t scored since week three, he hasn’t surpassed 57 yards since week four, and he’s still somehow owned in 77% of Yahoo! leagues. That’s absurd, as in that span the Vikings have been without the services of Dalvin Cook, and Stefon Diggs at various times throughout the year. Adam Thielen played banged up on Sunday. Still nothing, nothing for Kyle Rudolph. It’s clear that the Vikings offense just doesn’t have the potency or target spread to include Kyle Rudolph in any sort of meaningful target rotation. That makes him a tight end or bust situation, and he loves to bust. Rudolph hasn’t scored since September 23. This weekend he takes on a Packers defense that has allowed just one tight end touchdown all year and hasn’t allowed more than 70 yards since week two. In light of all this, it’s easy to give advice on whether to start or sit Rudolph in week 12: Sit Kyle Rudolph this week, there’s nothing there for him.

Start or Sit Jared Cook at Baltimore

I’m old enough to remember the last time Jared Cook tricked us. And the time before. And the time before. He scored early in the game last week against Arizona but didn’t do much after that. He totaled 72 yards in the two games combined before that. Jared Cook, ultimately, is extraordinarily boom-or-bust, mostly thanks to the volatile nature of the terrible Oakland Raiders offense, and partially thanks to his unbearable, indelible quality of being Jared Cook. Since his eight-catch game in week four, Cook has averaged an extremely pedestrian 3.2 receptions for 34.5 yards per contest. He’s scored twice in those six games. It’s bleak for those considering whether to start or sit Jared Cook. The Ravens are ultimately a neutral matchup against tight ends, but I don’t trust the Raiders offense to not get pulverized into a fine dust by them. There won’t be a lot of red zone work to go around, and I am not banking on the one or two red zone targets Cook will get (and drop). Sit Jared Cook this weekend against Baltimore, there are plenty of other tight ends in better situations that you can lean on.

These tight ends could all make me look silly with a well-placed touchdown pass, but I am going to stay you should decide to start or sit them in this order:

  1. Evan Engram
  2. Jared Cook
  3. Kyle Rudolph

If you need more start or sit advice, check out the remainder of our start and sit articles for week twelve!
Start or Sit Baker Mayfield, Nick Mullens, or Eli Manning?
Start or Sit Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, or Kirk Cousins?
Start or Sit Mohamed Sanu, Keke Coutee, or Sterling Shepard?
Start or Sit Marques Valdez-Scantling, Christian Kirk, or Corey Davis?
Start or Sit Marlon Mack, Gus Edwards, or Josh Adams?
Start or Sit Adrian Peterson, Chris Carson, or LeSean McCoy?
Start or Sit Cam Brate, Vance McDonald, or Jordan Reed?

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About Jeff Krisko

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

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