We’ve hit the double-digit weeks, and only like half of the league is starting to add multiple players to the COVID-19 report every week. Things are fine! This isn’t bad at all! We stand on the edge of hitting a breaking point for the season: once they pass ten weeks, I don’t see the NFL stopping this bad boy at all. So, let’s just keep our heads down and focus on our fantasy football teams. This week, we take a look at three tight ends who have had up-and-down 2020 seasons, but who usually get a decent target load. Should we start or sit Logan Thomas, Austin Hooper, or Hayden Hurst in fantasy football week 11?
Start or Sit Logan Thomas versus Cincinnati
There are only four tight ends with nine games of 4+ targets this season: Hunter Henry, T.J. Hockenson, Logan Thomas, and Darren Waller. He’s gotten a consistent target volume, which given what’s gone on with tight ends this season, is something to hang your hat on. He’s been a top-12 TE in three of his last four games, but a bye week and a dud against the Giants in the last month has left us with a sour taste in our mouth with regards to Logan Thomas. But, he led all tight ends in yardage last week, and Alex Smith has traditionally fed his tight ends (going all the way back to San Francisco). This week, Logan Thomas and the Football Team get the Bengals, who allow the third-most TE yards, the sixth-most TE receptions, and the fourth-most TE touchdowns. They allow the third-most points to TEs on the season. You want to start Logan Thomas this week.
Start or Sit Austin Hooper versus Philadelphia
Austin Hooper made his return from his appendectomy last week, mostly to… whatever the opposite of fanfare would be. He had two targets that he turned into one catch for 11 yards. That’s it. Hooper, and the Browns overall, were a complete mess. This one is one that I am going to monitor for weather, to be honest. The Browns have had their last two games wiped out by inclement weather in the Mistake by the Lake. The Browns found success last week by turning the game over to Nick Chubb (19 touches) and Kareem Hunt (22 touches) last weekend. Sunday is supposed to be another wet and rainy one in Cleveland, so I’m out. I don’t care. I am going to sit Austin Hooper this week, despite the good matchup against Philadelphia.
Start or Sit Hayden Hurst at New Orleans
The Saints have a strong defense this season, but one place where they are lacking is against tight ends. They added 49ers’ linebacker, Kwon Alexander, through a trade, and that seemed to work against them last week. They’ve seen a tight end get at least six targets against them in three-straight games. Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski combined for three catches for 15 yards (on 13 targets). That’s not great from Graham and Gronk. But, Jordan Reed was the only guy who was great in 2017 to do something against them in 2020: 5 catches for 62 yards, on 6 targets. The 49ers were in throw mode all game long, which likely contributed to this. But on the year, TEs opposing the Saints look more like Reed than Graham or Gronk. Eight tight ends have at least four targets against the Saints, and six of them produced at least 8.7 half-PPR points. The Saints are a good matchup for Hurst, who has at least four targets in six-straight games, and at least six targets in five-of-six. I am going to start Hayden Hurst this weekend, especially in PPR leagues.
I am going to go with Hayden Hurst’s consistent volume in a known quantity offense first. Then, I’m firing up Logan Thomas with some modicum of floor assurance, with a hope of a touchdown. I would not start Austin Hooper unless I was exceptionally desperate.