You have made it to the championship! Or…as I said before, if you are league has its championship next week, you’re doing it wrong. This is the week that bragging rights are made of, and it happens to kickoff with a game on Christmas. Below are some observations for this championship week, hopefully they help you win the hardware in your league. Thank you for reading my work all year, and hopefully you have enjoyed the articles. Stay safe this holiday season and best of luck!
Be sure to reach out with your Start/Sit, or other fantasy questions to me directly on Twitter at @BGunnWMU or @FGBros
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago: After back-to-back 7 target efforts, Kmet saw only 2 targets in last week’s win over Minnesota. This was largely due to teammate David Montgomery going full beast-mode on his way to 162 all-purpose yards. That could absolutely happen again as the Bears play a Jaguars team that is sitting in the driver’s seat in the tank-for-Trevor bus. The Jaguars are bottom 5 in almost all defensive categories and defending tight ends is no different. The Bears will be able to attack Jacksonville however they would like to do so and as a result, Kmet could see himself being more integrated into the offense to speed up the development of the rookie. Kmet will finish as a low-end TE1 this week and is a good streaming option for fantasy owners who have been trotting out Eric Ebron, Hayden Hurst or someone of their ilk up to this point.
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia: This has more to do with position, than it does player, matchup, or any other analysis. Philadelphia’s passing offense has flowed through the tight end position for a few years now, and although the passing game lost its identity for much of this season while Wentz was under center, they have reverted back to what has garnered them success in recent seasons. In games that Hurts has played, the tight end position has received target shares of 41%, 30%, and 34%. Ertz himself earned 7 of those looks last week, reeling off a 42-yard reception where he looked like the healthy Zach Ertz of old. Ertz is being ranked outside of the top 20 at the tight end position in a game against Dallas. I could see this ranking if we were talking about a matchup against Green Bay, New Orleans, or a team that excelled against defending the TE position. But he is being ranked here against a middle of the road Dallas defense. Ertz will perform in throwback fashion this week, with him and Goedert finishing as a TE1.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee: We have talked about recency bias in a few articles this year, and this may be the best example of it. Jonnu saw himself have a little bit of a resurgence last week against Detroit (they cure all that ills) last week, catching all 5 of his targets for 52 yards. This performance has vaulted him into TE1 projection land, which to be honest, is a little hopeful at best. Tennessee is going up against a Green Bay defense that is the 4th worst matchup for opposing tight ends, and 6th worst against opposing wide receivers. Contrarily, they allow top 5 production to opposing running backs. If only Tennessee had a decent running back…oh wait. This is a Derrick Henry game, and because of that, Smith will be called in to block and open up some holes. If your league rewards tight ends with points for blocking, get Smith in your lineup stat. Otherwise, leave him on the bench, as he will not finish as a TE1 where he is currently being ranked.
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas: If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. You are not sitting Waller this week. I just want to bring some things to your attention. Waller went off last week, having his way with the Chargers. This makes sense considering that they allow the 5th most production to opposing tight ends up to this point in the year. This week’s matchup against Miami is on the other end of the spectrum, being a bottom 5 matchup for opposing tight ends. Waller is being ranked as the #2 tight end on the week this week, and is matchup proof when considering him in your lineup. Waller ending up here is two pronged as I see Marcus Mariota taking a step back, and the matchup of Miami creating a headache for Waller as well. Waller will finish outside of the top 5 at the position, but will remain a TE1 this week.