Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Fantasy Football Week 5 Tight End Rankings: Injuries could take Kyle Pitts out of the start/sit conversation

Fantasy Football Week 5 Tight End Rankings: Injuries could take Kyle Pitts out of the start/sit conversation

Chris Towers walks you through his tight end rankings for Week 5


One of the toughest start/sit decisions Fantasy Football players are facing in Week 5 may be taken out of their hands, as Kyle Pitts missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practice sessions with a hamstring injury and looks to be in doubt for this week’s matchup against the Buccaneers.

Pitts has been arguably the biggest disappointment in Fantasy, with just one game with more than 25 yards. Maybe the hamstring injury helps explain his quiet Week 4 – he played less than half the team’s snaps in the second half – but that still leaves just one game where’s been worth starting, even by the low standards of the tight end position.

Pitts is supposed to be a historic talent, and yet here he sits entering Week 5 with fewer Fantasy points than, among others, Hayden Hurst, Will Dissly, Logan Thomas, and even Robert Tonyan. He has 150 yards in four games and has caught just 10 of 22 passes thrown his way.

And there isn’t much in the underlying numbers to get excited about. It’s basically impossible for Pitts to succeed in the current iteration of the Falcons offense, and that isn’t a knock on Pitts. Drake London is just WR31 in points per game despite a massive 33% target share. 

But, as you look at my tight end rankings for Week 5, you’ll see Pitts is still a top-10 TE for me if he plays. Maybe I’m being too generous. But, tight end remains a dreadful position, and Pitts is still an elite talent who won’t even turn 22 years old until Thursday of this week. Most tight ends his age are still blocking on Saturdays. Yes, it’s been tough, and yes, his offense looks like a pretty big hindrance. But the fact of the matter is, there still just aren’t many good tight ends out there, and Pitts deserves more of a leash than he would at any other position because of that.

Maybe he never figures it out. Maybe Pitts just isn’t good enough to overcome his situation; maybe he just isn’t that good, period – I strongly doubt that’s the issue, but it’s possible! But, unless you have someone like Tyler Higbee or Zach Ertz, you should probably just keep rolling Pitts out there, because the upside if he figures it out is a lot higher than it is with someone like Tyler Conklin or Irv Smith or whoever you might add to start over him. 

Here are my tight end rankings for Week 5. 

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  1. Travis Kelce vs. LV
  2. Mark Andrews vs. CIN
  3. Dallas Goedert @ARI
  4. T.J. Hockenson @NE — Hockenson benefited from the Lions offensive absences in Week 4, but not just because he got more targets — he also got more valuable targets, with his average depth of target spiking to a season-high 9.3 yards down the field. If the Lions commited to using him like that regularly, he’d be a must-start TE, I’m just not sure you can trust that.
  5. Zach Ertz vs. PHI — Ertz remains a sell, because I do expect him to see a smaller role in the offense when DeAndre Hopkins is eligible to return, which is in Week 7. However, he also remains a solid starting tight end with a big red zone role for the time being. 
  6. Darren Waller @KC — Uh oh. Waller has just five targets in each of the past two games, turning them into three catches for 22 and 24 yards. He’s getting red zone looks, at least, but his usage so far is what we were worried when the Raiders added Davante Adams. That his usage has cratered when Hunter Renfrow has been sidelined is even more concerning. I’m still starting him, because who else am I going to start? But he doesn’t feel like a different maker, that’s for sure.
  7. George Kittle @CAR
  8. Tyler Higbee vs. DAL
  9. Kyle Pitts @TB — All I can tell you is, you should probably keep starting Pitts. Maybe you have a better option on your bench, but I’m going to keep rolling the elite talent out there unless I’ve got a definitively better option, as frustrating as this start has been.
  10. Gerald Everett @CLE — Everett has been a very solid early-season option at tight end, but it gets a bit harder to recommend him as a starter if Keenan Allen is active. Just keep an eye on Allen’s status — he was surprisingly ruled out for Week 4, so it’s not clear if he’ll be back this week. 
  11. Pat Freiermuth @BUF — Freiermuth is showing some breakout potential here in the early going, with a very strong 23% target share. If that continues and rookie Kenny Pickett helps this offense find another gear, Freiermuth could be a must-start option at tight end — and it’s hard to imagin sitting him at this point. 
  12. David Njoku vs. LAC — Njoku followed up his breakout performance with another solid showing in Week 4. With five targets or more in three straight games, he’s a viable starting TE at this point. 
  13. Dalton Schultz @LAR — Schultz played 90% of the snaps in his return from his knee injury, which is probably a more important fact than that he didn’t catch any of the three passes thrown his way. He’s less appealing for Fantasy without Dak Prescott, but I’m certainly not giving up on him just yet. 
  14. Tyler Conklin vs. MIA
  15. Dawson Knox vs. PIT
  16. Logan Thomas vs. TEN
  17. Mike Gesicki @NYJ
  18. Mo Alie-Cox @DEN — Alie-Cox is going to be a popular waiver target after going off for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 4, but just remember that it was rookie Jelani Woods who had two touchdowns the previous week, with Alie-Cox catching one pass for 9 yards. He’s a flier, nothing more.
  19. Hayden Hurst @BAL
  20. Evan Engram vs. HOU
  21. Irv Smith vs. CHI
  22. Noah Fant @NO
  23. Cole Kmet @MIN
  24. Robert Tonyan vs. NYG

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