Yes, you should start Sutton this week and find out which tight ends could keep your fantasy football season alive
A lot of success in fantasy football comes down to volume. Even if the players aren't producing, as long as the touches and targets remain then they should continue to be in your starting lineup.
That's becoming clear among wide receivers, especially when it comes to the top two over the last four weeks. Antonio Brown and Keenan Allen have far outdistanced the field in that span, doing so after getting off to slow (by their standards) starts.
But while the numbers may not have been there in September and October, the targets stayed steady. And now their production is in line with their volume, and their fantasy owners are the ones benefitting at the point of the season when every game matters.
So even if you have someone who is not scoring that many points for you. If the volume is still there, stay patient, even now that the fantasy playoffs are starting.
Speaking of playoffs, which wide receivers (and tight ends) should you trust this week? Before focusing on Week 14, let's see how Week 13's start/sit advice turned out.
Good Calls for Week 13...
Start Corey Davis (14.4 PPR fantasy points) – Davis had eight targets and has now scored in three of the last four games.
Start Adam Humphries (12.1 FP) – Humphries and Jameis Winston appear to be on the same page right now.
Sit Alshon Jeffery (3.1 FP) – Jeffery has five targets or fewer targets in four of the last five games. He simply isn't a focus of the Eagles' offense right now
Start Jared Cook (16 FP) – Cook caught seven of eight targets for 100 yards and a touchdown last week against the Chiefs.
Bad Calls for Week 13...
None. It was a pretty good week.
START THESE WRs...
Courtland Sutton, DEN (at SF)
Sutton had been quiet since Demaryius Thomas was traded to Houston but he finally broke out on Sunday against the Bengals with four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Granted, it was against the Bengals' Swiss cheese defense but Sutton did out-target Emmanuel Sanders 7-6. Sutton has another favorable matchup this week against a 49ers defense in the top half of teams when it comes to fantasy points allowed to the position. And he may be Case Keenum's top target with Emmanuel Sanders now lost the rest of the season after tearing his Achilles in practice on Wednesday.
DJ Moore, CAR (at CLE)
Moore has at least eight targets in each of the past three games and he's scored at least 17 PPR points twice in that span. Samuel just recorded season highs for targets (11), catches (six) and yards (88) last week against Tampa Bay. Keep an eye on Cam Newton's shoulder, but if he's able to play (which is the expectation) then consider Moore a solid WR2 with Curtis Samuel a high-end WR3.
Taylor Gabriel, CHI (vs. LAR)
Gabriel burned fantasy owners last week with a lousy 17 yards on three catches and a fumble lost. The good news is that he’s seen at least seven targets in three straight games and Chicago should get Mitchell Trubisky back for the Sunday night showdown with the Rams. With Allen Robinson likely to see plenty of Aqib Talib, Gabriel should get some chances against Marcus Peters, who can be beaten. This game currently has the third-highest Vegas total of the week at 52.5 with the Rams favored by three. This makes for perfect air-it-out conditions.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Dante Pettis, SF (vs. DEN)
Pettis made the most of Marquise Goodwin's and Pierre Garcon's absence last week, exploding for 129 yards and two touchdowns last week. His speed was evident on his 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. The Broncos will be without cornerback Chris Harris Jr., which makes the matchup for Pettis more appealing. Even if Goodwin and Garcon are able to return, Pettis should still get some chances considering the issues San Francisco has had running the ball lately. Look for Kyle Shanahan to air it out in an effort to take advantage of a beat-up Denver secondary and to try and neutralize the Broncos' pass rush.
SIT THESE WRs...
Alshon Jeffery, PHI (at DAL)
Jeffery has topped five targets just once in the last five games after averaging 10 in his first four games back from offseason shoulder surgery. That’s really not good. It appears that Golden Tate's arrival impacting Jeffery more negatively rather than positively while Josh Adams has brought some fresh legs and energy to the backfield. Zach Ertz is clearly Carson Wentz' favorite target and Dallas has done a good job against the pass all season. Jeffery only had four catches for 48 yards in the teams' first meeting in Week 10. Don't expect different results this time.
Sterling Shepard, NYG (at WAS)
Shepard continues to play 80 percent of the snaps each week but the targets just haven't been there. He's averaging less than five since the Giants' Week 9 bye after seeing eight per game over the first eight contests. Facing Chicago last week was never going to be pretty, but the prior three games were against San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia's injury-ravaged secondary. Simply put, this offense goes through Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. and everyone else can’t be trusted. Not to mention the buzz about rookie Kyle Lauletta getting snaps at quarterback down the stretch.
Adam Humphries, TB (vs. NO)
Humphries has at least 54 yards and a TD in each of the past three weeks. But as a wise man once pointed out to me, players like Humphries simply do not score in four straight games. He has some yardage upside against a leaky Saints defense, but it seems more likely that the team will attack New Orleans on the outside with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. So, Humphries may not live up to his WR3 billing this week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. MIN, Mon.)
The good news for Baldwin owners is he scored his second touchdown in three games last week. The bad news is Seattle has attempted the fewest passes in the NFL this year and Baldwin has topped 50 receiving yards just three times. He'll struggle to reach that mark this week against a Vikings defense giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Look elsewhere for a starting WR, if you can.
START THESE TEs...
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. PIT)
One of the only bright spots for the Raiders' offense his season has been the play of Cook. He has posted double-digit PPR points in four of the last five games. Last week, Cook shredded the Chiefs for seven receptions, which went for 100 yards and a touchdown. Expect Cook to once again be the focal point of Oakland's offense against a Steelers defense giving up the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Jimmy Graham, GB (vs. ATL)
Graham’s 11 targets last week harkened back to his pre-bye usage when he was averaging around nine per game. Those high-quality targets led to eight catches for 50 yards, which is awesome after combining for a 9-137-1 line over his previous five contests. The broken thumb is still an issue and Green Bay will be led by interim head coach Joe Philbin, but tight end is a wasteland and a big target such as Graham seeing 11 targets can’t fall that far down in the rankings.
David Njoku, CLE (vs. CAR)
Njoku owners had another disappointing game last week when he only hauled in three of six targets for eight yards even though Baker Mayfield finished with 397 passing yards Njoku will have a chance to bounce back when he faces a Panthers defense that is giving up the most fantasy points per game to tight ends.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Dan Arnold, NO (at TB)
Those of you who can’t just plug in Jaylen Samuels at tight end are likely more desperate than ever. The mid-tier circle of trust has been nearly decimated by injuries, so here we are. Arnold caught both targets for 20 yards last week and put up a 4-45-1 line in Week 12 before facing this porous Tampa Bay defense that yielded a 5-46-0 line to Carolina rookie Ian Thomas after Greg Olsen went down. A tight end has topped 44 yards in each game against the Bucs, so Arnold is definitely worth starting.
SIT THESE TEs...
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at SEA, Mon.)
After a moment in the sun in Week 12, Rudolph flopped in a favorable matchup in Week 13, catching all three of his targets for 38 yards. The Seahawks allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points to TEs, so there’s no real reason to trust Rudolph.
Chris Herndon, NYJ (at BUF)
The Jets are 3.5-point underdogs in a game with a lowly Vegas total of 38.5, giving them an implied total of roughly 17. The Bills are currently anchored by a stellar defense that has only given up more than 10 fantasy points to a tight end once in 2018 (Kyle Rudolph in Week 3) and held Herndon to a 3-34-0 line in Week 10. With Sam Darnold likely returning with some rust, try starting Dan Arnold (see above) instead.
Nick Vannett, SEA (vs. MIN, Mon.)
Vannett hasn’t broken the 50 percent snap mark in either of Seattle’s last two games. He played just 40 percent of them in Week 12 while Ed Dickson was in for 71 percent and Dickson out-snapped him 28-25 last week. Finding a tight end to start can be hard, but there are still better options out there.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. NYG)
Reed has been battling a back injury and his production will likely further be curtailed by the presence of Mark Sanchez under center for the Redskins, even against a Giants defense that's 20th in the league against the pass.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.