Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight end options to start in Week 10

2RH0FEJ Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson (87) catches a pass and is tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Chad Muma (48) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

• Can Hunter Henry shine in Germany?: The Indianapolis Colts defense is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, can Henry profit in Germany?

• Don’t stop believin’ (in Jake Ferguson): The Dallas Cowboys’ second-year tight end was the TE4 in Week 9 and has a favorable matchup in Week 10.

• Dominate your fantasy leagues in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Every so often, the stars align, and your fantasy team has a big week. Every so often, every sleeper tight end pick we make has a big week and we get to humbly brag. Last week, our picks (David Njoku, Cade Otton, Jake Ferguson, and Dalton Kincaid) averaged an elite 17.95 fantasy points. If you started one of those guys and didn’t win…well, that’s on you buddy. We did our job.

The tight end landscape in fantasy this week isn’t as strong as it has been for most weeks, but Travis Kelce and a few other tight ends are on a bye this week, so fantasy managers of those players will have to look elsewhere. That’s why we’re here. So let’s get to it.

WR:CB Matchup Chart 

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

Henry featured prominently in this column early in the season, but then the New England Patriots offense cratered and from Weeks 3-8, Henry finished as the TE28, TE18, TE43, TE23 and TE23. The Patriots offense isn’t one you can truly trust, as they’re 30th in EPA per play and scoring the second-fewest points per game in the NFL (15.0).

Despite that, Henry is still here on the list. He finished as the TE10 last week, scoring 13.90 fantasy points and catching four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown props up the numbers, and Henry is probably touchdown-dependent every week. However, his matchup is promising this week.

The Patriots take on the Colts in Germany and, per our projections tool, Henry has the second-highest matchup advantage (26%) over his likely primary defender this week, Segun Olubi, who has a 64.4 coverage grade in 50 snaps in coverage. It’s fine, but the Colts defense are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. A risky play, but a play nonetheless.

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: Atlanta Falcons 

The arrow is well and truly pointing up for McBride. The second-year tight end has seen his snap count grow over the last few weeks, and he’s started the last two games over Zach Ertz. McBride is the future of the Cardinals' tight end room, and that future is starting now.

Last week against the Cleveland Browns didn’t shake out the way we wanted, but the Cardinals were taking on, arguably, the best defense in the NFL and were starting Clayton Tune at quarterback. Predictably, they were shut out, but McBride saw the second-most targets on the team behind Marquise Brown (five).

The big news in the Cardinals camp, and the NFL, is that Kyler Murray will be back on the field in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. We should absolutely temper our expectations for Murray over the next few weeks while he finds his feet after returning from injury, but there’s no denying how good of a quarterback he is. His mere presence should boost McBride and the rest of the offense's ceiling against a good Falcons defense that allows the 12th-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

McBride has a neutral matchup against his likely defender, Nate Landman, but he’s worth betting on this week. The Cardinals could get the quarterback bump with the return of Murray – and that’ll help elevate the offense.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

We just can’t seem to shake Hill. Like it or not, he has been one of the top fantasy tight ends for the last month, with four consecutive top-six finishes. In that time, he averaged 18.03 fantasy points per game. Again, like it or not, Hill has been winning games for fantasy managers with consistent production at the tight end position. Even if it feels clunky or dirty.

If that’s the case, why are we denying an inevitable reality? Let’s just lean into Hill’s production and reap the benefits. Hill doesn’t benefit too much from the Saints passing game. He’s averaging around 4.75 targets per game in his last four games, and he did score a receiving touchdown last week, but what makes him so compelling is the red zone work.

Hill has had 17 red zone rushing attempts in the last four games. That’s tied for the second-most among all players in the NFL during that span. Only Saquon Barkley has more carries (19). There’s no reason to believe that the volume is going anywhere. Hill could rack up the points once again in Week 10.

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys 

Opponent: New York Giants 

Non-Ferguson fantasy managers will be sick of seeing the Cowboys' tight end back on this list, but why? Ferguson is the TE12 in PPR this season and has four games with double-digit points totals, including a TE4 finish last week, as he set a career-high in targets (10) and yards (91) while adding his third touchdown of the season. 

In the last two weeks, Ferguson has averaged 18.40 fantasy points per game, and there’s a solid chance he has another big week in store. The Cowboys take on the presumably down-and-out Giants this weekend, and the Giants are starting rookie Tommy DeVito at quarterback. There’s no chance in hell that the Giants are even remotely competitive on offense, so it could get out of hand.

That might mean fewer passing attempts from Dak Prescott, which means fewer targets for Ferguson, but the Cowboys might lean into the passing attack to put the Giants away. If that’s the case, Ferguson is a real fixture of the offense now. And, per our matchup tool, Ferguson has a 27% matchup advantage over his primary defender this week – that’s the highest among all tight ends. Always go back to the well.


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