Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight end options to start in Week 11

2RM6EX1 Houston Texans tight end Dalton Schultz (83) runs the ball during an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

• Can Dalton Schultz ride the wave?: Schultz is the TE7 in scoring this season for the surging Houston Texans, is there more to come this week vs the Cardinals?

• The last sleeper week for Trey McBride?: With two top-2 scoring weeks in the last three weeks, McBride might not be considered a sleeper pick for too long. Grab him while you can.

• 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

Another week and another impressive performance from some of our tight picks. Jake Ferguson, Trey McBride, Taysom Hill and Hunter Henry averaged a solid 10.5 fantasy points per game — and that was also with Hill and Henry weighing us down with a combined 8.4 points. We won’t be touching the New England Patriots for a while, and Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints are on a bye, so he can’t hurt us this week.

The list of players who can help us in Week 11 is extensive, though. As usual, we’ve gone back to the well with a few successful players who still just about qualify for the position of a sleeper tight end. This might be the last week for one of them; but who is it? Let’s dig in.

WR:CB Matchup Chart 

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys 

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Tried. Trusted. True. It’s hard not to swoon over Jake Ferguson after the last few weeks. After two back-to-back finishes outside the top-20 in TE scoring in Weeks 5 and 6, Ferguson has responded by averaging 16.4 fantasy points per contest in the last three weeks, including a TE4 and TE6 scoring week in Weeks 9 and 10. Always go back to the well. 

Ferguson scored 12.6 points against the New York Giants in Week 10 and continued his streak of three successive games with a touchdown – adding to his collection with another red zone effort. As we’ve harked on multiple times this season, Dak Prescott loves looking Ferguson’s way in the red area. Ferguson has more red zone targets than any tight end in the NFL this season – and he’s tied with Davante Adams for the most among all players with 17. That’s not going away anytime soon. 

As always, Ferguson has an exceptionally favorable matchup advantage per our matchup tool. His 32% matchup advantage over his likely defender is only bettered by Travis Kelce and another tight end who features on the list this week.

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans

Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

The mystery tight end is Dalton Schultz! The Texans tight end has been on a tear since Week 4, finishing as a top-10 tight in five of his six-game weeks while averaging 14.7 fantasy points per game. He is now the TE7 in scoring this season. He's not so much of a sleeper anymore, but he’s still not the biggest name out there, so we’ll hold onto him a little longer.

One might think that Schultz has been mostly a passenger on the C.J. Stroud hype train, but those who watched him with the Cowboys over the last three seasons will know how important he was to the offense. He’s an excellent short and intermediate zone-beater, and his size makes him a safe option for Stroud between the numbers. There’s a reason he’s the most targeted player on the Texans' offense this season. 

As previously mentioned, Schultz has the second-most favorable matchup among tight ends this week according to our matchup tool at 33%. The Texans take on a Cardinals defense that tends to not give up a lot of points to tight ends this season (sixth-fewest in the NFL), but something has to give. Considering how well the Texans have been playing recently? Let’s bank on another strong showing from Schultz.

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders

Opponent: New York Giants

We haven’t featured Logan Thomas much as a sleeper pick this season, which is a little surprising. The Commanders have the highest pass rate in the NFL this season at 67.86%, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that more passing attempts mean more targets. It’s a little derivative but here we are. It’s crunch time, baby. But, no, really, Thomas’ inclusion speaks to more than the fact that the Commanders just love to pass the ball.

The 32-year-old tight end is the TE13 in scoring this season and has six top-15 finishes to his name. He’s also scored less than eight PPR points just three times this year while earning at least five targets in six games. Thomas is second in catches (38), and third in targets and yards while scoring three touchdowns. He’s been remarkably consistent without ever really breaking off a massive scoring game.

And, one would assume, that an eruption spot against the Giants isn’t inevitable. They’re allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season, but our boy Jake Ferguson scored a healthy 12.6 points against the same defense in Week 10. Now, Thomas doesn’t have as favorable as a matchup, it’s actually a 13% disadvantage per the matchup tool, but this is a Giants defense and roster heading in the wrong direction. They’ll play hard to compete, but the offense won’t be able to sustain drives to keep them off the field. Thomas and the pass-happy Commanders could, and should, benefit.

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: Houston Texans

If things continue to progress as they are, we won’t be able to call Trey McBride a sleeper tight end for too long, so let’s hold onto him while we can. But this might be the last week, so make it count. McBride has been a popular waiver add over the last two to three weeks and for good reason. He’s been excellent. 

Since Week 8, McBride has the third-most catches (21) and the third-most yards (248) among tight ends and that’s with a three-catch, 22-yard performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9. Take Week 9 out of the equation and McBride is first in catches and second in yards. Whatever way you splice it, he has a TE1 and TE2 performance in the last three weeks while averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game. The return of Kyler Murray boosts McBride’s ceiling in the passing game too. 

Per the matchup tool, McBride has just a 3% matchup advantage this week, but that’s because Blake Cashman has been an excellent defender this season. He’s been one of the standout linebackers in the NFL and his 86.1 overall grade is one of the best at his position. But, the Texans are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. Use this information wisely. Add McBride while you can.


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