Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight end options to start in Week 5

2MATJ60 Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet makes a catch during warmups before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)

• Can Cole Kmet make it back-to-back strong performances?: Kmet was the TE1 in Week 4, but can he follow it up against the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football?

Jake Ferguson is a consistent starting option: Even despite a tough matchup, Jake Ferguson is proving to be a starter in most formats.

• 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: 6 minutes

If you read this column last week and applied yourself to the information given, you’re probably pretty happy with how your tight end performed in Week 4. That is unless you started Gerald Everett. However, the policy is the policy and we’ll be offering no refunds at this time. Our sleeper tight end picks averaged 9.3 fantasy points per game in PPR format last week, so we’re looking to continue moving forward in the right direction heading into Week 5.

The matchup tool is predicting a lot of tough matchups for tight ends, so there’ll be a little freewheeling this week. However, keep the faith. Here are our sleeper tight end picks for Week 5 of the NFL season.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers

Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders

Musgrave has been the “almost man” for the Green Bay Packers this season. If Jordan Love had looked his way a few more times or connected on one or two more passes, then Musgrave’s standing among tight ends may look a little different through four weeks. The rookie has still been exciting to watch though, even if he hasn’t been as involved as some analysts anticipated.

Through four weeks, Musgrave is tied for 19th in targets among all tight ends (16) but has 12 catches for 125 yards with no drops. He’s been effective with the opportunities he’s been given. Naturally, there’s hope that a breakout from Musgrave is impending, especially considering the Packers' matchup this week. 

The Packers take on the Las Vegas Raiders, who are currently 30th in EPA per play and allowing 25.3 points per game. Musgrave has a slight matchup advantage of 3% against his primary defender Divine Deablo according to our Week 5 matchup tool, but it’s still worth the risk. The Raiders are allowing 9.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends through four weeks, and it feels like there could be some luck coming Musgrave’s way.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

Opponent: Washington Commanders 

Kmet took off in Week 4 with a 27.60 fantasy point outing in the Bears’ 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos. The fourth-year tight end caught seven of his nine targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns as he finished as the TE1 in scoring. Before that performance, Kmet was averaging 7.13 fantasy points per game and was yet to score a touchdown. On top of that, the Bears' offense was in total dysfunction.

The offense looked as good as it has in a long time on Sunday, and Justin Fields looked confident as a pocket passer. Kmet has been a popular target for Fields so far this season too, and is tied with D.J. Moore for the most targets on the team with 24. If the Bears passing offense can remain at least somewhat competent, Kmet should be a potential starting option moving forward. 

However, he does have a tough matchup this week. Per our matchup tool, Kmet has a 30% matchup disadvantage against his primary defender, the Washington CommandersJamin Davis. The Commanders’ defense has given up at least 30 points in three straight games, so the Bears could be catching them at the right time. It’s hard to trust the Bears' offense for consistency right now, so proceed with caution.

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys 

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers 

If you’re a regular of this column, you’ll know how much we love Ferguson. He’s becoming a fixture now, and he’s back again for his Week 5 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Ferguson scored a season-high 14.70 fantasy points against the New England Patriots in Week 4, catching all seven of his targets for 77 yards.

The second-year tight end is becoming one of the most important pieces of the Cowboys offense and is second only to CeeDee Lamb in targets through four weeks. He remains the most targeted player in the red zone in the NFL, and the law of averages suggests that even though he’s only caught two of his six targets inside the 10-yard line, it’ll balance out and Ferguson can add some more touchdowns to his game. 

The big question, though, is will that trend start against the 49ers? A defense that is allowing just 6.6 fantasy points per game to tights? The odds are stacked against Ferguson, but he has a 9% matchup advantage against his potential primary defender, Fred Warner, and the 49ers did allow 11.30 points to Zach Ertz in Week 4. Warner is one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL, but Ferguson is still a reliable option this week.

Tyler Conklin, New York Jets

Opponent: Denver Broncos

Just like the Chicago Bears, it’s probably hard to trust the New York Jets’ offense right now. But Zach Wilson played, maybe, his best NFL game of his career against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. The chances of him following it up with another great game are tough because consistency hasn’t been his jam during his three years in the NFL, but there might not be a better matchup for the Jets than the Denver Broncos. 

The Broncos defense has been historically bad. They’ve allowed 150 points through four games and are dead last in EPA per play. On top of that, only four teams are allowing more fantasy points per game to tight ends than the Broncos, who are allowing 12.8 points per game. That’s why Tyler Conklin is on our radar. The Jets passing game is entirely heliocentric to Garrett Wilson — his 36 targets are double that of Conklin, who is second on the team with 18 targets through four games. 

Conklin impressed against the Chiefs too, catching four passes for a season-high 58 yards with 19 of his receiving yards coming after the catch. Per our matchup tool, Conklin has a 16% matchup advantage over his likely primary defender, Drew Sanders. That’s one of the stronger advantages for tight ends this week. And it’s even more valuable if Zach Wilson continues to show that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’ll need reliable options. Conklin can be that this week.


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