Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight end options to start in Week 8

2T2J0NR New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs for a 1-yard touchdown past Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard (42) and linebacker Chad Muma, right, in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

• It’s Taysom Hill time: The 33-year-old hybrid has 11 receptions and six rushing attempts in his last two games, cash in on the opportunities he’s given.

• A big moment for Dalton Kincaid: With Dawson Knox likely out for the foreseeable future, Kincaid has a chance to become a feature of the Buffalo Bills‘ offense.

• 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

Although it was “National Tight End Day” in Week 7, it’s clear that many of our sleeper picks didn’t celebrate the holiday or get the memo. David Njoku, Noah Fant, Michael Mayer and Luke Musgrave averaged a humbling 6.05 PPR points in Sunday’s slate of games. That, quite frankly, won’t cut the mustard.

Those of you who picked David Njoku or Luke Musgrave might feel better than those who picked Noah Fant or Michael Mayer. Regardless, Week 8 needs to be better for most of us. Mayer proved that being a rookie tight end is still a thankless and difficult job and that not everyone can be Travis Kelce.

We’ll go back to the well in the hopes of recovering immediately and setting you all up for success in Week 8. As always, it’ll be a difficult task, and as we delve further into the fantasy season, the margin for error shrinks thinner than some of your hairlines after a tough Week 7. Sorry.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

There might be some lingering frustrations from football purists that the Saints are still trying to make Hill a thing in 2023, but we need to strike while the iron is hot. Hill has been the TE6 in consecutive weeks, scoring 14.53 points per game, and has been something of a bright spot of a middling Saints offense.

His role is always difficult to predict, but the fact that Hill has been targeted 13 times and added six rushes in the last two weeks is something to hold on to. They’re also real opportunities, not Mickey Mouse routes. Hill’s average depth of target is around eight yards, so he’s been playing like an actual tight end — just one who also happens to get red zone carries. Through the last two weeks, Hill has four carries inside the red zone. 

According to our matchup tool, Hill has a 16% matchup disadvantage against his likely primary defender, Zaire Franklin, but he’s still such a curious case and the Colts are allowing the 12th-most points to tight ends this season. Use Hill at your own risk, but the Saints' constant fascination with him, especially while the offense is struggling, means he’s a likely starting option.

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Fresh off the bye, Schultz is hoping to keep his touchdown streak alive against the Panthers. Schultz has scored a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Saints so far this season, and a fourth against the Panthers doesn’t seem unlikely.

Even beyond his touchdown numbers, Schultz has been a factor for this young Texans team. He’s been a reliable short and intermediate target for C.J. Stroud in the middle of the field and has three games with at least seven targets this season. There might not be a better matchup for him to take advantage of either.

Schultz has a slight 6% matchup advantage against the Panthers, and his likely primary defender Kamu Grugier-Hill in Week 8. Grugier-Hill is allowing 0.26 fantasy points per route this season, the fifth-most of any defensive player who features on our matchup tool this week. Schultz and the Texans offense have a great opportunity to take advantage of a Panthers team truly in a spiral. He’s an easy consideration to start.

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Losing Dawson Knox is a big blow for a Bills team looking to rebound from a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots in Week 7. However, Knox’s loss could be Kincaid’s gain. The Bills’ first-round rookie saw his snap count dissipate after the first three weeks of the season and he’s yet to score a touchdown this season, but he stepped up against the Patriots.

Kincaid caught all eight of his targets for 75 yards and finished as the TE7, scoring 15.50 fantasy points — the best tally of his career so far. Even with Knox out, Kincaid will likely line up in the slot as opposed to inline and he’ll have a tough test against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers are allowing just 10.35 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, which is the 12th-fewest among all defenses, but the Bills offense is third in EPA per play this season and are scoring 28.3 points per game. That equates to a good amount of opportunity for Kincaid. He’s also carrying a 2% matchup advantage over his primary defender, Lavonte David, this week. There are probably safer matchups to target, but Kincaid can hopefully ride the momentum from last week into Thursday night.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers

Opponent: Chicago Bears 

Everett has been a pretty inconsistent fantasy option this season. He started the year with three weekly finishes outside of the top 20 in his first four weeks, but back-to-back weeks with a touchdown have seen him finish as the TE10 and TE9 in Week 6 and Week 7. 

There should be concern that Everett has run a route on an average of 67.3% of dropbacks over the last two weeks compared to 84.3% in the first four games of the season. A lack of production has seen Everett’s role in the offense decrease, but two touchdowns in consecutive weeks have hopefully helped Kellen Moore trust the tight end a little more moving forward.

Only Travis Kelce has a more favorable matchup than Everett this weekend. Everett’s 35% matchup advantage over Tremaine Edmunds is the second-highest this week, and the Bears are allowing 13.10 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. It’s also a game the 2-4 Chargers desperately need to win. They’re in desperation mode already and can’t trust the defense. It’ll have to be the offense that takes the lead again. That could mean a big game for Everett against a bottom-five defense.


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