Random breakouts and frustrating busts are a constant at the tight end position, but at the very least, we always have favorable matchups and potential waiver wire sleepers who can help us out. Our Week 8 fantasy TE rankings feature plenty of potential streamers, which will come in handy with at least three key TEs out.
There are just two teams on a bye, so that’s great, but considering it’s the Ravens and Raiders, that’s not so great. Mark Andrews and Darren Waller will be joined on the sidelines by breakout Dawson Knox (hand), who is expected to miss at least the next couple weeks. At least Dalton Schultz (@ Vikings) will be back.
WEEK 8 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker
With exception to Mike Gesicki (@ Bills), no other top-10 tight end has any real matchup worries. In Miami’s first meeting with Buffalo, Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the contest in the first quarter, and Gesicki caught three passes on six targets for 41 yards. That feels like the worst-case scenario here, but Gesicki has turned in on lately, and at the TE spot, a 3-41 line isn’t that bad of a floor. He should still be started over numerous players, but the concerns are certainly there.
WEEK 8 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Tyler Higbee (@ Texans) finds his way just outside the top five, as Houston had allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends heading into Week 7. To make the Texans’ feat more impressive, they’ve been the worst defense against TEs without playing against Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson are other premier players at the position. Instead, they’ve allowed Tommy Tremble, Knox, Mo Alie-Cox, Hunter Henry, and Zach Ertz to score touchdowns against them. Start Higbee without hesitation.
Tyler Conklin (vs. Cowboys) Dan Arnold (@ Seahawks), and C.J. Uzomah (@ Jets), attractive streaming options. Mo Alie-Cox (vs. Titans) and Juwan Johnson (vs. Buccaneers) are interesting standard-league options, as those two are likely TD-or-bust options. Gerald Everett (vs. Jaguars) and, if active, Jonnu Smith (@ Chargers) are also in play as worthwhile streaming options with slightly higher floors than Johnson and Alie-Cox.
Jared Cook (vs. Patriots), Schultz (@ Vikings), Ricky Seals-Jones (@ Broncos), and Robert Tonyan (@ Cardinals) are on the other end of the spectrum with tough matchups. That’s not to say you should sit Schultz for a guy like Alie-Cox, but it’s worth noting he could struggle here and fall short of a top-10 finish. Schultz is almost a must-start in PPR leagues, but you can reasonably go with another option in standard leagues.
It also might feel weird to bench Cook and Seals-Jones, but they don’t have a track record of being matchup proof. That said, Seals-Jones is similar to Schultz — his PPR floor appears to be safe. Tonyan has been a bust this season, and we don’t foresee a breakout coming against the league’s best defense against fantasy TEs.
Logan Thomas (hamstring) is eligible to come back this week, but the expectation is he’ll be out one more game. We’re still another week away from George Kittle (calf) being able to return, too.
Note: We’ll be updating these TE rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.
Fantasy TE Rankings Week 8: Who to start at tight end
Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring
Not as if we should be surprised, but we saw second-tier tight ends bust and bottom-feeders produce in Week 7. That’s the game at tight end, and we’ll see it again every week. However, we have a little bit of a better chance to see these things coming in PPR leagues, as targets and catches can really raise a players’ floor. In PPR, you can live with a 4-40-0 line from a fringe starter. If you can at least get that out of a waiver wire streamer, it’s a win. Use our Week 8 fantasy TE PPR rankings to help you find those types of players in a sneaky tough week for some of the top guys at the position.
After a brutal week of byes for all positions, we’re looking at just two idle teams in Week 8. However, no position is hit harder than TE, as Darren Waller and Mark Andrews will be off. Dawson Knox (hand) will also be out.
Among regular TE starters, Mike Gesicki (@ Bills) is the only guy with enough concerns to even consider benching him. Buffalo has looked like the best defense in football. However, Gesicki has been a lock for at least six targets since Week 1, so we still say play him unless you own one of the guys ranked ahead of him, which seems unlikely.
We can’t call Hunter Henry (@ Chargers) a steamer anymore due to his high ownership percentage, but if you’re mulling over the decision to start him — do it. Las Angeles has been a bottom-two defense against TEs in all formats. To be fair, they’ve played Andrews, Travis Kelce, and Waller, among others, but they’ve also allowed Logan Thomas, Jody Fortson, and David Njoku to enjoy nice outings. Jonnu Smith, if active, is also a potential sleeper in this matchup.
Dan Arnold (@ Seahawks), Evan Engram (@ Chiefs), C.J. Uzomah (@ Jets), Gerald Everett (vs. Jaguars), and Tyler Conklin (vs. Cowboys) come to mind as some of the more attractive streamers this week. Each defense in that group has been in the bottom half of the league against fantasy TEs, so all of them possess real upside. Arnold, Uzomah, Everett, Engram, and Conklin are on the start-or-sit bubble for a reason (relatively low floors), but they’ve all had multiple games with five-plus targets and have matchups they can take real advantage of.
Dalton Schultz (@ Vikings) and Ricky Seals-Jones (@ Broncos) have some of the worst matchups possible, but they have shown enough consistency in their target share to have somewhat safe PPR floors. Their ceilings are lower this week, though. Jared Cook (vs. Patriots) has too low of a floor (and ceiling) to consider this week.
It won’t be easy to fill the holes in your lineup if you’re without Waller, Andrews, or Knox, but Knox and Waller owners had to deal with this last week, so they can survive. After all, all of us non-Travis Kelce and maybe non-T.J. Hockenson owners have had to deal with this virtually every week, so there’s no sympathy here. Play the matchups, find a streamer, and do your best.
Note: We’ll be updating these TE PPR rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.
Fantasy TE PPR Rankings Week 8: Who to start at tight end
Rankings based on full-point PPR scoring