by Shamin Shah, June 24 2020 – 10 minute read
For TEs, matchups aren’t as important as they are for other positions. That is because TEs are generally used the same way in most games. If they are blocking TEs, they will continue to block in most games. If they go out for passes often, they will continue to do so regardless of matchup. However, there are some teams that are notoriously good and bad against guarding the TE, and what is what we want to focus on here
Before we get into matchups, here is a list of the bottom 8 defenses in terms of TE fantasy points allowed in 2019 and how many fantasy points they allowed on average per game.
|32||ARI (by far)||13.1|
As you can see, AZ was notoriously bad compared to the next worse team. All the other teams really haven’t changed much defensively, so I would expect these teams to struggle against the TE. Given that, let’s take a look at the first 5 games for these players. Note that I am not including the first 2 tiers as Kelce, Kittle, Ertz, and Andrews are considered matchup proof and you will be playing them over any other TE you may have (unless that TE is playing AZ.
Just to note, good defenses against the TE in 2019 were BAL, MIN, BUF, NYJ, and SF. We will denote those teams as Red, and all others as neutral
As you can see, none of these TEs have particular hard matchups to start the season. However, this also indicates that Cook and Hurst can get off to spectacular starts based on their matchups.
If you were to stream TEs, last year’s go-to strategy was to grab the player who is playing against AZ the following week. AZ’s first five weeks are against SF, WASH, DET, CAR and NYJ. Three to four of those five use TEs that will likely be on the waiver wire to start the season. If your strategy is to stream TEs, a good option is to grab Hockenson, who plays against CHI Week 1 (not scary), and then add Sprinkle for week 2, Hockenson again for week 3, Thomas again for week 4, and Herndon for week 5.
These table also indicates the following strategies:
- Hayden Hurst has the best value as his ADP is much lower than others in his tier
- Jared Cook also has tremendous value compared to his ADP (he is being drafted much later than Hunter Henry)
- Don’t be surprised if Noah Fant gets off to a fast start due to his schedule.
- Drafting 2 TEs is not really necessary as no one really has a shockingly tough schedule to start the season and you will likely play your starter anyway