Hurst, Tonyan among four must-start tight ends in Week 9

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Arizona Cardinals veteran Zach Ertz is my top fantasy football tight end for Week 9. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Zach Ertz and Hayden Hurst are among my four must-start fantasy football tight ends for Week 9. Ertz also tops my weekly Top 20 rankings for the position.

Travis Kelce, Kyle Pitts, Mark Andrews and Gerald Everett join Ertz in the Top 5 of my weekly Top 20 rankings, which are listed below.

All of my must-start options are within the Top 14 of my rankings, which means they should be started in leagues with at least 14 teams that require starting tight ends.

George Kittle, Pat Freiermuth and tight ends from the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and New York Giants are among the players who should be benched or dropped due to Week 9 byes.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz totaled 41 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns through eight starts this season. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Zach Ertz

Ertz is the No. 7 tight end this season, in terms of fantasy points per game. The Arizona Cardinals playmaker ranks second on the team with 60 targets this season. He also scored his third touchdown of the season in Week 8.

The Cardinals will face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. The Seahawks allow the most fantasy points per game to tight ends. They also allowed a league-high 595 yards to the position through eight weeks.

Ertz logged 10 targets for seven catches and 70 yards earlier this season against the Seahawks. I expect a similar game, but with a touchdown, in Week 9. Ertz should be started in all leagues.

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) totaled 35 catches for 286 yards and a score through eight games this season. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI

Robert Tonyan

Tonyan is my No. 6 play for Week 9. The Green Bay Packers tight end averaged 7.3 targets and six catches per game over his last three appearances. This week, the Packers will face the Detroit Lions.

The Lions allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. They also tied for allowing the fourth-most touchdowns to the position, despite already having their bye week.

Look for Tonyan to draw at least eight targets for 60 yards. He will get several chances to score against this very vulnerable secondary.

Hayden Hurst

Hurst averaged the 13th-most fantasy points per game among tight ends over the last four weeks. He should be started in all leagues that require starting tight ends this week. Hurst and the Cincinnati Bengals will host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Cincinnati.

The Panthers just allowed eight yards and a score to Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts. They allowed four catches for 64 yards to Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cade Otton a week earlier.

Hurst is a touchdown-or-bust play, but I think he scores in a Bengals blowout victory. I also expect at least 50 yards from the Bengals pass catcher.

Hurst totaled more than five targets for nearly 40 yards per game over his last five appearances. He also scored twice over that stretch. I also expect Hurst to continue to received increased looks due to the injury absence of Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

He is my No. 8 option for Week 9.

Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas (82) is a low-end TE1 for Week 9. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Logan Thomas

Thomas is another touchdown-or-bust, low-end TE1 for Week 9. The Washington Commanders pass catcher scored just once through his first four games this season. He also has yet to eclipse 48 receiving yards in a game.

Look for Thomas to get several red-zone opportunities this week, when the Commanders host the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. They also allowed touchdowns to tight ends in each of their last two games and in four of their last five outings.

Thomas is a dart-throw and should only be used in leagues that require starting tight ends. He is my No. 10 option.

Week 9 fantasy football tight end rankings

1. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. TEN

3. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons vs. LAC

4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at NO

5. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers at ATL

6. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers at DET

7. Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints vs. BAL

8. Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CAR

9. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. LV

10. Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders vs. MIN

11. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams at TB

12. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks at ARI

13. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at CHI

14. Tyler Conklin, New York Jets vs. BUF

15. Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. LAR

16. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings at WAS

17. Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens at NO

18. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears vs. MIA

19. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at NYJ

20. Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans at KC

The San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey hauls in a nine-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. The 49ers defeated the Rams 31-14. McCaffrey became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to throw for, run for and catch a touchdown in the same game. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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