Week 4 is now or never for TJ Hockenson

With a few notable absences possible for the Detroit Lions offense, Week 4 looks like a now-or-never moment for TJ Hockenson to remain a virtual fantasy lineup lockdown.

In Week 1, Lions tight end TJ Hockenson appeared to have a nice fantasy matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. He promptly delivered four catches for 38 yards. Week 2, with seven hits in a second straight game, was a little worse (three balls for 26 yards).

But Week 3 was a return to the good moment to declare Hockenson a beautiful fantasy start against the Minnesota Vikings. He saved his fantasy tag, posting double-digit PPR points thanks to a touchdown, with a total of three catches for 18 yards.

That Hockenson is a top 12 fantasy tight end through Week 3 and has 0.5 points PPR says a lot about the position. However, week 4 is coming up to get good for him.

The Lions came out of last week’s game with some notable injuries. For fantasy purposes, headlining running back D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder), who may be held until the Week 6 bye, and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (right ankle), who is also beaten up.

So Hockenson’s primary short area target contest from Jared Goff on Sunday will either be out or less than 100 percent.

Fantasy Football: Week 4 is a now-or-never moment for TJ Hockenson

In Week 4, the Lions take on the Seattle Seahawks, who narrowly end up with the ninth most fantasy points so far this season (0.5 points and full PPR). Two tight ends of different talent classes (Albert Okwuegbunam, Kyle Pitts) had five catches against them. Ross Dwelley had a touchdown against them in Week 2.

Seattle has allowed six goals per game to a tight end for three weeks, and that’s with just one goal on Dwelley as the 49ers’ No. 1 tight end when George Kittle was out in Week 2.

Hockenson was heavily involved in the first two games, but it didn’t bring much production. The lower volume from Week 3 (four targets) was offset by the touchdown. Target volume and red zone looks could merge in week 4.

If Hockenson delivers a dud against the Seahawks and assumes that Swift and St. Brown are some combination of out or limited, his status as “you’ll probably have to pretty much play a part with him” becomes that of the tight end in the Fantasy begins to be in danger – if not go away altogether. It’s not like he’s drop-worthy, a tight end given the lack of depth, but it might be time to consider alternative options until he shows anything other than touchdown-dependent mediocrity.

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