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The majority of fantasy football managers struggle to find consistent production at the tight end position week to week. And that problem just got even more difficult when Mark Andrews suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 11.

Weeks 15 to 17 — the fantasy playoffs in most leagues — is when managers can least afford a down week from their tight end. To make matters worse, several of the top-performing players at the position are up against especially challenging postseason schedules. That’s something to keep in mind if your team is in a position to start looking ahead a handful of weeks, especially if the trade deadline in your league has not yet passed.

These five tight ends have the hardest fantasy playoff schedules:

(Week 15-17 opponents in parentheses)

Dalton Schultz, Texans (TEN, CLE, TEN)

Schultz has emerged as a reliable option in his first season in Houston for both C.J. Stroud and fantasy managers in need of production at tight end. Still, he’ll be hard-pressed to keep up his current pace with games against the Titans, Browns and Tennessee again, two of the stingiest defenses against the position. Schultz does have a nose for the end zone with five scores in his last six games, which could allow him to recoup some value against a difficult run of opponents.

Cole Kmet, Bears (CLE, ATL, ARI)

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Kmet’s schedule gets progressively easier as the playoffs continue, but he begins against the Browns, the No. 1 defense against tight ends. The next week he faces the Falcons and then draws the Cardinals in championship week, a much more friendly matchup. Few teams will have the luxury to pivot from Kmet, who has demonstrated standalone value as a pass-catcher and touchdown upside and with both Justin Fields and Tyson Bagent at quarterback.

Dallas Goedert, Eagles (SEA, NYG, ARI)

Goedert is currently out with a forearm fracture, though Philadelphia’s top tight end could potentially return for Week 14 against the Cowboys. If that’s the case, he’ll have just one week to get reacclimated to the offense before the fantasy playoffs, where the Eagles are scheduled to play the Seahawks, Giants and Cardinals. Goedert was in a similar situation a season ago when he missed five games and returned in Week 16. His production post-injury was not the same as it was earlier in the year, but he did still offer a respectable floor.

George Kittle, 49ers (ARI, BAL, WAS)

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Since Week 5, Kittle has had more TE1 weeks (two) than finishes outside the top eight at the position (one). He’s living in the end zone and ripping off chunk play after chunk play. However, Kittle’s postseason schedule could prove troublesome with the Cardinals, Ravens and Commanders on deck. He had one catch for nine yards against Arizona earlier in Week 4 and Cleveland, which has a tough tight end defense on par with Baltimore’s, held him to one reception for two yards, his lowest score of the year.

Bengals Tight Ends (MIN, PIT, KC)

Cincinnati’s tight ends weren’t fantasy relevant even before Joe Burrow went down. Now that Jake Browning is under center, it’s best to stay away from the trio of Tanner Hudson, Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Sample with Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Kansas City on the schedule come playoff time. However, Hudson did lead the Bengals in receiving last time out against the Ravens, a tough tight end defense, and has quietly put together back-to-back top-12 finishes at the position.

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