Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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The Tight End Crapshoot

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


In yet another slow week for waiver wire options, it’s time for most owners to consider their priorities for the fantasy playoffs. In addition to handcuffing your star running backs and finding defenses to stream in the right matchups, a top priority is finding a solution in what has become a crapshoot at tight end.

How bleak is the landscape at tight end? Garrett Graham has more fantasy points than Jimmy Graham over the past three weeks. Kellen Davis has as many yards as Vernon Davis the past two weeks. Brandon Myers is the only tight end with more fantasy points than Marcedes Lewis and Ben Watson since Week 11.

Fantasy “experts” can’t reliably separate the No. 5 tight end from the No. 20 tight end on a weekly basis.

Looking at trends at matchups, however, we have unearthed a half-dozen intriguing options available on the waiver wire for relief during the fantasy playoffs, including Lewis and Watson. Jacob Tamme, Jared Cook, and Tony Scheffler are poised for increased offensive roles while Brent Celek has a dream schedule over the next three weeks.

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 14. Full write-ups of each player are below.

Tight Ends
Marcedes Lewis
Jacob Tamme
Jared Cook
Ben Watson
Brent Celek
Tony Scheffler
Tony Moeaki

Quarterbacks
Sam Bradford
Russell Wilson
Brandon Weeden
Nick Foles
Jake Locker

Running Backs
Jonathan Dwyer

Alex Green
DeAngelo Williams
Montell Owens
Joique Bell
David Wilson
Justin Forsett
Bernard Pierce

Wide Receivers
Chris Givens
Josh Gordon
Donnie Avery
Golden Tate
Mike Thomas
Kendall Wright
Riley Cooper
Andrew Hawkins

Team Defense
Browns
Bengals
Lions
Jets

Tight Ends

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars - How much of a crapshoot is the tight end position? Over the past three weeks, Brandon Myers is the only player with more fantasy points than Lewis’ 28.4. Jacksonville’s tight end has increased his receiving yards in each of the three games (40, 56, 68) with Chad Henne under center. Lewis could be in for an even larger share of the pie with Cecil Shorts racing against the concussion clock in Week 14 versus a Jets defense allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jacob Tamme, Broncos - With Brandon Stokley out of the lineup last week, Tamme led the Broncos with 13 targets while hauling in nine passes for 89 yards. Tamme’s targets had been trending upwards even before Stokley’s absence. Averaging 63 yards over the past three weeks, Tamme has an excellent matchup Thursday night against a Raiders defense allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jared Cook, Titans - It’s no coincidence that Cook saw season-highs in snaps and targets in the first game since Dowell Loggains replaced Chris Palmer as offensive boss. Cook has a penchant for closing strong in a lost season, averaging 112 and 65 yards per over the final three games the past two years. Pick him to see if he catches lightning in a bottle for a third straight season.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Ben Watson, Browns - Brandon Myers and Marcedes Lewis are the only tight ends with more fantasy points than Watson’s 27.3 over the past three weeks. His schedule couldn’t be much better, with the two friendliest tight-end defenses (WAS, DEN) on the schedule for Weeks 15-16. Watson’s fantasy value has been heavily dependent on short touchdowns, so keep expectations reasonable.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Brent Celek, Eagles - We finally saw signs of life from the Eagles passing game last week, as Celek turned eight targets into seven catches for 73 yards. His production has been spotty with Nick Foles under center, but the schedule for the fantasy playoffs is made to order. The Bucs and Bengals allow the ninth- and eighth-most points to tight ends while Celek’s Week 16 opponent (Redskins) are the most generous tight-end defense in fantasy.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Tony Scheffler, Lions - With Ryan Broyles (torn ACL) finished for the season and Titus Young banished to chateau bow-wow, the Lions are left with an unreliable Mike Thomas and Brian Robiskie opposite Calvin Johnson. Scheffler will effectively become the slot receiver after finishing second to Johnson in receiving yards last week. Of all tight ends on this list, Scheffler has the toughest schedule (@GB, @ARZ, ATL) during the fantasy playoffs.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Tony Moeaki, Chiefs - After spending the first half of the season concentrating on blocking, Moeaki has 40+ yards in five of the past six weeks. Although he has just one touchdown on the season, Moeaki is still 11th in fantasy points over the past three weeks. He has a prohibitive matchup versus the Browns in Week 14, but draws a Raiders defense allowing the sixth-most points to tight ends in Week 15.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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