Week 11 was another week where there were no real studs at the tight end position. With only one tight end with over 100 yards receiving (Joel Dreessen) it was a week where you scored only if they scored. Needless to say I did no scoring really. I once again continued my cold streak as neither Dustin Keller, nor Zach Miller were able to produce much of anything, but at least Miller has the excuse of being injured. On the positive side of it all I did call that Chris Cooley would have a big game by running wild for 91 yards. On the “sit” side of things I was pretty spot on as Visanthe Shiancoe continued his impressive disappearing act with 2 catches for 6 yards, Tony Gonzalez (46 yards) was shut out of the End Zone by the Rams stout D, and Kevin Boss, like the rest of the Giants offense, continued to struggle in the limelight with only 22 yards on two catches.
Being Thanksgiving week and all I feel as though being at home will bring these guys some much needed luck. Nothing solves a tough stretch like some good old-fashioned home cooking. All of my starters look to thrill in front of their hometown fans (there’s even a Lion thrown in there) and those on the road will have a miles to go before they sleep… or rest… or whatever it is. Just know they’re going to struggle.
Here are my TE Start / Sit Picks for Week 12…
|Brandon Pettigrew vs. NE||This guy has been bouncing in and out of my starting lineup all year. At first it was because he was, essentially, splitting time with fellow tight end Tony Scheffler, who has trailed off significantly, and then it was because of the up and down quarterback situation with Matthew Stafford being injured, then healthy, and now injured again. At long last there is some consistency in the Lions locker room and QB Shaun Hill is in firm hold of the starting job for the near future, which only means good things for Pettigrew. Over the past couple of months it has become evident that Pettigrew is one of Hills favorite targets, outside the obvious choice of Calvin Johnson. In the last two weeks, Pettigrew has 125 receiving yards on 12 combined catches, on the road. Granted these two games were against two struggling teams in Dallas and Buffalo, but what this shows is that when they know the game is going to be close he is going to be an integral part of their offense.
This week the Lions face off against a hot New England Patriots team that has won two straight against some of the best the AFC has to offer in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. While the Pats have looked good on offense, one thing has become very clear: they cannot stop the pass. Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning put up video game like numbers against the Pats secondary combining for 783 yards in the air. This is not to say Shaun Hill is either of those guys, but it certainly leaves the door wide open for the Lions' top receivers to run free. Although it has been a few weeks since Pettigrew has hit the end zone, Thanksgiving week is as good as any to get it going again
|Jacob Tamme vs. SD
||This is nothing new and unusual, but you may have heard that Peyton Manning is a decent football player. Manning has been able to make a patchwork set of receivers into the second ranked passing attack in the NFL. Not too shabby. One of those patchwork guys is tight end Jacob Tamme, who is filling in for the injured Dallas Clark. We all know how important Clark was to the Indy passing game, and it is by some sort of miracle that they really haven't missed a beat with Tamme stepping in. In the four games since he has taken over the starting job Tamme has tallied 31 catches for 305 yards and 2 Tds. Those are solid numbers for anyone regardless of your spot on the depth chart.
This week Jacob Tamme and co. face a San Diego squad that is coming off of a proverbial beat down of the Denver Broncos on Monday Night, as well as sporting the top overall passing defense in the league. I know this may seem scary when you're trying to decide who to start and sit, like me, but when it comes to the Colts offense it simply doesn't matter. You know the ball is going to be in Peyton's hands and it is going to get to the receivers, and Tamme has become one of his favorite targets. Plus, the Chargers have given up 65+ yards to tight ends on opposing teams with pass first style offenses such as the Pats and Texans.
|Joel Dreessen vs. TEN||About time for my risky pick of the week. Joel Dreessen come on down! I'm taking this pick because I was a week early from him going off, and who would have thought it would come against the NY Jets? This past week Dreessen had a career game with 4 catches for 106 yards and a TD. With Owen Daniels questionable for this week’s game against the Titans it is hard to not start Dreessen. After last weeks performance it is obvious that this guy is capable of making big plays in open space and can provide support underneath when Andre Johnson is covered downfield. Matt Schaub is going to spread the ball around for sure, but he seems to find guys in rhythm and lets them attack, which could be good for Dreessen owners after his big week. Also, one has to look at the matchup. The Texans get to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 12 who seem to be lost in a cloud of drama and confusion with the injury and subsequent fallout with QB Vince Young. It will be interesting to see the Titans strategy as Kerry Collins is still not 100% and all that is left is rookie Rusty Smith. In other words, I think the Texans are going to see a whole hell of a lot of the football, which just means more offensive opportunities against a team that ranks 26th against the pass and was just victimized by Chris Cooley for 7 catches and 91 yards.|
And here is who to sit in Week 12:
|Benjamin Watson vs. CAR||Here is another guy who has bounced around my start / sit team and has seemed to burn me every time I throw him on here, but I think i've got it right this week. Earlier in the season I was touting him as one of the big surprises from this tough Browns team, along with Peyton Hillis, but such has not been the case. When someone goes from start to sit to start to sit over and over again it can only mean that there is a consistency problem in that offense. The Browns have finally established stability at the QB position with Colt McCoy and one would think that a tight end would be a rookie's best friend, but alas, once again this has not been the case. In the last 4 games Watson has had 3 games where he had had 1 or 0 catches and then one where he had 6. In other words, you never know what you're going to get from this guy week to week and with Peyton Hillis as their closer in the Red Zone, I just do not see him as a viable option against a Panthers squad that ranks 7th against the pass.|
|Anthony Fasano @ OAK
||I'm sure you were as surprised as I was two weeks ago when Anthony Fasano was the leading receiver in the Dolphins game against the Titans, but there he was with his 107 yards and a TD sitting at the top. Anthony Fasano is a solid receiving tight end for whoever the Dolphins may have playing QB for them whether it be Chad Henne, Chad Pennington (on IR), or even Tyler Thigpen of all people, but the problem with starting his is that he simply does not see enough of the football. In the two games where he has caught 5 balls apiece he has gone for 67 and 107 yards. Perfectly respectable, if only those numbers were a weekly occurrence, but those games came 6 weeks apart. In every other game this season he has caught 3 or fewer balls, which is only one reason why I would sit him this week against the Raiders. The other reason is that he is playing against the Raiders. Surprised? Maybe, but one has to remember that the Raiders, despite being blown out a few times recently, still have not given up a touchdown to a tight end in 5 games and none have caught for more than 67 yards during that time. Not good news for the Fasano faithful.|
|Leonard Pope @ SEA||Leonard who? Leonard Pope is Tony Moeaki's backup. The reason I have him listed amongst these other is more of a warning to those of you who are scrambling to find contingency plans for injured players like Vernon Davis, Zach Miller, (potentially) Antonio Gates, or Tony Moeaki himself in your lineup. Week 12 could prove to be a pivotal week for a lot of squads out there as the playoffs are just around the corner and I simply do not want you whisking away any chance of reaching the promised lad by making a bad waiver wire pickup and an even worse matchup. This season Moeaki has averaged around 42 yards per game, which isn't too terrible, but no tight end has scored for the Chiefs since Week 3. Matt Cassel has been throwing the ball with a bit more frequency as of late, but most of those extra tosses are in the direction of Dwayne Bowe and he doesn't seem to be too concerned with spreading the ball around. Don;t get me wrong, Pope may get some chances this week but the raiders D has a good track record against tight ends this season. In the past 4 weeks the Raiders have only allowed a combined 63 yards and a single score to opposing tight ends.|