Week 13 was a bit of a surprising one as two tight ends capped off big days for their teams by going for over 100 yards, or hitting it exactly, as Vernon Davis lit up Green Bay with 126 yards and a score, and the up and down Benjamin Watson put up a massive 10 catch 100 yd performance against the floundering Dolphins.
In terms of my picks, they were very touch and go to say the least. In a week where Eli Manning should have highlighted Kevin Boss he was really more of a side note with 2 catches for 28 yards on only 3 targets. Jason Witten certainly helped my cause before coming up lame with an ankle injury with 5 catches for 42 yards and a score. Speaking of coming up lame, Todd Heap was unable to continue his solid play as he strained his hamstring on the first play of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. How unfortunate. So without those injuries I could have done better, but those are the things you can never predict in the world of fantasy sports. Oh well. On the other side of the spectrum, Jimmy Graham proved he is for real despite my doubts with a solid encore performance with 3 catches for 72 yards against the Bungles. Besides Mister Graham I was spot on with the other two “Sit” selections as Zach Miller and Visanthe Shiancoe continue their fantasy football disappearing acts with a combined 3 catches for 22 yards.
As most leagues come to a close and playoff berths and victories are on the line it is important to monitor the matchups. It’s all about the matchups. So as we enter Week 14 of the fantasy/NFL season I have turned my focus to guys who can bring it in the clutch, and have the best chance to succeed against their opposition… obviously.
So here are my TE Start / Sit Picks for Week 14…
|Vernon Davis vs. SEA||One thing is for sure; Vernon Davis certainly looks like he is back to 100%. Ever since backup QB Troy Smith took over for Alex Smith, Davis has been riding well below the radar, that is, until last week. Finally, Troy Smith started looking Davis’ way and it was working, which begs one to wonder why they didn’t start hooking up before last week (4 catches 126 yds and a TD). Who knows, it could have saved his job, because it has been announced that Alex Smith will once again be taking the reigns of the 49ers offense.
With Alex Smith back at starting QB, it definitely means that we can expect more from Vernon Davis than we could with Troy Smith at the helms. A. Smith can be a smart player and tends to look short a lot more than he ever looks down the sidelines, and with Davis being such a large target, he gets a lot of targets. It also doesn’t hurt that the Niners are facing the enigmatic Seahawks and their 30th ranked pass defense. When these two teams squared off in their season opener Davis was targeted 12 times, for 8 catches, and 73 yards. Without Frank Gore as an outlet man, you can expect Davis to put up even bigger numbers than he did to start the season.
|Brent Celek @ DAL
||Could I have been wrong all along? Could Brent Celek finally be getting back into prime fantasy shape right before the playoffs? The simple answer is “no,” but I think he could be a lock this week against the Cowboys. After fading into relative obscurity for four games (4 total catches), he has finally seemed to get into some sort of rhythm with Michael Vick under center over the past two weeks where Celek has racked up 7 catches for 105 yards and a TD. While those numbers aren’t going to win you any championships, they can still help you along the way.
I think Celek is a lock against Dallas because this is an Eagles team that desperately needs to win within the division to keep pace with the Giants down the stretch, and the Cowboys are looking to play spoiler under their interim head coach. Dallas is going to come hard and fast and try to knock down Vick as much as possible to fluster him, which could leave Celek open in the middle of the field to chew up some yardage. I think this could be a solid PPR week for Celek, especially against the Cowboys 28th ranked Pass D and have given up 75+ yards to opposing tight ends in two of their last four games (Kevin Boss and Brandon Pettigrew).
|Aaron Hernandez @ CHI||Of the two young guns of the New England Patriots tight end corps, Aaron Hernandez is by far the more dynamic player. He has the speed and agility in the open field that Rob Gronkowski simply cannot match. The Patriots make it a regular habit in their Randy Moss-less offensive scheme to get the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands quickly and let his playmakers do their jobs and, well, make plays, I guess. Hernandez is one of those explosive guys, although he hasn’t really shown it much over the past four weeks, he showed the world a glimpse of what he is capable of this past Monday night with 3 catches for 51 yards and a TD. He looked good, and when someone is looking to break out, Brady does what he can to get them the ball. I think that Hernandez is a matchup nightmare for the Bears secondary that has struggled at times against opposing tight ends as they have given up 4 catches and/or a TD to tight ends over the past four games.|
And here is who to sit in Week 14:
|Tony Moeaki @ SD||Besides a few down weeks due to injury, Moeaki has been a reliable target in a mostly run dominated offensive scheme. Generally speaking, Tony Moeaki has been a reliable starter, but this week he has everything going against him. First of all, the Chiefs have a very limited amount of downfield options. Moeaki and Dwayne Bowe are pretty much it, and when you face one of the leagues top secondaries you know these two guys are going to get the most attention. Secondly, Matt Cassel is a game time decision after having an appendectomy leaving Brodie Croyle (0-9 as a starter) in charge of the Kansas City offense. Third, they still pound the ball on the ground, and probably will to excess this week with Cassel potentially sidelined. This isn’t to say that Moeaki won’t get his targets, but with the San Diego defense being as solid as ever I highly doubt they will get many Red Zone chances, and when they do the ball will definitely be in the hands of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.|
|Joel Dreessen vs. BAL
||Joel Dreessen has been on a massive upswing as of late, and has truly shined with Owen Daniels on the sidelines with an injury, but all good things must come to an end…again. It seems like every time this guy gets going he gets put back on the bench, or he splits time, or he doesn’t get the targets he needs. It just always seems to be something, and Week 14 is one of those times. Owen Daniels is making his return, and he must face a Baltimore defense that is not only in the playoff hunt but thrives in the spotlight of Monday Night Football. It really is unfortunate because Dreessen has caught 12 balls for 184 yards and 2 TDs over the past three games and seemed to be poised to break out as the season wraps up, but alas, here we are. This isn’t to say Dreessen won’t get his looks, but against this defense that tees off on tight ends (just ask Heath Miller) I do not foresee Dreessen continuing his hot streak.|
|Cameron Morrah @ SF||Like the aforementioned Dreessen, Cameron Morrah certainly made the most of his opportunity when starting tight end John Carlson went down with an injury last week leading the game in receiving with 3 catches for 69 yards against Carolina. You might wonder is Morrah could be a late sleeper pick for the playoffs coming up, and I hate to burst bubbles, but this isn’t happening. Morrah was simply a guy who got a shot and took advantage against a mediocre team. One of the biggest issues is that Seattle simply does not use their tight ends nearly as much as they could/should. Last weeks three catches by Morrah were his first since Week 1, and starter Carlson only has 29 catches on the year for a single TD. Morrah certainly has potential if, and only if, Matt Hasselbeck decides to spread the ball around against a 49ers team that is fighting for its proverbial life. It certainly doesn’t help that the 49ers have been able to hold opposing tight ends to under 40 yards total in their past 3 games combined.|