Last week I was pretty spot on. Despite some of my Starters having minor yardage games, they more than made up for it by making their catches count in the Red Zone. Each of my Week 4 Starting Tight Ends had at least one touchdown, and two hit pay dirt multiple times, Antonio Gates had 144 yards and 2 TDs and Dustin Keller had only 28 yards but 2 scores. I may be figuring this whole tight end thing out, but we shall see in Week 5…
In week 5 we have some big names missing from the second BYE week of the season, such as the Patriots rookie duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, as well as the Steelers Heath Miller and the John Carlson. With that in mind there could be little room for error if you are in a matchup league but, as we all know the tight end position is a mercurial one and you never know what you are going to get.
This week I have decided to focus on the hot targets with good to at least decent matchups. Tight ends tend to be a streaky breed of player, and when they’re hot they’re hot (uh hum… Antonio Gates), but when they’re not they can cause you nightmares. I see three/four guys continuing their hot streaks in Week 5, and one lone star finally hitting his stride.
|Jermichael Finley @ WAS
|I know I continue to list him here, but at this point he is still too good to leave out. Last week Finley finally found the End Zone and put some points on the scoreboard. That score ended up being the difference in the game as well as his fantasy numbers because his yardage was way down from the prior two weeks where he was hitting 100+ easily.
This week, Jermichael Finley lines up against the 31st ranked Washington Redskins passing defense that has given up 2 touchdowns to Tight Ends in each of the last two games. In order to continue that trend, the Packers will shift Finley around at the line to take advantage of his size over the DBs and his quickness around linebackers to get him open with space down the field. Washington simply does not have the personnel to stick with this guy, which will inevitably leading to another big fantasy week.
|Jason Witten vs. TEN
|Why not? Dallas needs something to cheer for these days plus, the Tony Romo to Witten Mexican vacation connection has been somewhat dormant for far too long this season. His sprained knee may be somewhat of a concern, but he will practice this week and he will play over the weekend.
As of now, Witten is 2nd on the team in receptions and his production has increased with every passing week. If Romo continues to sling the ball down field as much as he has it will cause the oppositions safties to stay put and will open up more and more space underneath and over the middle for Witten to run. Tennessee has only faced one premier tight end so far this season in Kevin Boss and coughed up 88 yards on only 3 catches. The Giants and Cowboys play a similar style offense, so look for a similar amount of production, if not more, out of Jason Witten.
|Zach Miller vs. SD
|My feel good pick of the week. The Oakland Raiders have been on a steady incline ever since Darren McFadden started to run like he did in college and, I shudder to say this, Bruce Gradkowski took over at quarterback. Who knew that this guy would have the impact he has for the Raiders, and Zach Miller in particular. Ever since Gradkowski took over under center Miller has been his go to guy. In the two games Gradkowski has started, Miller has 15 catches for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns (11 catches for 122 and a TD in week 4). I am seeing this week 5 matchup against San Diego being an aerial battle, which could mean great things for Zach Miller fantasy owners.
|Brandon Pettigrew /
Tony Scheffler vs. StL
|Some way, some how the Detroit Lions continue to sneak up on people. Their 0-4 record really does not do this team justice. They have fought and scrapped with some of the top tier teams in the league, but always seem to come up just short. Against the Packers, Bears and Eagles, the Lions have only lost by a combined 10 points. Not bad for a team being held afloat by backup QB Shaun Hill.
A big part of their success has come from their tight end duo of Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. The reason why I have both of these gentlemen listed is because they are both practically identical targets for Hill. Pettigrew and Scheffler each have 30 targets, 22 and 20 receptions, and 249 yards and 171 yards, respectively. The only major difference between the two is that Scheffler has been more of a primary target in the Red Zone. St. Louis has notoriously struggled against the pass this season, and with Jahvid Best requiring a lot of attention up front it could lead to great weeks for either of these guys this weekend.
And here is who to sit in Week 5:
|Tony Moeaki @ IND
|Tony Moeaki has been quite the pleasant surprise on the Cinderella Chiefs so far this year, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Indianapolis will be out for blood after giving away last week’s game to Jacksonville and they are one of the best secondaries against the tight end. So far this year the Colts have only given up a TOTAL of 47 yards receiving to tight ends through 4 weeks of play. That is ridiculous.
|Greg Olsen @ Carolina
|This is more about the unavailability of Jay Cutler than Olsen’s skills. While the Bears calmly wait for Cutler to return from his concussion, you have to assume they are going to do their best to protect their aging backup QB, even if it means heavily focusing on the run. Unfortunate news for Olsen fans because there is no way they are going to let Todd Collins go deep… ever… if he can even throw it that far.
|Joel Dreessen /
Owen Daniels vs. NYG
|Houston has one of the best passing attacks out there, but their tight ends have been overlooked for the most part. I know Dreessen was the leading receiver in their game last week, but neither him nor Daniels has double digit catches or a 100+ yard game on the season. It seems that Dreessen’s production has been more because of the injury to Daniels than him becoming an everyday guy. So, for now, neither of these guys are touchable as the coaches waver between who is going to get the most reps, not to mention they are facing the Giants and their number two ranked passing defense.