I’m starting to get heartburn over this column. Seriously. I have no idea what’s going on anymore. Week 7 was another week where not a single tight end had 100+ yards, and the only one who came close was Jason Witten who continues his hotness on a losing team with 95 yards and a score.
For the second week in a row my big debacle came down to frickin’ Benjamin Watson. I show you no love; you burn me. I say you’re studly; you decide you only want to catch one ball for 18 yards. Thanks. Thanks for nothing. You’re dead to me Benjamin Watson. On a more positive note, Vernon Davis kept his touchdown streak alive with his fourth in a row and Aaron Hernandez put in a solid performance between the 20s with 5 catches for 54 yards as he continued his disappearing act in the Red Zone once again. If it weren’t for an overturned touchdown call I could be kicking my own ass over Visanthe Shiancoe, instead I can celebrate over Brett’s broken ankle and my own success. The Browns starting lineman caught just as many catches, and had more touchdowns, from Drew Brees than Jeremy Shockey did. Lastly, John Carlson did a lot of waving at the ball as he had only one catch for 3 yards on six targets. I will consequently be waving you from my fantasy team.
This week is a hellish one in fantasy world. Six big time teams, with big time tight ends, are all on Bye weeks. If you are like me, you are doing a whole lot of waiver wire shopping this week as you are forced to bench one of these guys: Brent Celek, Tony Gonzalez, Greg Olsen, Benjamin Watson, Kevin Boss, or Todd Heap. So this week I am providing you with the best, and worst of whatever’s left. Here are my Start/Sit picks for week 8…
|Brandon Pettigrew vs. WAS
|Brandon Pettigrew’s stuck has been pretty high all season, but with the return of starting QB Matthew Stafford it could rise even higher this week. Stafford will be looking to get into a rhythm and there is no better place to look than your sure handed tight end. Expect a lot of short range passes over the middle to set up Calvin Johnson on the outside, but those short catches tend to add up quickly in PPR leagues and Pettigrew has had 6, or more, catches in four of the last five games.
This weekend Pettigrew and the Lions face a Washington Redskins defense that has struggled mightily against the pass all season where they rank 31st in the league surrendering a shade under 300 yds/g. Pettigrew only has a single touchdown on the year but his PPR should be high because over the past 3 games the Redskins have given up a total of 17 catches for 149 yds to opposing tight ends.
|Jason Witten vs. JAX
|In my brain Jason Witten has been an up and down choice. I’m really high on him one week, then the polar opposite the next. I just cannot figure him, or the Cowboys, out at all, until now… I hope.
As frightening as this must be for you to read, and for me to write, but Jon Kitna may be the best thing to happen to Witten fantasy owners yet this year. Like the aforementioned return of Matthew Stafford, the Cowboys will be in a similar situation where they are using a new QB and utilizing their talented tight end as a constant escape outlet. I expect Jason Witten’s PPR to be relatively high, especially based upon how him and Kitna seemed to connect in the second half of week 7, and he is definitely going to be a target when they get close to the goal line. Witten will keep up his current form where he has a TD in 2 of the last 3 games and went for 9 catches for 95 yds last week. Jacksonville shouldn’t provide too too much resistance as they have allowed touchdowns to tight ends in two of the last 4 games.
|Dustin Keller vs. GB
|So what if Dustin Keller hasn’t scored in 2 games. He still has 5 scores on the year and is the most reliable set of hands the Jets have down the center of the field. Now, Keller is coming fresh off of a Bye week where he let his ailing wrist heal and is as close to 100% as can be and won’t stay out of the End Zone for very long.
Green Bay tends to take away the big play with their big time playmakers on the outside like Charles Woodson, but they have been a bit negligent when it comes to guys bursting off of the line. They have, or should have, given up a TD in their last two contests to tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe (wrongly called back) and Anthony Fasano, and on top of that in the two weeks prior to those games they gave up a combined 21 catches for 223 yards to Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, and Chris Cooley. If this trend continues it could be a grand day out for Keller and the Sanchize.
And here is who to sit in Week 8:
|Owen Daniels @ IND
|Owen Daniels has definitely picked up his production since returning to 100% over the past few weeks, but he has a rough road ahead of him in Indianapolis. Daniels has been solid the past two weeks with and average of 4 catches for 60 yards, but has yet to find the end zone all year. I truly do not see that happening this weekend as Indianapolis will be shot out of a canon looking for revenge after their Week 1 loss to this very Houston team. Plus the Colts have yet to give up more than 50 yards receiving and have only allowed a single TD to a Tight End on the year (to…Mercedes Lewis), effectively shutting down Kevin Boss, Tony Moeaki, Chris Cooley, and Daniels himself.
|Vernon Davis vs. DEN
|Here is a situation where there are simply too many variables to be a sure thing. Granted Davis has scored in four straight games and is an absolute beast whenever the ball is thrown in his general vicinity, but still there may be too many peripheral issues for him to be a sure thing. First off, they are playing in London and who knows what will come out of that. Second, he is nursing an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice for some of this week. Lastly, Alex Smith, no David Carr, wait, Troy Smith? Like Ohio State Troy Smith? Yes, that one, will be starting at QB for the Niners. London + Bad Ankle + Troy Smith = a whole bunch of question marks.
|Heath Miller @ NO
|I really, sincerely, thought that the return of Ben Roethlisberger was going to be a great thing for Heath Miller, but alas, it has just been more of the same. Besides the one touchdown catch he had in Big Ben’s return, it has simply been status quo for Mr. Miller. He has yet to break the 50-yard mark in a game and has not had a game where he has made more than 4 catches. Instead of Roethlisberger’s return meaning a more varied passing attack where he is able to spread the ball, it seems to me that the underneath game is going to be for the running backs, and is simply an option, rather than an integral part of their offense. I’m just afraid that two weeks ago could have been the ceiling for Heath Miller’s season (2 catches for 50 yds and a TD), not to mention that this week he faces a stout passing defense in the Superdome that held the upstart Browns tight end Benjamin Watson to just a single catch on the day.