Week 12 was a down week of sorts in the receiving world as, again, no tight end surpassed 100 yards receiving, but at least Jason Witten came close with 99 yards.
Although there wasn’t a tremendous amount of yards on the field it doesn’t mean that there weren’t solid performances… and guess who picked most of them? This guy did…well, for the most part at least. Unlike most weeks I didn’t make one glaring error, thanks to the touchdown catch by Joel Dreessen, because without that a 3 catch for 15 yard day was the alternative. That was only the beginning of my good fortune as Jacob “Dallas Clark” Tamme had 7 catches, for the third week in a row, for 64 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Pettigrew put in a solid effort, albeit in a losing cause, on Thanksgiving day as he raked in 5 catches for 67 yards. On the opposite end of the spectrum I was golden as all of my sit picks (Benjamin Watson, Anthony Fasano, and Leonard Pope) went for a combined 6 catches for 50 yards, including what I would call the “Bluto Blutarski Performance” by Pope with 0 catches for 0 yards.
Since I finally got back on track last week I am going to do my best to keep the streak alive by going with guys trying to get their own teams back on track in Week 13. At this point in the season no mistakes can be made, fantasy or otherwise, so I see these guys as the ones to remain solid and help lead their teams, and your fantasy squad, to glory.
So here are my TE Start / Sit Picks for Week 13…
Kevin Boss vs. WAS
This is more about the injury-riddled offense of the Giants than Kevin Boss’ prominence as an offensive threat, although he has been on a roll as of late. Boss has scored three touchdowns in his last four games and when he catches the ball he has produced. In the four games since the Giants Bye Week, Boss has two games of 74+ yds receiving and has averaged 16 yards per reception over that time. Those are solid numbers for any receiver, let alone a tight end on a wide receiver loaded team.
In Week 13, Boss gets to square off against the Washington Redskins in a pivotal Division game. The Redskins have struggled against the pass all season and with key receivers Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith battling injuries it is going to come down to Mario Manningham and Kevin Boss to pick up the slack. Boss Is coming off a particularly strong game against Jacksonville where he had 74 receiving yards and a score while the Redskins allowed the Vikings’ Visanthe Shiancoe to lead the game in receiving yards a week ago as they continue to struggle against tight ends.
Jason Witten @ IND
How crazy would it be for the “Boos” to continue to rain down in Indianapolis against a 3-8 Cowboys team? It could happen. Unlikely, but it could still happen. Despite the Cowboys season being essentially a wash, there has been a bright spot in tight end Jason Witten. Right now Witten has more receptions and targets than Miles Austin, as well as more receiving yards than both Roy E. Williams and rookie standout Dez Bryant. Not too shabby for a tight end on another receiver heavy squad. It should also be noted that Witten has exceeded 90+ yards three times this season, which is great on a team with so many losses and a backup QB at the helms.
Indianapolis has been great against opposing tight ends all year this year, but they have been suspect at times in the Red Zone. The problem with facing a team with nothing to lose, like the Cowboys, is that they are very dangerous and certain aspects of their game can be overlooked. It is not doubt that Bryant and Austin will be getting plenty of attention down the field, but what that leaves open is Witten in the seam. With a veteran like Jon Kitna at QB you know he will lookf to his safety valve early and often against the speedy pass rush of the Colts D Line.
Todd Heap vs PIT
Consistency and production from… Todd Heap? Really? This year Heap has surpassed 40 yards receiving a whopping seven times, and has gone over 60 yds four times. With all of the weapons that the Ravens have at their disposal it is surprising to me that one of their most reliable options would be Todd Heap. Remember what a big deal it was when they signed T.J. Houshmanzadeh? Well, Heap has 20 more catches, 200+ more yards, and 3 more TDs than Housh. Normally, it would be hard to put any TE up against Pittsburgh’s defense, but this is an exception. Heap has 5 TDs in his last six games, and the Pittsburgh defense has surrendered 4 TDs to opposing tight ends over the same period. Heap will get his looks in the Red Zone, especially off of the play fake with the defense poised to stuff the rushing attack of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.
And here is who to sit in Week 13:
Jimmy Graham @ CIN
Someone posted on this article a week or so ago regarding the talents of a one Jimmy Graham. To be honest, had no idea who the guy was, but after some investigating I discovered he has been filling in for the injured Jeremy Shockey, and doing a decent job at it as well with 11 catches for 144 yards and a score over the last three games. One would assume going into a game against the massively slumping Bengals this would be a slam dunk week for the guy, but despite all of the things the Bengals have done wrong all year, the one thing they have done right is cover opposing tight ends. In their past 6 games, all losses, the Bengals have not conceded a 75+ yard game or a single TD to an opposing tight end. The Colts’ Jacob Tamme had the most success with a 73 yard day, but with the exception of that game they have held all others under 50 yards receiving, made all the more impressive considering the level of talent they have played against (Dustin Keller, Tony Gonzalez, Anthony Fasano, Heath Miller) and the amount of points they have given up (186) over that time.
Zach Miller @ SD
Leg injuries aside this is simply a no go for launch. Miller was on an early pace to give Vernon Davis, Marcedes Lewis, and Antonio Gates a run for best scoring tight end, but ever since his leg injury and inconsistency at QB for the Raiders, Miller has completely fallen off of the radar. Ever since he hurt his leg in Week 8 against the Seahawks the Raiders have yet been able to get Miller back on track. From Week 8-12, Miller has only 4 catches for 23 yards and no touchdowns. Although he has managed to practice this week, and will most likely start come the weekend, he’s still a huge risk, especially against the San Diego secondary (ranked 2nd overall). You have to remember it is December and Philip Rivers remains undefeated in the month of December…not to mention the fact that SD has held their last two opponents (Indy and Denver) to just 14 points a piece.
Visanthe Shiancoe vs. BUF
I believe this could be the last time I mention this guy. I know he is playing against the Bills, but I think the appeal of playing against the Bills has worn off as they have played every single team tight and down to the wire. Just a week ago they were one catch away from upsetting the Steelers and have looked good with the resurgence of Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The Bills have a bit of swagger and will be out to prove themselves again this week againt Shiancoe and the Vikes, which is only partly why I think Shiancoe is a mistake in Week 13. The other reason is the healthy return of Sidney Rice. Rice bring the speed and size element that the Vikings offense has been lacking, and with that sort of weapon on the field it is bound to draw the attention of Brett Favre. Expect a significant drop in targets to Shiancoe, especially in the Red Zone, and it may be time to make a move for a marquee tight end before playoff time if he can’t deliver against the Bills, who have given up the most TDs to tight ends on the season.
Fuente: Fantasy Knuckleheads