According to the PFW staff's late-week fantasy tips for tight ends, Owen Daniels and Jermaine Gresham could be in for big weeks, while Aaron Hernandez and Dustin Keller should be watched closely as they each come off an injury.
Owen Daniels is quietly off to the best start of his career, and sources say that despite him leading the team in receptions last season, his explosiveness wasn’t all the way back after multiple knee injuries. That is not the case anymore, as Daniels, who is running better and getting open more downfield, has been Houston’s most consistent receiving threat this season. Make sure he is in your lineup in Week Six, as the Texans have a favorable matchup against a Green Bay club that has struggled to cover tight ends at times this season.
Though Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham didn’t have a TD catch in the first meeting against Cleveland, he had a pair of touchdowns against the Browns in 2011. With Browns CB Joe Haden returning to the lineup in Week Six, the Bengals could look to stay away from the talented defender, which could mean an uptick in opportunities for Gresham.
Don’t be afraid to use Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez in his first game off an ankle injury, assuming it’s this Sunday vs. Seattle. In his first game back last season after missing two games, Hernandez had five catches for 56 yards vs. the Jets. He averaged 5.6 catches a game last year and had six grabs in Week One this year.
Assuming Jets TE Dustin Keller is finally healed from a hamstring injury, he should be inserted into fantasy lineups. Keller would be the Jets’ best pass catcher with Santonio Holmes on injured reserve, and we know he is a favorite target of Mark Sanchez. Jeff Cumberland has gotten extra chances — and he even got a touchdown vs. Houston — but those passes will go to Keller when he returns.
After being targeted 24 times in the Ravens' first two games, TE Dennis Pitta has had just 13 passes thrown his way since. Pitta is still a viable fantasy performer — QB Joe Flacco looks for him in key situations, and the Ravens’ passing game is much better than a season ago. But he’s not a slam-dunk start in Week Six against a very good Dallas pass defense.
Seahawks TE Zach Miller could be a very interesting fantasy sleeper worth considering this Sunday against the Patriots. Having been used more in a blocking role since being acquired in free agency before last season, Miller, who put up some impressive receiving numbers previously in Oakland, had his most productive game in a Seahawks uniform last week in the win in Carolina. Miller had 59 yards receiving vs. the Panthers, including a 30-yarder and a 23-yarder. It’s also worth noting that New England’s defense allowed the combination of Broncos TEs Joel Dreesen and Jacob Tamme 10-71-1 last Sunday in the Pats’ victory over Denver.
Dwayne Allen, not Coby Fleener, continues to be the more impressive Colts rookie TE through four weeks. Allen had his best game as a pro in Week Five, with four receptions for 38 yards and a score in a winning effort against the Packers. Allen is a stronger in-line blocker than Fleener, which has led to him taking snaps away from Fleener for the past several weeks. It’s likely too soon to pick up Allen and insert him into your lineup, but now might be a good time to hit the waiver wire and stash him.
For owners digging for a TE fill-in this week, the Raiders’ Brandon Myers is an option that should be considered. He was averaging five catches for 69 yards through Week Three before being held to one catch for 22 yards in Week Four vs. the Broncos. The Falcons could be shorthanded at linebacker vs. Oakland on Sunday, as SLB Stephen Nicholas did not practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, which bodes well for Myers.
More than half of the 12 TD passes allowed by the Titans this season have been to tight ends, with Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph the latest to get into the endzone against Tennessee on Sunday. Steelers TE Heath Miller merits serious starting consideration in all formats, given this matchup.
The Giants’ Martellus Bennett (knee) still could play, but he sat out practice Wednesday. Keep an eye on his status through the weekend.
- Jermaine Gresham
- Aaron Hernandez
- Dustin Keller
- Owen Daniels