Week 15 fantasy tips: TEs

Posted Dec. 15, 2011 @ 4:58 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

It's a short tip section for tight ends this week, but if you're an Aaron Hernandez owner like I am and have been depressed when you see what Rob Gronkowski's been doing, there's hope this week. The same thing goes for Jermichael Finley.

The Patriots' inability to find a legit No. 3 receiver this season may be under the spotlight this weekend if Deion Branch is limited. Chad Ochocinco has been a bust, Julian Edelman is seeing more snaps on defense than offense and Tiquan Underwood hasn't received many targets. If someone is going to step up, it will be TE Aaron Hernandez, who is a de facto receiver with his ability to play out of the slot and his speed in the open field. If someone finds a way to slow Rob Gronkowski, Hernandez will be the beneficiary, and if Branch isn't 100 percent, Tom Brady may look to Hernandez more. Branch, if he plays, only makes a No. 3 or injury fill-in. However, Ochocinco, Edelman and Underwood don't have any starter value right now. Hernandez is easily a top-10 fantasy TE this week.

With Greg Jennings (knee) expected to be placed in mothballs until the playoffs, the consensus in Green Bay is that TE Jermichael Finley and WR Jordy Nelson stand to benefit the most as far as more fantasy opportunities are concerned. Nelson actually has more receiving yards and TDs than Jennings already and has been as rock-solid a fantasy weapon as you can have. Finley, on the other hand, has been used a lot more as a decoy, but look for that to change in the next couple of games. A factor worth noting with Finley is that the Chiefs' safeties are just terrible. They both had all kinds of problems with the Jets' Dustin Keller last week and over the past four weeks the Chiefs are allowing opposing TEs 59 yards and 0.8 TDs per game, putting them in the bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed. Finley and Nelson are always fantasy must-starts, despite Finley's disappointing season.