The PFW staff brings you its late-week fantasy tips for tight ends, including a good matchup for the Chargers' Antonio Gates and promising signs from Colts rookie Coby Fleener.
Jason Witten has had additional time to allow his lacerated spleen to rest. He was involved heavily in the Week One game (although not a ton as a receiver), but the extra rest and Witten’s toughness likely mean he’ll be an option to consider against the Seahawks.
For fantasy owners in deep leagues in need of depth, or even a spot-starter, at tight end, the Raiders’ Brandon Myers fits the bill vs. the Dolphins this week. Myers has been considered a blocking specialist throughout his career, but he caught five passes on five targets in Week One, and finished with 65 yards. With the Raiders’ wide-receiver corps still hampered by injuries, Myers should continue providing steady production. Texans TE Owen Daniels made four catches for 87 yards in Week One against Miami, and Myers is capable of having a similar day.
Chargers TE Antonio Gates, who should be starting in all formats, proved that he will likely be the team’s top receiver this season. He led San Diego in targets in their Monday-night win and once the offense gets on track, especially the running game, he will have potential for big numbers. Tennessee struggled to slow down the Patriots’ tight ends, so Week Two is another good matchup for Gates.
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta led Baltimore in targets (nine), catches (five) and receiving yards (73) in Week One. He definitely merits a waiver claim from TE-needy owners. Pitta became more involved in the offense as last season progressed, so his Week One production isn’t totally out of left field.
We’ve recommended Steelers TE Heath Miller a good deal over the years. He doesn’t put up huge numbers, but he’s a key part of the Steelers’ offense, and he could play an even bigger role this season, if Week One is any indication. Miller was targeted seven times, catching four passes for 50 yards and a TD. Moreover, he was open on another potential TD, but Broncos CB Tracy Porter tipped a low Ben Roethlisberger pass.
Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew led Detroit in targets in Week One, as Matthew Stafford threw 10 passes his way. Pettigrew (5-77-0 vs. St. Louis) hasn’t been a big-time TD threat, but the volume of passes thrown his way makes him valuable.
Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis was a nonfactor in 2011, one season removed from a career-high 10 TDs. The Jaguars said throughout the offseason that getting Lewis reestablished in the passing game was a top priority, and the early returns suggest they meant it. Lewis was terrific in the Week One loss to the Vikings, catching all five of the passes thrown his way for 62 yards and a score. For a player who struggled with drops and disappeared in the red zone a season ago, these are very encouraging signs. Lewis has a difficult matchup in Week Two against a stingy Houston “D,” but Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert won’t shy away from targeting his big, athletic TE. Lewis is a low-end fantasy starter this week.
Colts rookie Coby Fleener was invisible for the first 29-plus minutes of his first NFL start in Week One. However, Fleener became a major weapon in the club’s two-minute drill at the end of the first half, and he was targeted regularly by Colts QB (and college teammate) Andrew Luck in the second half. Fleener looked natural catching the ball and flashed a bit of his run-after-catch potential against the Bears, and he could take advantage of a Minnesota “D” that had a difficult time containing Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis in Week One.