In the late-week fantasy tips for tight ends, the PFW staff says the health of Dustin Keller bears watching, Coby Fleener is the guy in Indy, and you should grab Dennis Pitta if he's somehow still available in your league.
Colts rookie TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen have both had their chances to make plays in the early stages of the season. Fleener had a nice NFL debut in Chicago, hauling in six receptions for 82 yards, while Allen was the first to find the endzone, with a three-yard TD catch last week against the Vikings. It is worth mentioning, though, that Allen crossed the goal line one play after Fleener dropped a catchable TD from QB Andrew Luck. Fleener, who was drafted one round ahead of Allen this past April, didn’t impress as much as his teammate in the offseason, but he is clearly the preferred option (14 targets for Fleener the first two games vs. one target for Allen) for Luck at the moment.
Keep an eye on Jets TE Dustin Keller over the next 48 hours. Keller has done damage against the Dolphins in six career games (54.7 receiving yards per game and four total touchdowns), and the Dolphins struggled to slow down the Raiders’ tight ends in Week Two. If Keller is a no-go and you need an injury fill-in, Jeff Cumberland is a player worth watching. He will start if Keller (hamstring) can’t play, and Cumberland has some intriguing receiving abilities. He would only be worthy for a start in deep leagues, but certainly keep an eye on Cumberland this weekend if Keller is still out.
Bills TE Scott Chandler has a receiving touchdown in each of Buffalo’s first two games, and had a 43-yard catch against the Chiefs. Without WR David Nelson, Ryan Fitzpatrick needs another target to step up in the middle of the field, and Chandler rarely misses a snap. He’s a solid No. 2 tight end and is worth a start against the Browns in deep leagues.
If he’s still on the waiver wire, be sure to claim Ravens TE Dennis Pitta. He’s been targeted 24 times in the first two games, including 15 in Week Two at Philadelphia. He’s simply getting too many opportunities to ignore.
Browns TE Benjamin Watson has been targeted three times in two games. If he’s on your bench, it might be time to look for another option.
One possible beneficiary of the Giants being without RB Ahmad Bradshaw and WR Hakeem Nicks on Thursday could be suddenly emerging TE Martellus Bennett. Some are still worried that Bennett will be prone to his Dallas inconsistencies, a distinct possibility. But in this matchup, he might fare well. The Panthers have allowed some big plays to tight ends the first two weeks of the season, and Bennett is seeing regular targets — and perhaps more with Nicks down.
With Cardinals TE Todd Heap (knee) looking very iffy for the game this Sunday vs. the Eagles, backup Rob Housler could be a fantasy sleeper worth considering. It appears the Cardinals are making a concerted effort to get their tight ends involved in the offense, as evidenced by Heap’s team-leading five catches for 62 yards in the Week Two win in New England. With opposing defenses expected to continue using double coverage on star WR Larry Fitzgerald (a shocking one catch for four yards in Week Two), there figure to be plenty of opportunities in the offing for the Cardinals’ other receivers. Housler is a receiving tight end many close observers believe is capable of a breakout game at any time.
Is Seahawks TE Anthony McCoy, the team’s most productive receiver last week (5-41-1), the Real McCoy as far as being a viable fantasy option? With health issues continuing to hold back fellow TE Zach Miller, McCoy is certainly worth monitoring. Said one Seahawks source of McCoy: “His problem has always been keeping the switch on, but it looks like he’s really matured. The TD catch he had last week is a prime example. The team was in a three-TE set, and that was the kind of pass Anthony formerly had all kinds of trouble handling.”
Chiefs TE Kevin Boss (head) hasn’t practiced early this week. He shouldn’t start for you, either.