According to the PFW staff's late-week fantasy tips for tight ends, the Titans' coordinator change could pay big dividends for Jared Cook, while steady veterans Jermaine Gresham, Brandon Pettigrew and Jacob Tamme should continue to produce.
No Titans offensive skill-position player stands to benefit more from the firing of coordinator Chris Palmer than Jared Cook. Cook, who had griped about his playing time in recent weeks, has a tough matchup against the Texans Sunday, though it is worth noting that Houston has allowed 16 receptions, 171 yards and a pair of scores to tight ends in the past two weeks.
Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham is second on the club in targets (67), catches (47) and yards (558) and has a TD in two of the past three weeks. In Week 13, he faces a San Diego defense that has allowed 20 TD passes in 11 games. He’s definitely a fine starting option.
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta was targeted nine times in Week 12, catching 6-42-1 in the win at San Diego. The nine targets are the most since his 15-target game in Week Two at Philadelphia. Pitta’s a reasonable start in Week 13 vs. Pittsburgh.
While Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew has had some disappointing moments this season, he’s still a key part of the Detroit offense, as evidenced by six games of nine targets or more. He remains a strong starting option.
Buccaneers TE Dallas Clark has made his way back into fantasy relevancy in recent weeks. He has made 11 catches for 123 yards and a TD in the past two games. Clark’s 65 yards in Week 12 vs. the Falcons were a season high. He is worth adding in deeper leagues, but is only worth considering for a start in very deep leagues this week at Denver. The Broncos have held tight ends to four catches for 57 and no TDs in the past two games after Carolina’s Greg Olsen, Cincinnati’s Jermaine Gresham and San Diego’s Antonio Gates each had big weeks vs. Denver earlier this season.
Broncos TE Jacob Tamme had his second touchdown of the season last week and, along with the rest of the Denver offense, faces a favorable matchup with the Buccaneers in Week 13, in a game that could be a shootout. The more possessions the Broncos get, the more opportunities for Tamme, who is a good safety valve for Peyton Manning, especiall between the 20s.
You might want to take a long fantasy look at Cardinals TE Rob Housler, who has shown some intriguing fantasy flashes in the past month or so. Housler, who can stretch the seam and has good hands, has caught at least five passes in three of the last five games, including a breakout 8-82 performance in Week 12 vs. the Rams. He could be an interesting fantasy option going up against a Jets defense that surrendered 49 points and 475 yards in the Thanksgiving night loss to the Patriots.
After being virtually ignored as a receiver for the second time this season in the Week 12 win vs. the Saints in favor of fellow TE Delanie Walker, who had catches of 45 and 25 yards in the 31-21 victory, it would not be a surprise if Vernon Davis is revived as a bona fide fantasy force this Sunday against the Rams. Davis, who looked like he was ready to retain his role as the Niners’ primary receiver in Week 11 (6-83-1 in the win over the Bears), will be going up against a Rams defense that had trouble stopping Housler last Sunday.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (concussion) didn’t practice Wednesday but will play this weekend, per the team. He should be a decent play a week after getting more involved in the offense.
In deep leagues, you may want to take a flier on Dolphins TE-FB Charles Clay, who broke out in Week 12 with six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Miami has wanted to get him more involved, and they will be throwing often against New England.
Colts rookie TE Coby Fleener is ready to roll after missing the past four games because of a shoulder injury. Fleener has had a rather quiet rookie season, however, and it would be best to take a wait-and-see approach before inserting him into your lineup.