Sep 8,2014

Three Tight Ends to Tap

Tight_ends_wanted_lgMike Ditka was a tight end. I share a birthday with Da Coach. I love tight ends. That’s pretty easy to follow, right?

What’s not so easy is sifting through the waiver wire to find a serviceable TE. Once you get past the first and second tier guys, you’re really just praying for touchdowns. However, since three widely owned ‘Ends – Jordan Cameron (CLE), Tyler Eiftert (CIN), and Jordan Reed (WAS) – all went down with injuries on Sunday the hunt for the next Scott Chandler is on.

To help you out I’ve highlighted three guys who are owned in less than 50% of leagues. None of them are on track to becoming the next Orange Julius (or Mike Ditka, for that matter), but they might be enough to give your team an extra boost on a need-be basis.

DWDelanie Walker
The 30 year old vet showed he still has some gas left in the tank this past Sunday, hauling in one of two TD passes from a sharp looking Jake Locker. While Walker was only targeted four times, he did catch three of those balls and served as a solid red zone target for the Titans. His numbers were good enough to put him among the top 10 fantasy tight ends for the week, which is impressive considering he’s owned in less than half of Yahoo leagues. Coach Whisenhunt, who spent the first decade of his career as a tight ends coach, has thus far reinvigorated Tennessee’s offense. I expect big things in Week 2 when the Titans host the hapless Cowboys. He may not get a lot of looks, but against Dallas he’s got a great shot at hitting pay dirt.

NPNiles Paul
I went on record during the preseason saying that Jordan Reed wasn’t worth the drama. While he’s undeniably talented his durability issues make me squeamish. Sure enough, in less than two full quarters of play, Reed did a hammy and is expected to be out for “some time.” Fourth year man Niles Paul filled in for his injured teammate on Sunday, putting up a team high 86 yards on 4 targets. He did fumble in the end zone, but he’s the best the option Washington has right now. RG3, who looked unsure and shaky behind center, is likely to continue checking down until he gets more comfortable within Gruden’s offense. That means more opportunities down the middle for Paul. Plus, the #Breadskins get a great match-up in Week 2 against Jacksonville. Paul may not be the sexiest pick, but this Sunday he’s surprisingly serviceable.

GGGarrett Graham
The Texans tight end watched his team manhandle RG3 and Friends from the sidelines on Sunday due to a back injury. His status heading into Week 2 appears questionable. If he is cleared for action, however, he’ll be a sneaky start against the Raiders who let rookie Jace Amaro score in their Week 1 loss to the Jets. With Owen Daniels now in Baltimore, Graham is Houston’s go-to option over the middle. His targets should get an additional boost with game manager Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Owned in about a quarter of leagues, Graham is certainly worth keeping an eye on and has a surprising amount of sleeper appeal.