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Week 10 lineup calls: Tight ends
The “Automatic Starts” list is an ever-evolving short list of players who immediately rate as plays in your fantasy lineup.
If you’re in a deeper league where you hold a second tight end, you may occasionally try to find that matchup play and substitute for them. But, you generally start them and flex your mental muscles finding separation between running back and wide receiver options.
This week, that short list (Antonio Gates and the Chargers are off) welcomes a new member. Jacob Tamme has been a beast in two games since taking over for the injured Dallas Clark. Peyton Manning clearly trusts the tight end, working the ball to him between the 20s, on critical third-down plays and in the red zone. Tamme led all receivers with 17 targets in Week 9.
Welcome to the exclusive club. Fantasy owners expect to see you renew your membership in Week 10.
Top 5 Tight Ends
(other than Vernon Davis, Jacob Tamme and Jason Witten)
Brandon Pettigrew at Buffalo
Shaun Hill returns to the lineup as the Lions and fans/fantasy owners await final word on Matthew Stafford’s shoulder. Pettigrew grew markedly under Hill, and regularly ranked among the weekly target leaders. He’s on the radar again this weekend against Buffalo, a defense that has been run over on the ground (Jahvid Best, anyone?) and obliterated in the red zone.
Just look at the splits. The Bills allow only 193.4 passing yards per game, but have surrendered 17 passing touchdowns with just one interception. They don’t have anyone to body up on Pettigrew in the red zone.
Marcedes Lewis vs. Houston
Lewis ranks second to Antonio Gates in touchdown receptions among tight ends with seven and has established himself as a “go-to” receiver for David Garrard. Lewis has caught multiple passes in every game this season, averaging 40.8 receiving yards per game.
I shan’t belabor the point. The Texans have struggled markedly against the pass this season (298.3 yards and 2.5 touchdowns allowed per game), and the loss of DeMeco Ryans has left a gaping hole in the heart of the defense.
Visanthe Shiancoe at Chicago
Shiancoe caught four passes for 66 yards and scored for the first time since Week 1 in last week’s thrilling comeback against the Cardinals. He’s clearly No. 2 in the pecking order behind Percy Harvin (third, if you count the recent surge from Adrian Peterson in the passing game). Shiancoe has not been the dominant force that we anticipated coming out of the 2009 season, but he has caught multiple passes in six of eight games. He’s a top play this week in the divisional showdown on Lake Michigan.
Chris Cooley vs. Philadelphia
He hasn’t regained “elite” status in his return from injury, but Cooley has reestablished himself as a viable, consistent low-end TE1 option this season. Cooley has caught three or more passes in seven of eight games this season while averaging 55 receiving yards per contest. We certainly can’t anticipate red zone targets from the Washington offense, but we can expect Cooley to be active between the 20s. Cooley did score one of his two touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 4.
Kellen Winslow vs. Carolina
Winslow’s obviously been a disappointment to fantasy owners in standard leagues, though he’s come through fairly well for those in PPR leagues. He’s caught three or more passes in seven of eight games this season, although Winslow has only registered more than 44 receiving yards twice. Despite his struggles this season, I’m putting Winslow on the radar this weekend against the Panthers. This squad has been beset by myriad of injuries, and the Tampa Bay defense should control this contest. As such, Josh Freeman and the offense will have opportunities (190.3 passing yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns allowed per game).
Joel Dreessen at Jacksonville
Dreessen stepped in nicely for the injured Owen Daniels last week. He caught five passes for 66 yards (his second five-reception game of the season) in the loss to San Diego and has scored twice in 2010. The struggles of the Jacksonville secondary have been well-chronicled, so I shan’t belabor the point here. Dreessen is especially important to Matt Schaub right now, as Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter have struggled markedly. As such, Schaub is turning to Arian Foster and Dreessen more frequently. Heath Miller vs. New England
I’m torn on where to place Miller on this list for Week 10. Obviously, there is need for the tight ends to stay home and block given the injuries affecting the Pittsburgh offensive line. However, I can’t overlook the success of opposing passing games against this defense through eight weeks (268.9 passing yards and 1.6 touchdowns allowed per game). Roethlisberger will have his shots downfield, and Miller has recorded multiple receptions in every game this season.
Tony Moeaki at Denver
The rookie out of Iowa has not scored since Week 3, but he remains a frequent, reliable target for Matt Cassel. Moeaki has caught three or more passes in seven of eight games while averaging 44 receiving yards. He’s not a world-beater, but he’s worthy of a look-see this week against the Denver pass defense (204.4 yards and 1.5 touchdowns allowed per game).
Brent Celek at Washington
Celek rates among the league’s top candidates for “Bust of the Year” through nine weeks. He’s yet to record more than 47 receiving yards in a single contest and was actually shut out altogether in Week 9. Michael Vick’s return to the lineup doesn’t help, as Celek’s production was actually higher with Kevin Kolb under center. Celek did score a touchdown in the first meeting between the teams, but again, that was with Kolb under center.
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