Let's be real for a second. The tight end position this year has been an abject disaster. If it hasn't been injuries, it's been inconsistency. For goodness sakes, Coby Fleener is a top-10 tight end in season-long standings. COBY. FLEENER.
I mean, who the hell has been good this year? Like, really, truly, honestly good. Greg Olsen has been healthy and relatively consistent which is why he is your TE1 on the year. But he's also been absolutely unspectacular the entire back half of the year, having eclipsed nine points just once since Week 8, where he had 11 points. (FYI, Ron Rivera said Olsen is good to go this week.)
Jimmy Graham has been a pleasant surprise but wildly inconsistent, scoring fewer than five points in seven of his 15 contests. I would say those are week killers, but this year? That's par for the course.
And going into championship week, the names you're likely rolling out at the tight end position are
gross anything but household names with injuries sidelining front-line stars. I'm legit playing Jeff Heuerman versus Dion Sims in the championship game of my 12-team league, that's how bad it is out there.
Jordan Reed (shoulder) didn't practice all week and is almost assuredly not going to play despite optimism earlier in the week from coach Jay Gruden.
Oh and why am I playing Heuerman you ask? What team does he even play for you ask? How do you even pronounce his name you ask??? Well he plays for Denver, where starter Virgil Green and backup A.J. Derby are both out with concussions. Heuerman (pronounced hire-men ... I think) is a second-year, third-round pick out of Ohio State. Denver has thrown to the tight end position 6.25 times per game over their last four games. Given the credentials and the potential targets, I'll roll with it and am fully at peace with any range of outcomes including a big fat zero.
Seriously, what the hell happened to tight end this year?
More news and notes ...
- Fantasy spin: Obviously you're playing Julio, but the murkier question is what to do with Taylor Gabriel. Does he really go back on your fantasy bench??? Gabriel has shockingly been the third-best fantasy receiver over the last four weeks, scoring six touchdowns in his last seven games (and more total fantasy points than Antonio Brown). Meanwhile, Carolina struggles mightily in the secondary and is consistently giving up huge downfield plays, an area Gabriel has excelled in lately.
- Bottom line: I don't know how you sit Gabriel at this point. He's a flex play at worst.
NEWS: Adrian Peterson (knee) was ruled out of Minnesota's game against Green Bay after missing practice all week. Peterson rushed six times for 22 yards versus Indy in Week 14.
- Bottom line: McKinnon isn't the worst play in the world in PPR formats having scored in double-digits for four consecutive weeks and averaging more than 14 points per game in that span.
NEWS: A.J. Green (hamstring) told reporters he's healthy enough to play Saturday versus Houston but was listed as questionable by the team.
- Fantasy spin: Green is awfully hard to trust this week. The Bengals aren't playing for anything and once Green gets his 36 yards and hits 1,000 on the season, I'm not sure he will be playing for anything either. If Green can hit the 1K mark, it would be his sixth consecutive season with a thousand or more to start his career, tying only Randy Moss.
- Bottom line: I wouldn't play Green but can understand if you want/need to.
- Fantasy spin: Oakland has been a LOT better defensively after starting the season on a historically bad pace, but the defense can still be had. The same could be said about Indy's defense and with Andrew Luck and Derek Carr back there slinging it, this game could be an extremely high-scoring affair. There should be plenty of opportunities for Moncrief.
- Bottom line: Moncrief is a strong play but comes in with a risky floor (think re-injury) and a massive ceiling (think two touchdowns).
Terrelle Pryor (finger) was limited in practice but should be good to go versus San Diego. He's been more bust than boom of late, but if you're fine with the risk Pryor can pop off for week-altering production as we've seen this year.