Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate broke out with a monster, two-touchdown game on Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers, but fantasy football owners should be wary of ditching one of their receivers to pick him up for Week 4.
Tate has always been talented, but to this point in his young career, he hasn't shown the kind of consistent production I look for in a fantasy wide receiver.
Let's take a look at what Tate brings to the table.
Tate isn't a prototypical wide receiver in the modern NFL. At 5' 10" and 202 pounds, he isn't going to dominate most cornerbacks when the ball is in the air.
He's more like a poor man's version of Jeremy Maclin than Calvin Johnson, though to this point in his career, he has yet produce Maclin-like numbers.
Tate had a productive college career at Notre Dame, hauling in 157 passes for 2,702 yards and 26 touchdowns in three seasons.
NFL.com's draft profile of Tate provides a glimpse of his weaknesses:
His overall explosiveness is questionable. Is more of a speed-builder than a sudden guy, odd for a shorter receiver. Takes a while to eat up cushions. Top end speed is good but not elite. Can get deep on occasion but doesn’t appear to be a consistent downfield threat.
From what we've seen from him thus far in his young career, this analysis has proven to be spot on.
Tate is currently listed as the No. 2 receiver on the Seahawks' depth chart, according to Ourlads.com.
The Seahawks aren't exactly loaded at the wide receiver position, either, and seeing that Braylon Edwards is the one behind him on the chart, it's clear that Tate is going to stay in the starting rotation this year.
That would seem to indicate that Tate's production should skyrocket, especially after his three-catch, two-touchdown performance on prime time against the Packers.
When you take a look at the makeup of the Seahawks—especially the fact that they feature a rookie quarterback—and Tate's own history, it's more likely that he'll continue putting up average numbers, while sprinkling in a few games here and there where he busts out with a big game.
In Tate's three-year career in the NFL, his highest reception total in one game is five—a feat he accomplished exactly one time. The most receiving yardage Tate has ever accumulated in his career is 61, and he's only hauled in more than 50 yards in a game twice.
Even more damning as far as Tate's fantasy outlook is concerned is the fact that the Seahawks just don't pass the ball that often. So far in 2012, through two games, this team has passed the ball just 54 times, compared to 74 rushing attempts.
Tate and the Seahawks travel to face the St. Louis Rams in Week 4—a team with a dangerous, ball-hawking secondary that could cause the team to employ an even more conservative gameplan. From there, they stay on the road to face the Carolina Panthers in Week 5 and then go home again to host the New England Patriots in Week 6.
Tate may have a few games a year where he busts out for big-time fantasy points, but the truth is that those games are going to be few and far between.
The Seahawks have a terrific defense that will keep them in most games. Given the fact that Russell Wilson is still so green and Lynch and Robert Turbin are so effective in the running game, Pete Carroll will err on the side of caution most of the time.
Tate isn't going to become the next fantasy football stud, and you should stay away from him unless you are desperate for a receiver.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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