While the news that New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez had returned this week to practice got fantasy owners excited about the possibility of having the point machine into their lineups, those hopes have since been cooled.
Which star is the best replacement for Aaron Hernandez?
Fantasy owners should expect little output from the young tight end even if he does play Sunday, and must look elsewhere for a starting tight end.
That’s where all of the following names come into play.
Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos
While veteran tight end Jacob Tamme hasn’t lived up to the hype that surrounded him coming into this season, his relationship with Peyton Manning has made him a constant target in the Denver Broncos' offense.
Tamme’s numbers aren’t consistent enough to warrant a play on most weeks, but the time missed by Hernandez has forced fantasy owners to reach deep yet again.
The good news is that Denver plays the New England Patriots in Week 5.
With the Patriots’ secondary ranked 25th in the league with 281.5 yards given up per game, Manning will find Tamme for at least five receptions and a touchdown.
Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills
There aren’t many flaws with the San Francisco 49ers defensive unit, but there has been a tendency for tight ends to get open along the sidelines against them.
With the Buffalo Bills coming to town, Scott Chandler will get a few great looks down the field.
Chandler is one of the more talented pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, and the Bills will lean heavily on him after the run game gets shut down by the stout 49ers run defenders.
At the end of the day, look for Chandler to have six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Owen Daniels, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are a run-first offense, but the passing game has leaned more and more upon the skilled hands of tight end Owen Daniels. With six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown last week, Daniels has taken his spot as Matt Schaub’s favorite target.
Sunday’s matchup against the New York Jets is great news for Daniels who will benefit from his tough run offense picking apart New York’s 31st-ranked run defense.
With the Jets forced to stack more in the box, the play action passing game will open up plenty of opportunities for Daniels all day. Expect seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown Sunday.
Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.