Folks, I'm afraid I have some bad news—it's starting to look very unlikely that Jimmy Graham will play this weekend. For fantasy owners, this is troubling news indeed.
The troubling signs started Wednesday (via ESPN's Adam Schefter):
No practice today for WR Greg Jennings and TE Jimmy Graham.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2012
That was a double-dose of bad news for any owners who have both Graham and Jennings on the roster. Things didn't get any better on Thursday, when Schefter had more grim news (via Rotoworld's Evan Silva):
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on SportsCenter that there's "not a lot of optimism" about Jimmy Graham's (ankle) status for Week 7.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) October 18, 2012
Anytime you lose a tight end like Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Vernon Davis it really hurts, because your team is essentially losing a wide receiver's production at a position which is traditionally difficult to project.
But fantasy football isn't for the feint of heart—that might be debatable, actually—and there's only one thing Graham owners can do.
But how do we deal with it? What should we do?
First of all, you should have a decent backup tight end on the roster. But let's say that player has a brutal matchup or is stuck on a bye week. Then what?
Chances are, there's a really good tight end available to you. You should look for one of these guys to fill the void:
- Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: Owned in 75 percent of ESPN leagues and 81 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He's been a Top-Five fantasy tight end this year.
- Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers: Owned in 67.3 percent of ESPN leagues and 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The Cincinnati Bengals give up 9.3 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week.
- Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills: Owned in 57.1 percent of ESPN leagues and 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Tennessee Titans give up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in NFL by a wide margin (16.6 per week).
- Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals: Owned in 43.9 percent of ESPN leagues and 74 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Has been a Top-10 fantasy tight end this season.
- Martellus Bennett, New York Giants: Owned in 74.5 percent of ESPN leagues and 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Washington Redskins allow 12.8 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week (31st in NFL).
- Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans: Owned in 78.6 percent of ESPN leagues and 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The one player who has made a consistent impact on the Titans' offense.
And if you happen to be in a deeper league and nobody from the above group is available, take a look at Brandon Myers of the Oakland Raiders. While he hasn't scored a touchdown this year, he's had 55 receiving yards in four of five games and is owned in just two percent of ESPN leagues and 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
See, all is not lost, Jimmy Graham owners. You can deal with it. And this week, it looks like you'll have to do so.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets never need help from the refs on the goal line.