Buying or Selling Dustin Keller as a Must-Start Fantasy Option

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IOctober 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Tim Tebow #15 leads Dustin Keller #81 and Stephen Hill #84 of the New York Jets off the field during their season opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Prior to the 2012 season, Dustin Keller's past numbers indicated that the New York Jets tight end would be in for a marvelous fantasy football season. 

Since 2009, his targets, receptions and receiving yards have increased every season, leading to a rather respectable 2011 that saw the former Purdue Boilermaker catch 65 passes on 116 targets for 815 yards and five touchdowns. 

But Keller dealt with a hamstring injury to start the year, and Gang Green's offensive deficiencies and relatively underwhelming defense made them look like a team that would struggle to win six or seven games. 

However, the skilled pass-catcher is healthy, and the Jets' offense, well, it's played rather well against two weak defenses in Week 6 and Week 7. 

Against the Indianapolis Colts, Keller caught one pass for six yards. 

His fantasy viability? 

Disappointing and non-existent. 

But after a fabulous seven-catch, 93-yard, one-touchdown performance against a downtrodden and often confused Patriots secondary, there is one logical question: Is Keller a must-start as the season progresses?

Oh yeah. 

Here's why. 

Keller didn't appear to be impeded whatsoever by his hamstring.

That's the most important. 

He was targeted seven times, which was four fewer than wideout Jeremy Kerley, who led the team. 

Although Kerley seems to be emerging as a favorite target of Sanchez, the Jets quarterback certainly has a better rapport with Keller. 

Remember, he led the team in targets a year ago. 

In the coming weeks, New York plays the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams—teams with stingy secondaries. 

However, Mark Sanchez will at least move the football in the Jets' offense, and frankly, Keller, in all likelihood, is his most reliable option. 

Even if the Jets' offense struggles against any one of those defenses, Keller's a frequently utilized check-down option, and New York could find themselves in a position to throw the football often. 

If you're a PPR league, Keller's a sneaky option, a guy that should approach double digits in points nearly every week. 

When he's on the field, he'll get the ball.

No, he's not an elite tight end, but he has potential in New York's offense and should be a steady fantasy option for the remainder of 2012. 

Right now, you've got to buy Keller. 



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