Jimmy Graham’s ceiling outweighs the potential that he won’t play.
Is starting Graham worth the risk?
The New Orleans Saints tight end is a game-time decision against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. If you plan to start him in fantasy football and he fails to suit up, you’ll end up with a goose egg—unless you also own another tight end on the Saints, Broncos or one in the Monday night game on the San Francisco 49ers or Arizona Cardinals.
But even if you don’t, Graham is still worth the risk, because while his absence could cost you, his presence would catapult you to victory.
Guerry Smith of CBS Sports reported that the All-Pro tight end expects to compete in the prime-time contest. Graham said on Friday:
If it were up to me, I'd play. I tried to play last week, but they decided to rest me because they didn't want me to have any long-term effects. I think I'm ready now, and hopefully they'll allow me to play.
But like Graham admitted, it isn’t his call. Interim coach Joe Vitt said of the playmaker’s recovery (via CBS Sports): “He went a little longer today. Now we have to wait and see how he does after practice with the swelling. He'll be evaluated by the trainers and the doctors this afternoon.”
Graham made the trip. Against a talented Broncos team, Drew Brees needs his most dynamic weapon. It’d be a surprise if the Saints held him out of action for the second straight week.
Even if his status is a toss-up, though, the mere chance that Graham will play is enough to roll the dice. In the first four weeks of the season prior to his injury, he reeled in 24 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns. And according to Yahoo! Sports, Denver has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends over the past five weeks.
Under those circumstances, Graham is a must-start.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.