Fantasy

Jimmy Graham: New Orleans Saints TE Remains a Fantasy Stud Despite Injury

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 30: Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints fights off Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 28-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2012

After missing the New Orleans Saints' Week 7 matchup with an ankle injury, star tight end Jimmy Graham returned to the lineup Sunday night against the Denver Broncos in Week 8 but looked hampered by his ailing limb.

Fantasy football owners shouldn’t panic, though. Graham will remain a legitimate option in every league moving forward.

Despite coming in garbage time, the young TE made starting him worth it by racking up five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. At one of the thinner positions when it comes to elite players, Graham owners must ride the star for the rest of the season.

As Graham continues to get healthy and return to the form he had before the ankle injury, franchise QB Drew Brees will continue to look his way—especially in the end zone—and return his TE to the fantasy elite.

While Graham still isn’t on the same level as New England Patriots star TE Rob Gronkowski, the New Orleans pass catcher will be a fantasy stud for the rest of 2012.

 

What to Expect in Week 9

Graham only had five catches Sunday night, but he was targeted by Brees 10 times through the game. In a normal matchup where the Saints star is healthy, Graham would have snagged at least eight of those targets and had a monster game.

With an ankle injury hurting both Graham’s ability to run routes and willingness to fight for the ball once it was in the air, it was clear that the team needed to give the young player more time to heal.

New Orleans is hoping that Graham will spend the next week getting back into game shape as fast as possible—especially with a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles looming on Monday Night Football.

The national stage always brings the best out in both the Saints and Eagles, so New Orleans will be desperate to use Graham against Philadelphia's linebacker group that has struggled at times against tight ends.

With enough talent on the field at any time to keep Philadelphia’s defense honest and in their zones, the Saints will look to their tall pass-catching tight end early and often.

Fantasy owners should expect a monstrous statistical game in Week 9 and every week going forward.

 

Final Week 9 Predicted Stat Line: nine catches for 111 yards and a touchdown

 

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.

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