Like fate, the tight end position in fantasy football is often a cruel mistress. With the exception of the elite players, the production you get from your tight end is hard to predict and therefore rather maddening each week as you set your lineup.
And this week could promise to be a tough one for tight ends in fantasy football. Rob Gronkowski is injured, Heath Miller might as well have Terry Bradshaw throwing him passes, and even Jimmy Graham has a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
I feel your potential pain. So with that in mind, I decided to scour the waiver wire and uncover a few hidden gems for those of you in need of some help at the tight end position. I'm not guaranteeing any 75-yard, two-touchdown games here, but the following fellas should fill in quite nicely this week.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Here's what I like about Allen. For starters, he plays the Buffalo Bills, a team allowing 8.3 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week in standard-scoring leagues, 24th in the NFL.
For another, he should see the majority of the snaps at tight end since fellow rookie Coby Fleener may not play this week. From Colts beat writer Mike Chappell:
Arians: coby fleener and vontae davis will be limited in practice this week— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) November 21, 2012
And finally, Allen has been pretty good in recent weeks, with 18 catches for 231 yards in the past four games. He was also targeted 11 times last week, certainly a positive sign for his fantasy prospects. He's a gamble, but one that could pay off if the pickings are slim.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
You may think I'm overreacting with this selection. After all, the 16 fantasy points Lewis offered for owners in standard-scoring leagues last year represents a third of the total points he has this year.
"OUTLIER!" you're surely screaming from atop a chair, shaking your fist.
And you're not done ranting, I'm guessing. You think I'm going to point out that the Tennessee Titans give up 11.2 fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends, 31st in the NFL, to which you'll note that they haven't allowed a touchdown in five games.
How astute of you, dear reader. But I counter with this simple tweet from ESPN's John Clayton:
Big news out of Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert and WR Laurent Robinson go on injured reserve. Chad Henne is the QB for rest of season.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) November 21, 2012
Given that Lewis had his huge week with Henne under center, I don't think assuming Lewis can be more productive with a new quarterback throwing passes is like asking for lightning to strike. Lewis isn't a slam dunk choice, but he's worth a speculative add if you are in trouble at tight end.
Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders
For the life of me, I can't figure out why this guy remains so under the radar of the majority of fantasy owners. Despite being the seventh-ranked tight end this year, he's owned in just 19.9 percent of ESPN leagues and 54 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Which tight end are you most likely to add?
At least some of the Yahoo! folks have caught on.
Myers has 19 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns in the past three weeks. He's only scored less than five fantasy points for owners three times this year. And he plays the Cincinnati Bengals, a team allowing 9.3 fantasy points to opposing tight ends (27th in the NFL).
If this guy is available in your league, add him to your freaking team already! He's good, for heaven's sake! Exclamation points!
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.