Week 7 TE Rankings: Start Sit ~ Vinsanthe the Vulture

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Week 7 TE Rankings: Start Sit ~ Vinsanthe the Vulture

Shiancoe2Every week it seems we are talking about what a weird week we saw in the NFL, then the next week it gets strange all over again. This week we saw a veritable snow storm of Rice all over the field in Minnesota, from the Ravens’ Ray Rice dismantling the league’s top rush defense, to the Vikings wide receiver, Sidney Rice, who put up 176 yards receiving. While Ray Rice scored twice, Sidney Rice saw both his TD opportunities go to tight end Vinsanthe Shiancoe. This kid is simply a TD vulture at TE. He was one of the calls I got wrong in my Sit picks for week 6. The Ravens have a strong defense against the TE position, and they did keep him under 45 yards with only four catches, but 50% of those were in the endzone. Shiancoe has leapt up to 7th in the TE rankings in fantasy points. He leads the league is touchdowns at his position with 5. What’s more interesting is that he’s done it on only 17 receptions. That’s a TD every 3.4 receptions. Heath Miller who has 4 TDs, has twice as many receptions. Shiancoe’s also only had 164 yards receiving, less than half what the top receivers have gained already. So for Shiancoe and his fantasy owners, he is either feast or famine. He only gets about 3 receptions a week, so the question is always, will he score? Five TDs in 6 games makes him tough to sit, but if all he’s getting is TDs with no receptions or yards, this might be a good time to trade to someone who will only see his 5 TDs, coming off a two TD game. So if you own him, it’s time to start spinning his value. Next week he might have 1 reception for 5 yards.

–Week 6 Review–

What I go right: Four of my Starts ended in the top 13, but that’s not saying much, as only Greg Olsen found the endzone. So I consider that a poor day in my book. On the Sit side it was a mixed bag. Of the four I mentioned, only Shiancoe scored. Brent Celek had a decent day with 75 yards, but as expected, he did not score against the Raiders. My recommendation to sit Antonio Gates against the Broncos proved accurate. I pegged him for 5-6 catches and about 50 yards. He got 5 catches for 70 yards, and even at that, all 5 receptions came after safety Brian Dawkins got hurt and had to leave the game.

What I got wrong: Most of my starts failed to cash in as statistics said they ought to. How does Tom Brady throw 6 TD passes and not one goes to Ben Watson? That’s just not right. On the Sit side, only Shiancoe stands out as my bonehead pick. As mentioned above, 4 of my 5 starts did not score, so I didn’t fair well in the Starts this week.

Two teams have to be very happy this week knowing that no tight end will score on them; the Titans and Lions. They’ve been pitiful vs. TEs. Thank goodness for bye weeks. Along with the Lions and Titans, the Broncos, Jags, Seahawks and Ravens all get time off in week 7. That means Bo Scaife, Brandon Pettigrew, Marcedes Lewis, John Carlson, Tony Scheffler and Todd Heap are all out this week.

–Week 7 ~ TE Start ‘em–

Not that anyone who owns him is considering not starting him, but if you own Dallas Clark, you have to be salivating over a match-up with the Rams…

Lock of the Week ~ Heath Miller, PIT

MIL243606You have to like Miller’s chances of making it 3 weeks n a row with a TD. He faces a Minnesota Vikings defense that’s worst against the TE position, despite keeping Todd Heap in check last week. Ben Roethlisberger loves this guy, and he’s got the surest hands of any tight end out there. His reception to target ratio is the best of any TE with 40 or more targets. He’s been targeted 40 times and hauled in 34 of them. He’s still unowned in an amazing 39% of ESPN leagues. Yahoo is only about 12%. He will score this week!

Chris Cooley, WAS – Cooley’s had an up and down season so far, but he’s already matched last year’s TD total of two. The Redskins’ offensive line has been banged up, and Cooley’s been blocking more than catching. The team as a whole has not been good offensively. However, a couple of things bode well for Cooley this week; a new play caller in Sherm Lewis, and a game against the league’s second worst team vs. tight ends, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Greg Olsen, CHI – Olsen has now scored in his last two games, though he is still carrying the stigma of early season production woes. He can be had as easily now as he could a couple of weeks ago, but you can still buy low on him. If you own Shiancoe, trade him for Olsen. Olsen has a chance to make it three weeks in a row with a score. He faces a Cincy defense who has allowed the second most receptions to tight ends. Olsen tied for the team lead with Devin Hester in targets last week with 10. You gotta like a TE that gets as many looks as the team’s top WR.

Zach Miller, OAK – I’m going against the numbers on this one. The Jets haven’t given up much in the way of fantasy production to tight ends yet, but I think Miller has a good chance to do some damage. QB JaMarcus Russell has some confidence coming off an upset win against the Eagles, and Miller is his top target (35 times so far). Miller had his first TD last week. Even without TDs he’s still fifth in yardage for TEs, and he averages about 60 yards a game. I expect Russell to use him as a safety valve often against the Jets defense.

–Week 7 TE – Sit ‘em–

Risk/Reward – Sit of the Week ~ Owen Daniels, HOU

Houston Texans 2009 Football HeadshotsLast week advised benching Antonio Gates, now this week I want to bench the current top fantasy TE? Yeah, I must be insane. By the numbers, Daniels is a high risk play this week against a San Francisco 49ers defense ranked #1 vs. the tight end position. Even when their D had a meltdown against the Falcons, they still kept Tony Gonzalez out of the endzone. They are allowing less than 35 yards a game to TEs, and have yet to give up a TD. If you own Daniels, you probably have to start him, but if you have another decent option, this may be the week to go with plan B.

Anthony Fasano, MIA - Fasano got some of his luster back by scoring against the Jets defense before the bye week, but he won’t be defying the odds this week. The New Orleans Saints defense is for real and they’re giving up nothing to TEs so far. They’ve surrendered less than 40 yards a game and no TDs. The Dolphin drowns this week.

Dustin Keller, NYJ – Last week Keller should have had a big game against the Bills who had already given up 4 TDs to tight ends in 5 games. Though he was targeted a team high, 10 times, he only caught 2 of those passes. As long as Mark Sanchez continues to struggle, Keller will struggle, and the Oakland Raiders, as bad as they’ve been, have yet to surrender a TD to a tight end in 2009. Keller’s a great TE, but this week he’s a low percentage play.

Jeremy Shockey, NOS – Shockey has been hit or miss all season. This week looks to be another miss. The Dolphins are giving up less than 4 receptions per game to tight ends. Unless your name is Shiancoe, that’s not likely to mean fantasy production. Drew Brees has a lot of weapons, so when he calls Shockey’s number is always a guessing game, and this week the odds are against him.

–Current Statistical Top 30 TE Rankings through Week 6 (Actual stats)–

Player

Team

G

Targets

Rec

Yards

TDs

Fantasy Points

1. Owen Daniels

HOU

6

47

32

374

4

61.4

2. Dallas Clark

IND

5

42

35

441

2

56.1

3. Heath Miller

PIT

6

40

34

315

4

55.5

4. Antonio Gates

SD

5

44

29

419

2

53.9

5. Kellen Winslow

TB

6

46

29

286

4

52.6

6. Brent Celek

PHI

5

39

30

378

2

49.8

7. Visanthe Shiancoe

MIN

6

22

17

164

5

46.4

8. Tony Gonzalez

ATL

5

37

23

267

3

44.7

9. Vernon Davis

SF

5

39

22

262

3

44.2

10. Chris Cooley

WAS

6

41

27

311

2

43.1

11. John Carlson

SEA

6

41

24

294

2

41.4

12. Zach Miller

OAK

6

35

21

354

1

41.4

13. Todd Heap

BAL

6

34

24

262

2

38.2

14. Jeremy Shockey

NO

5

29

22

199

3

37.9

15. Ben Watson

NE

6

19

14

187

3

36.7

16. Tony Scheffler

DEN

6

19

16

217

2

33.7

17. Greg Olsen

CHI

5

35

15

151

3

33.1

18. Jason Witten

DAL

5

33

28

259

1

31.9

19. Marcedes Lewis

JAC

6

29

15

197

2

31.7

20. Jermichael Finley

GB

5

20

16

244

1

30.4

21. Sean Ryan

KC

6

25

15

135

2

25.5

22. Dustin Keller

NYJ

6

32

14

187

1

24.7

23. Daniel Fells

STL

6

19

11

117

2

23.7

24. Dante Rosario

CAR

5

15

8

117

2

23.7

25. Jeff King

CAR

5

11

9

95

2

21.5

26. Will Heller

DET

6

16

9

131

1

19.1

27. Kellen Davis

CHI

5

8

7

58

2

17.8

28. Randy McMichael

STL

6

28

16

176

0

17.6

29. Kevin Boss

NYG

5

16

11

161

0

16.1

30. Brandon Pettigrew

DET

6

28

13

158

0

15.8

Other reads:

Week 7 – RB Start Sit

Week 6 – Fantasy Wrap Up

Weekly Start Sit Advice Column

What I was listening to while writing this week’s article; my friends from Italy, Lacuna Coil:

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