Week 8 Start Em Sit Em: Antonio Gates and More Resurgent TEs You Must Start

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIOctober 26, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium on September 11, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As a general rule, I advise people to bench struggling stars. Obviously, we know what they are capable of, but so do opposing defenses.

So, when someone starts a season with a couple of weeks that are less than stellar, don't be loyal to them just because they are a big name. It's a mistake that can cost you weeks, and also cost you the chance to sign a sleeper star or two.

But if you leave these guys on your roster (or someone else drops them), then you should feel free to play them once they prove that the ability to put up big numbers is still there.

These tight ends have struggled at times this season, but they have all shown enough to make them good plays again.

Antonio Gates

Gates' problem is that he misses a lot of time with injuries. When he's on the field, he's generally an effective tight end.

Against the Jets, he caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. You really can't ask for more out of a tight end than that.

Also, keep in mind that that was against the Jets. Granted, the Chiefs have done a good job against tight ends this year, but if Gates can put up those numbers against New York, I'll take my chances with him.

Fred Davis

Davis has had a really up-and-down year. Basically, his numbers have been directly dependent on whether or not Chris Cooley was playing.

Now, Cooley is out for the year. Davis' numbers will benefit.

Over the last two games, Davis has caught 12 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. We can reasonably expect a pace close to that one for the rest of the year.

Heath Miller

While Davis and Gates are capable of big games, Miller is more of the solid type. He's not going to push 100 yards, but he's a reliable option for 50, and a great red zone target.

Realistically, that is a solid amount of production out of a tight end. Although, every season there are some tight ends that put up big numbers which can mirror what the top receivers put up.

But as a rule, the tight end position is about being a touchdown vulture. Miller is exactly that, and a reliable if not spectacular yardage option.

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