Vernon Davis' Fantasy Outlook After Jordan Reed's Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2017

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 01: Tight end Vernon Davis #85 of the Washington Redskins makes a catch against strong safety Landon Collins #21 of the New York Giants in the third quarter at FedExField on January 1, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The injury bug has bitten Washington tight end Jordan Reed once again after he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington announced Reed is doubtful to return, leaving Vernon Davis in line to assume the starting role. But what does that mean for fantasy owners?

It means that Davis should be an immediate priority for you on the waiver wire. He's still readily available after entering Sunday owned in 12 percent of all Yahoo fantasy leagues. 

In the four games that Reed missed in 2016, Davis accumulated 14 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown. That averages out to 6.2 fantasy points in standard leagues, which is around the average for a low-end TE1. 

Davis had one of his best games of the 2017 season in Week 3 when Reed sat out with a rib injury. The two-time Pro Bowler had scored a touchdown and had 58 receiving yards on five receptions against the Oakland Raiders

Over the past three games, with both Reed and Davis healthy, Davis has had more receiving yards (221-122) despite being targeted only 11 times. 

Steve Andress of 4-for-4 Football noted after Week 7 Davis appeared to be on the verge of usurping Reed on the depth chart:

Stephen Andress @SportsByStephen

Vernon Davis is inching ever so close to being the starting TE over Jordan Reed in Washington for fantasy purposes.

In other words, while Davis isn't going to post Rob Gronkowski numbers, he will offer the sort of production that should make him a viable starter, especially if you had Reed on your roster.

Plus, Reed's consistent injuries mean that Davis is one of the rare tight end handcuffs you want to have available. Generally speaking, there aren't many tight end handcuffs you want, but certain situations and players lend themselves to being solid handcuffs. Davis is one of them given Reed's injury history and obvious rapport with Kirk Cousins.

Obviously, if you are set at tight end, you can prioritize other position of needs on waivers this week. But if you've been struggling to get production from your tight ends, Davis is as good of a short-term option as you're going to find.