Tony Scheffler :: Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
The last couple of weeks have been brutal on fantasy tight ends. First Jermichael Finley sprained his knee, causing him to miss two weeks. Then Chris Cooley went down with a chip in his ankle on a Monday night game at home against the Eagles. Then we find out that last week in Buffalo, in the biggest blow of them all, the Texans lost this season's top-scoring fantasy tight end, Owen Daniels, for the season with a torn ACL. While none are easy to replace, the tight end position is deeper than you might expect. Here are five candidates to pick up if injuries have taken their toll on your tight end:
1. Tony Scheffler, Broncos ... He followed up the second 100-yard game of his career with a one catch, nine-yard game against the Ravens, causing many of his owners to send him packing to the waiver wire. However, no tight end does well against Baltimore and he had been getting into the flow with Kyle Orton the three previous games.
2. Fred Davis, Redskins ... The former second-round pick takes over for the next month from Cooley and, after having limited opportunities thus far in his career, could get most of the nearly seven targets per game that were going to the injured Pro Bowler. A good sign: According to reports, Davis stayed with the team during the bye week to shore up his knowledge of the playbook.
3. Bo Scaife, Titans ... Like most of the Titans, Scaife has been a big disappointment. But Vince Young's old Texas Longhorns' teammate is finally healthy and has a good a chance to emerge as a useful fantasy tight end as anyone readily available.
4. Daniel Fells, Rams ... He scored an unconventional touchdown last week on a pass from kicker Josh Brown, but the virtually unknown Fells has been a bigger part of the Rams' offense than you might think. The fourth-year man from Cal-Davis is second on the team in scoring and is the only St. Louis player to score three times this season. He's not a great option, but you can certainly do worse with a stopgap.
5. Spencer Havner, Packers ... Jermichael Finley is expected back in the next couple of weeks, but Havner, the linebacker-turned-practice-squad-tight-end-turned-touchdown-machine has earned a look after his impressivbe Mike Vrabel impersonation over the last few weeks. Three touchdowns in his last two games, Havner already has more scores than Finley has in his two NFL seasons.
Allowing 100-Yard Receiving Games
One thing that you want to know when setting your lineups each week is who has the best matchups. What I usually do when someone asks me who to play is to see how others similar to the player in question fare in similar situations. Look solely at the stats lists and you'll see that five teams have yet to allow a single 100-yard receiving game thus far this season. However, look closer and you'll discover that the Vikings, not one of the original five, haven't allowed a wideout to go over the century mark (although tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ray Rice did). Here's a list of every team and not only how many 100-yard receiving games they've allowed, but also to whom they've allowed them.
Titans (6): Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Hines Ward, Wes Welker
Bengals (5): Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Mohamed Massaquoi, Steve Slaton*, Mike Wallace
Chiefs (5): Miles Austin, Brent Celek#, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Steve Smith (NYG)
Bears (4): Nate Burleson, Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, Chad Ochocinco
Saints (4): Brent Celek#, DeSean Jackson, Hakeem Nicks, Roddy White
49ers (4): Owen Daniels#, Tim Hightower*, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White
Cardinals (3): Andre Johnson, Mike Sims-Walker, Reggie Wayne
Falcons (3): Miles Austin, Randy Moss, Steve Smith (CAR)
Ravens (3): Vincent Jackson, Sidney Rice, Darren Sproles*
Browns (3): Santonio Holmes, Derrick Mason, Hines Ward
Lions (3): Donald Driver, Devery Henderson, Santana Moss
Dolphins (3): Dallas Clark#, Vincent Jackson, Jeremy Shockey#
Rams (3): Torry Holt, Greg Jennings, Mike Sims-Walker
Buccaneers (3): Patrick Crayton, Jeremy Maclin, Wes Welker
Cowboys (2): Mario Manningham, Steve Smith (NYG)
Colts (2): Ted Ginn Jr., T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Jaguars (2): Kenny Britt, Reggie Wayne
Vikings (2): Jermichael Finley#, Ray Rice*
Eagles (2): Zach Miller#, Kellen Winslow Jr.#
Steelers (2): Antonio Gates#, Sidney Rice
Chargers (2): Tony Scheffler#, Hines Ward
Bills (1): Randy Moss
Texans (1): Chad Ochocinco
Giants (1): Marques Colston
Raiders (1): Vincent Jackson
Seahawks (1): Larry Fitzgerald
Redskins (1): Dwayne Bowe
*running backs; #tight ends
Allowing 100-Yard Rushing Games
Here's the same idea as above only this time for running backs. As you see there are nine teams you should think twice about starting an average running back against, however the Bills, Raiders nad Bucs have shown that you can even play a backup against them and have a chance for a big points payoff.
Bills (5): Ronnie Brown, Thomas Jones, Jamal Lewis, Ryan Moats, Pierre Thomas
Buccaneers (4): Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson, Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams
Raiders (4): Ahmad Bradshaw, Correll Buckhalter, Shonn Greene, Thomas Jones
Lions (3): Mike Bell, Matt Forte, Steven Jackson
Texans (3): Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew
Browns (2): Ryan Grant, Adrian Peterson
Colts (2): Ronnie Brown, Steven Jackson
Packers (2): Cedric Benson, Steven Jackson
Patriots (2): Chris Johnson, Ray Rice
Rams (2): Julius Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew
Ravens (2): Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson
Redskins (2): Steven Jackson, Kevin Smith
Titans (2): Maurice Jones-Drew, Laurence Maroney
Bears (1): Cedric Benson
Bengals (1): Jerome Harrison
Cardinals (1): DeAngelo Williams
Chargers (1): Rashard Mendenhall
Falcons (1): Fred Taylor
Giants (1): Marion Barber
Jaguars (1): Chris Johnson
Panthers (1): Michael Turner
Saints (1): Michael Turner
Seahawks (1): Frank Gore
Although I'm a big baseball fan and could see the glow of the lights of both Yankee and Shea Stadiums from my childhood bedroom windows in the Bronx, you can't say that my family ever really got into the game past that of a casual observer. However there's an eerie coincidence between us and New York baseball: Every year there's been an addition to my immediate family, a New York team has been to the World Series. I figured this out last year and, with my wife and I expecting twins by the end of this year, the trend continues. Here's what I'm talking about:
|Dad born in 1926||New York Yankees lose to the Cardinals|
|Mom born in 1933||New York Giants defeat the Senators|
|Sister born in 1964||Yankees lose to the Cardinals|
|I was born in 1969||New York Mets defeat the Orioles|
|My brother-in-law born in 1961||Yankees defeat the Reds|
|My wife born in 1973||Mets lose to the A's|
|First nephew born in 1996||Yankees defeat the Braves|
|Second nephew born in 1999||Yankees defeat the Braves|
|My twins expected 2009||Yankees defeat the Phillies|
Don't forget to send me your questions and comments on lineups, trades, pickups, etc., through Twitter at @SI_DavidSabino. I'll be answering them throughout the week and will be there for you each fantasy football Sunday from 11 to 12:30 p.m. ET prior to early kickoffs.
Also check out the SI Fantasy Football Extra Podcast with yours truly and my co-host Richard Deitsch, every week on SI.com.