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Week 8: Re-evaluating the Tight Ends

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Welcome to Week 8 of the Brew Crew Corner. We are now in the second half of the fantasy season and as NFL teams look to position themselves for the playoffs, fantasy owners hope that their players can carry them into the postseason as well. This week we'll take a look at the tight end position, which has underperformed somewhat this season.

Points per game for tight ends are down compared to last year. The Top 12 starting tight ends are averaging 12.3 points per game compared to 14.1 in 2011. It may not seem like much of a difference but some of the top tight ends drafted are not in the top spots so far this year.

Last year at this time, Jimmy Graham was leading all tight ends with 139 fantasy points and a 19.9 points per game average. Graham missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury but has less than half of the fantasy points from this time last season with just 66 and is 12th at tight end averaging 13.2 points per game. Rob Gronkowski and Owen Daniels are the only tight ends that were in the top ten at tight end this time last year and are playing better but the tight end position as a whole his scoring less.

There are only four players that finished 2011 in the Top 10 that are currently among those top sports. They are Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis and Jason Witten. Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Pettigrew, Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley and Dustin Keller have all slipped out of the top ten this year. I do believe Graham will bounce back to finish in the Top 5, but Gates and Finley both appear to be on a drastic decline.

There have been some bright spots at tight end as Tony Gonzalez and Rob Gronkowski are performing better than they were last season through seven weeks. Heath Miller, who finished 18th or worse the past two seasons, is back to being a target for Big Ben. Jermaine Gresham is performing like we thought he would and is currently 8th among tight ends. We also have seen Martellus Bennett and Dennis Pitta move into the top ten. Last year’s sleeper tight end Lance Kendricks was a bust but this year’s sleeper Kyle Rudolph is 6th among tight ends despite scoring zero points this week.

I think tight ends were drafted too early this year as we saw Graham going in the first round and in some leagues even Gronkowski.  Those who waited to draft a tight end have received better value, so for.

Teams off on a bye in week 8: Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Texans

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.

Chris Johnson- 18 carries for 195 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Maybe it was the horrible Bills defense which has allowed four running backs now to go over 100 yards this season or the fact that Jamie Harper also scored two touchdowns in this game? Maybe Johnson is back to his old self and he will be a Top 10 running back for the rest of the season? Johnson has finally put together back-to-back productive games. He will have another week with a good matchup and then I want to see how he does against the Bears and Dolphins. I'm still not trusting CJOK.

Vincent Jackson- 7 receptions for 216 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. I will admit that I was a skeptic about Jackson this season as he went from San Diego to Tampa Bay. This season he has had 22 or more fantasy points in foru of six games and is 8th among wide receivers in fantasy points per game at 18.7.

Drew Brees- 27 for 37 for 377 passing yards and 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Brees has now passed for 325 yards or more in five of six6 games this year with three or more touchdowns in every game except Week 2 against the Panthers.  Brees is on pace to break his record of passing yards in a season that he set last year and could come close to 50 touchdowns.
 
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.

Calvin Johnson- 3 receptions for 34 yards. Is it too early to start fearing that the Madden Curse has impacted Johnson's performance? Johnson dropped his first two passes and then couldn't catch the touchdown passes thrown his way late in the game. Johnson has just one touchdown all season. Even though his average fantasy points per game isn't bad at 16.8, it still isn't nearly close to the 23.6 average he had at this time last year.

Christian Ponder- 8-for-17 for 58 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Some quarterbacks pass for more yards on a single series than Ponder had all game. The lone touchdown kept Ponder from having negative fantasy points as he finished with three total points.

Kyle Rudolph and Vernon Davis- 0 catches. They both finished with nothing, nada, zilch and that is what you got for your tight end spot this week.



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