Detroit’s tight end situation is a mess for Week 8, while New Orleans may not know until around kickoff if it will have its All-Pro on the field. Here’s the latest on those situations and some TE injuries.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers
Questionable – Shoulder
Unlike last week, Graham practiced to some degree every day. So even though he’s Questionable again, he seems a safer bet to play this week compared to last. He’s still probably going to be a game-time decision, and this time the Saints don’t play until Sunday night. So the timing of the game definitely needs to be taken into consideration. Also don’t forget that while Graham did play last week, he was nothing more than a decoy (2 targets, 0 catches). He also hasn’t been talking to anyone, so there’s really no way to gauge how Graham’s shoulder feels or how the Saints plan on using him against the Packers. Graham is the No. 1 fantasy TE without question, but how much of a stomach do you have for another potential scoreless showing?
Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears at New England Patriots
Probable – Hamstring
Bennett put a scare into his fantasy owners earlier this week when he did not practice on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury and followed that up with only limited participation on Thursday. It looks like you can breathe easier, however, as Bennett was a full go on Friday and is listed as Probable. The Bears’ offense has struggled at times, but Bennett’s been pretty consistent. He’s currently fourth at his position in fantasy points and is a must-start TE1.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs vs. St. Louis Rams
Probable – Ribs
Kelce’s dealing with some sore ribs and he was limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately, he was a full go on Friday and is listed as Probable for today’s game. Kelce has been a top 10 fantasy TE thus far, but his production has been up and down at times too. He oozes TE1 upside, but the Chiefs just don’t seem to be ready to trust him as a blocker, which has impacted his snap count. As long as Kelce isn’t a surprise last-minute scratch, he should be in your lineup because he’s a red-zone threat who also is capable of breaking off a big play any time he get his hands on the ball.
Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew, TEs, Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons
Out – Hamstring; Out – Ankle; Doubtful – Foot
Now is not a good time to be a Lions TE, as Ebron and Fauria have already been ruled out for today’s game in London. Pettigrew isn’t in much better shape, as his foot injury held him out of practice this week. He’s listed as Doubtful and even if he does play, Pettigrew is not worth investing in despite a seemingly appealing matchup against the Falcons’ porous defense. With Reggie Bush Doubtful and Calvin Johnson Questionable, Matthew Stafford is going to lean heavily on Joique Bell and Golden Tate.
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars
Probable – Knee
Clay finally got into the end zone last week against Chicago and has certainly been more involved in the offense since the Dolphins’ bye week. His knee injury is still limiting him in practice, but he’s listed as Probable, so he should be out there today against the Jaguars. Clay’s not back to must-start TE1 status yet, but I can get on board with using him in 2-TE leagues or as a flex in deeper leagues.
Already Ruled Out:
Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens – Daniels appeared on the injury report on Wednesday after not practicing, but word out of Ravens camp was that their starting TE was “fine.” Apparently that wasn’t the case, as coach John Harbaugh announced on Friday that Daniels underwent a procedure on his knee and would miss today’s game. Whether the team’s second-leading receiver misses more than one game remains to be seen, but with Daniels sidelined and Dennis Pitta on injured reserve (hip), the Ravens most likely will start third-round pick Crockett Gillmore today. For now, there’s no reason to drop Daniels nor is there a reason to rush and add Gillmore to your roster.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – Rudolph underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Sept. 23. The projected time frame for his recovery is a minimum of six weeks, which would put a potential return around mid-November. If you have room, I would keep Rudolph; just understand this will be a prolonged absence.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Lewis is on the injured reserve/designated for return list because of a high ankle sprain. Unless you have an IR spot and/or are smitten with Lewis, there’s no reason to hold onto him or even stash him away.