Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 9: Charles Clay on Thursday Night Football

Mike Ehrmann

The Dolphins tight end has been a surprise fantasy producer so far this year. Can he keep it going Thursday night against the Bengals? We break down the fantasy implications.

Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay has been one of the surprise producers at tight end in 2013, with three touchdowns as well as a hundred-yard game under his belt already. Thursday night, he looks to keep his good season going against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Clay burst onto the scene in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts, hauling in five passes for 109 yards. Then, in Weeks 4, 5, and 7 -- sandwiched around the team's Week 6 bye -- the tight end had touchdowns in three straight games. He's had at least 40 receiving yards in five of his seven games this season.

Fantasy impact: In ESPN's preseason tight end rankings, Clay came in at 39 among tight ends, behind such luminaries as David Ausberry, Luke Stocker and Anthony Fasano. In short, not many people saw his 2013 production coming.

While he hasn't had many truly huge games, Clay has put himself firmly in the low-end TE1/high-end TE2 tier so far this season. Now, facing a Bengals defense that is a better run-stopper than pass-stopper, and with wide receiver Brandon Gibson lost for the year, Clay should be a pretty safe TE1 start in Week 9.

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