Owen Daniels targeting Week 14 for return; tough to trust in fantasy

Bob Levey

The Texans tight end has been out since early October, and is hoping to be back the first week of December. We break down the fantasy implications.

Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels said Wednesday he is planning to return to action in the team's Week 14 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars Dec. 5, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. Daniels has not played since Oct. 6, when he suffered a fractured right fibula in a game against the San Francisco 49ers and was placed on the injured reserve with designation to return.

In five games on the season, Daniels has caught 24 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Garrett Graham, who has been the team's starter since Daniels went out, has 26 catches for 258 yards and three scores as well, though only 11 catches and 127 yards have come since Daniels' injury, and Graham hasn't scored since the starter went out.

Fantasy impact: Graham was a popular sleeper pick in the wake of Daniels' injury, but hasn't done better than 46 yards in the time since. Had he produced to expectations, it's possible the team would have been reluctant to rush Daniels back in what has become a lost season, but with Graham being so middling, and running back Arian Foster lost for the year, the team likely wants Daniels back as soon as possible.

That said, Daniels' Week 14 return will be less helpful for fantasy. Week 14 is the start of fantasy playoffs in most leagues, so Daniels owners will have to have survived without him, but still need a tight end of his caliber, and trust him enough to play him after two months of absence. There are certainly some teams that fit that bill, but by and large, he's unlikely to be a crucial fantasy piece down the stretch.

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