Antonio Gates couldn't reclaim his TE1 status against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The veteran tight end finished with five catches for just 41 yards. Gates' yardage totals were mediocre at best, and he failed to find the end zone again. Gates now has just one score over the last seven weeks.
San Diego's lone touchdown went to second-year tight end Ladarius Green. Gates has improved upon his reception totals recently, but he simply can't put up big plays consistently. With wide receiver Keenan Allen stretching the field, Gates is mostly seeing quick checkdowns from Rivers that aren't resulting in enough for big weeks.
Fantasy impact: It was another poor outing for Gates owners. Cincinnati was a difficult matchup on paper, but Gates has been a shaky start since September. He'll be facing a softer Giants defense in Week 14, but he has struggled against equally generous defenses this season. Green may be the future of San Diego's offense. However, he isn't being used consistently enough to provide a substitution for Gates in fantasy football. Outside of PPR formats, it may be time to consider Gates as more of a TE2 moving forward.