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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 15: Tight ends

A few tight ends have picked up steam and are almost must-start options in fantasy. Is there enough upside for owners to put them in their lineups?

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The tight end spot got a little weaker in Week 14 with Rob Gronkowski going down with an ACL tear. He was a difference maker for a lot of fantasy owners and those owners will likely have a gaping hole in their lineups.

That doesn't mean those owners don't have options. Here are six guys who are not owned in 100 percent of leagues.


Charles Clay - The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't want to cover Clay on Sunday. When they did, they couldn't tackle him, leading to a big day of seven catches for 97 yards and two scores on 10 targets. It was the second week in a row that Clay posted a seven-catch,10-target game and he's picked it up lately. While his fantasy owners aren't guaranteed a repeat performance against the New England Patriots this week, he should be a solid start.

The Pats have been one of the most friendly matchups for tight ends, ranking just 27th in fantasy points allowed. Outside of the team thinking outside of the box and putting Aqib Talib on Jimmy Graham, tight ends have been carving them up. Jordan Cameron and the Cleveland Browns had 173 yards coming from tight ends in Week 14. Cameron caught a couple of scores and the Patriots have allowed four TDs to tight ends since their Week 10 bye.

Delanie Walker - He is listed as probable after missing Week 14 due to a concussion. Walker was on a roll for the Tennessee Titans before the concussion and he was quickly becoming one of Ryan Fitzpatrick's favorite targets. In Week 11, he caught all 10 of his targets for 91 yards and one score against the Indianapolis Colts.

This week he gets the best matchup possible, the Arizona Cardinals. They rank dead last in fantasy points allowed per game from tight ends. They've given up 10 TDs to tight ends in the last eight games and have allowed at least five receptions to tight ends in all but one of those eight outings. The matchup is too good to sit Walker in almost any league.

Dennis Pitta - He hit the ground running last week in his season debut, catching a TD as the highlight of his six-catch, 48-yard game against the Minnesota Vikings. Pitta is one of Joe Flacco's favorite targets and he should continue to be an outstanding option the rest of the way.

The Bailtmore Ravens don't have any possession receivers. Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown all tend to do their work down the field, which explains why Flacco's completion percentage is in the toilet. Pitta is a strong TE1 this week.


Garrett Graham - While it's good news that Owen Daniels won't play, Graham is heading into Week 15's game against the Colts with an injured hamstring. He didn't practice on Friday and will be a game-time decision for the divisional showdown.

It's a little tough to count on Graham based on that injury alone and it's too bad with his productive numbers. Over his last four games, Graham has led all tight ends in targets and over that span he's put up 23 catches and two scores. The Houston Texans just don't have enough upside as an entire offense, so the risk of an aggravation to his hamstring strain is a little too much to start him.

Jared Cook - As mentioned in Walker's section, the Cardinals have been giving up some big days. That didn't happen with Cook in Week 14 in a losing effort. He had just three catches for 49 yards for the second week in a row. Cook hasn't done much since his Week 1 eruption of seven catches, 141 yards and two scores. In fact, Cook has just two total TDs from Week 2 to Week 14. He missed a golden opportunity last week and he'll get a bad matchup on Sunday.

The Saints rank just sixth in points allowed to tight ends. They have really turned into a stiff pass defense and Cook is almost impossible to play.

Martellus Bennett - The Chicago Bears have two outstanding receivers and are going to command a lot of targets, which will make it tough for Bennett to put up big numbers. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are both outstanding in the red zone. A tight end really needs to put up numbers in the red zone or else it's likely going to lead to a quiet day. The Bears also have Matt Forte as a short-yardage option. Bennett is more of a TE2 in a so-so matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

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