Hello fellow titans of the intangible. Hopefully you all enjoyed a solid week one outing. It appears as though I did a great job last week telling you who not to start but many of my endorsements from week one fell a bit short. Despite their setbacks, there’s no one on the board I’m willing to demote quite yet. Fortunately, week two saw many a young, unsung hero rise to the occasion so there’s more fresh meat on the market. For the best of the best in week two let’s keep this target train rollin’.
Explanation of Target Breakdown Scoring System
In addition to my comments, my enthusiasm for each player’s potential will be measured out of five tacos. Since we live in America where more is better, the more tacos I rate a player, the more I like him. Why tacos you ask? Well our goal in this fake world is to fill our rosters with so many dominating players that we effortlessly pummel our hapless victims. This pummeling inevitably manifests itself into delight equivalent to a vinegar stroke. If you’ve ever watched The League you’ll know what vinegar strokes are and since this is a family show, I won’t go into an in-depth explanation. You’ll also know that the term was coined by “Taco,” which provides the logic for my use of tacos as positive denotations. That and the fact that I obviously love a good taco. It makes sense in my head. Let’s get started.
This Week’s Top Ten
Danny Amendola– Danny has looked more like Denny’s lately, serving up greasy, fat dishes at an affordable price. Through two weeks, Amendola leads the league in receptions (20), is second in targets (25), and third in receiving yards (230), regardless of position. These totals were no doubt helped by his monstrous 15 catch, 160 yard and one touchdown performance against the regressing Redskins on Sunday. I like Amendola even more now that he’s playing for a proven coach who will put him the right position as well as the fact that Bradford looks healthy and solid (3rd in QB rating). My advice would be to submit a waiver claim, say your prayers, and don’t forget to end them with a hearty Amen-dola.
Donnie Avery– I was taking the offseason buzz about Avery with a grain of salt but now I’m starting to feel my ignorance about his value hit me like a kick in the groin. After finding the endzone last week, Avery followed up with a ten target, nine catch, 111 yard performance in Luck’s first win. Through two weeks, Avery is quietly tied with Antonio Brown for 19th in targets among all players. He seems to be a natural fit in Indy and there’s no question that the Colts will be airing it out early and often which should leave plenty of opportunities for the fourth year man out of Houston. Avery’s value is augmented as long as Collie is out of the lineup and given Austin’s injury history I think that’s a pretty safe bet. Luck is only going to get better and Avery is only going to get harder to get. Snag him while you can.
Brian Hartline– Hartline’s not going to be your lifeline, particularly in standard scoring leagues, but he’s the #1 receiver in a Joe Philbin run offense and as long as Tannehill continues to improve there’s value in the man. He’s more of a default option than anything else but he’s been consistent over the past two weeks, garnering 8 targets in week one and 12 in week two, converting those looks into 12 catches (13th) and 161 yards (13th). He’s even worse off than Donnie Avery in terms of his scoring potential but he’s certainly worth flex consideration in PPR formats, especially when the bye weeks hit.
Brandon Lloyd/Julian Edelman- After his second mediocre performance (5, 69; 8,60) I was starting to worry that Brandon was more like Lloyd Christmas than the deep threat playmaker the Patriots are paying him to be. After the loss of Aaron Hernandez however, I’m no longer feeling Dumb and Dumber for drafting him as he will surely get an increased amount of looks over the coming weeks. After two weeks, Lloyd is leading the patriots in targets with 21 (5th among receivers) and one has to think that the TDs will come as Brady and Pats work to get their groove back. As far as Edelman is concerned, the word on the street is that he has surpassed Wes Welker on the depth chart. This was certainly corroborated by Edelman’s snap count last week (75 to 63) and the fact that Edelman, not Welker, was on the field more often in two WR sets. I have absolutely no evidence to support this theory but when Welker was trying to play hardball in the offseason over his contract extension I had a feeling that the mad hoodie was going to try to make a harsh point to Welker. I see his and Edelman’s situation like a senior to freshman situation on a HS football team. Edelman can arguably do the same amount of damage as Welker and the Patriots know they can lock down Edelman for a few more years for a cheaper price whereas this is presumably it for Welker. It’s no surprise that Belichek is trying to move on, even with Welker still wearing a Patriots jersey. That being said, I do expect a lot from Welker too, at least while Hernandez is out. **Update** It looks like the Pats will be signing the much beleaguered Kellen Winslow. While Winslow is certainly worth a speculative FA add, Winslow is not familiar with the McDaniel’s style offense and I would bet that the Pat’s proven players are more likely to see increased production ahead of Winslow.
Brandon LaFell– Brandon has Lafallen into a great position this year and I see his stock rising as the weeks go on. The banged upedness of Steve Smith has left LaFell with a lot of opportunities and regardless of Smith’s health, I see LaFell’s production increasing as the year goes on. Capitalizing on his team high eight targets, LaFell, caught six for 90 yards. Through two games, LaFell has posted similar numbers to Steve Smith (13 to 15 targets, 9 to 10 receptions, and 155 to 210 yards respectively) and his lone touchdown gives the FPPG edge to LaFell so far this season. Even Olson’s production pales in comparison to that of LaFell’s so far and the second option in solid offense deserves some serious consideration.
Dennis Pitta– I mentioned Pitta last week as part of my endorsement of all things Raven. I think he deserves his own write-up this week after leading all TEs with 15 targets, hauling in eight for 65 yards. Through two weeks, Pitta leads all TEs with 24 targets. He is also among the leaders in receptions (13) and is fourth in yards (138). So far Pitta has been Flacco’s shower bunny, his shoulder to cry on, his ear when no one else will listen, his hair gel to Jimmy Johnson, his cocaine to Deion Sanders…I think you get the point. Those who own Fred Davis or Aaron Hernandez should take a long hard look at Pitta. I believe that his upside is even bigger than Jared Cook’s or Kyle Rudolph’s. Those who need TE sustenance may want to start mowing down some Pitta bread.
Martellus Bennett- Through two games, Bennett is fifth among TEs in FPPG with 11.6, and fifth in targets (16). His nine catches for 112 yards are also in the top ten but his real value is coming from his action in the redzone. Manning looks for Martellus most often in the red area, even with Nicks on the field. When, not if, Nicks misses some games, one should expect Bennett’s scoring potential to skyrocket to even greater heights. He’s my favorite TE of all who may be available, with Pitta second, Kyle Rudolph third, and Celek fourth. Jared Cook, a guy I drafted a lot in the late rounds is at the mercy of an abomination of an offense at the moment. He’s out of the discussion until the Titans start pulling their heads out of the sand.
Brent Celek– Celek snaked 8 targets last week and 11 targets this week, bringing his grand total to 19 which is good enough for third best among TEs. While one could argue that his production is as much of a trend as Pitta’s I would point out Celek’s up, but mostly down, history at TE with Vick under center. I also have to believe that the sheer volume of passes coming from Vick are more of an aberration than a premeditated attempt at winning. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on the 2-0 Eagles but I just don’t like him quite as much as Bennett, Pitta, or Rudolph. While, he was 11th among TEs in FFPG a year ago and I think he’s a decent play, he’s really the 4th option in a really inconsistent offense and there are a lot more young TEs who are going to be more heavily featured in their respective offenses. I like what he’s done so far but I’m not quite ready to break the bank to get him.
Fred Davis– Davis has been more like Freddy Kruger than the productive powerhouse that emerged a year ago. He’s been absolutely slaying fantasy rosters the last two weeks and I’m sure Davis owners can attest to the frequent nightmares induced by this one time go to guy gone gossamer. For those who have been paying attention this offseason, it’s not much of a surprise that wrong-said-Fred has been stinking up the joint. Davis had a very quiet camp, which so far has translated into a silent regular season. Davis’s nine targets through the first two weeks ties him with Jeff Cumberland for 23rd among TEs and gives him two fewer than Brandon Myers. If you know who these other guys are, you’re even more invested in this sport than I am and if you don’t then perhaps it’s time to recognize that ole Frederick needs to be cut loose. To compound matters, the ‘Skins, including RGIII, like backup Niles Paul quite a bit and Paul actually saw more targets than Davis this past week. My advice would be to jump ship, stay away from Redskin tight ends altogether, and get your hands on one of the aforementioned fellows above.