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Fantasy football: Depth at tight end gives Jimmy Graham owners hope

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates his touchdown with running back Darren Sproles (43) tight end BenjamWats(82)

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates his touchdown with running back Darren Sproles (43) and tight end Benjamin Watson (82) in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

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Bye weeks: Saints, Raiders.


Broncos at Colts: Peyton
Manning is returning to Indianapolis, and Andrew Luck won’t want to be shown up.


Ravens at Steelers: In their last 10 meetings, only once has either team scored more than 23 points.


<<< WR Victor Cruz, Giants: He should come back to life against the Vikings’ fourth-worst pass defense.

QB Philip Rivers, Chargers: The Jaguars have allowed multiple touchdown passes in five of their first six games.

RB DeAngelo Williams, Panthers: The Rams have allowed the most rushing yards to running backs (127.3 per game).


WR Anquan Boldin, 49ers: The Titans have been tough against wide receivers, holding them to two touchdowns.

QB Sam Bradford, Rams: He has come on of late, but the Panthers have allowed four touchdown passes, tied for the fewest in the league (Steelers).

RB Stevan Ridley, Patriots: He’s coming off a good game, but don’t expect another against the Jets’ second-ranked run defense.



<<< QB Andrew Luck: 202 yards, INT

RB Alfred Morris: 81 yards, TD

WR Steve Smith:
21 yards, TD


RB Le’Veon Bell: 34 rushing yards

WR Larry Fitzgerald: 117 yards, TD

QB Colin Kaepernick: 252 yards, 2 TDs, INT

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Updated: October 15, 2013 10:02PM

Sunday was no fun for Jimmy Graham owners. Not only did the Saints tight end fail to catch a pass for the first time since his rookie season in 2010, but he suffered an injured left foot.

Now the Saints are off this week. That’s fortunate for the ailing Graham, but his owners have to plan beyond the bye in case the injury puts him on the shelf.

Graham leaves a gaping hole in many lineups. Not only is he the top-scoring tight end, but he’s the top-scoring receiver. Graham leads Broncos tight end Julius Thomas 93-78 and Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson 93-87 in a basic-scoring system.

Fortunately, there are many tight ends worth considering, and some have great opportunities this week. It’s just a matter of whether they’re available in your league, either on the waiver wire or by trade. Here are some options:

Jermichael Finley, Packers: He ranks 14th in scoring among tight ends, but he could move up quickly, given the Packers’ injury woes at wide receiver. James Jones might miss the game Sunday against the Browns with a knee injury, and Randall Cobb is out at least six weeks with a broken leg. Finley is coming off his highest yardage output of the season (75 yards, thanks to a 52-yard catch), and he has caught at least five passes in three of the Packers’ five games.

Charles Clay, Dolphins: He has a team-high three touchdowns (including one rushing) and a 100-yard outing in five games, putting him ninth in scoring at the position. Still, he’s not a household name. Clay was owned in only about 30 percent of ESPN leagues and in about 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues Tuesday. That’s silly because he’s worth considering as a starter.

Brent Celek, Eagles: He has fallen quite far since he had 971 yards and eight touchdowns in 2009, but he could put up some numbers this week. The Eagles face a Cowboys defense that has allowed the second-most receiving yards to tight ends,
plus four touchdowns. Celek
has shared time with Zach Ertz but has seen about twice as
many snaps.

Garrett Graham, Texans: He has a golden opportunity with Owen Daniels out eight weeks with a leg injury. Graham failed to capitalize Sunday, when he had only two catches for 25 yards. But he has some favorable matchups against the Cardinals (most yards allowed to tight ends) in Week 10 and the Jaguars in Weeks 12 and 14. He’s worthy of a roster spot.


Twitter: @JeffreyA22

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