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Fantasy football: Need a tight end? There are quality players to be had

Ravens Eagles NFL Football

Ravens Eagles NFL Football

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Bengals at Redskins: These are two of the bottom five defenses in the league. Points will not be at a premium.


Packers at Seahawks: These are two of the top six defenses in the league. The Pack will have to combat the din of Qwest Field.


Colts RB Donald Brown: The Jaguars already have allowed five rushing touchdowns.

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles: He could get well against a porous Saints run defense.

Bills WR Steve Johnson: He has two touchdowns. The yards should arrive this week.


Ravens QB Joe Flacco: He needs to be more consistent before you rely on him.

Cardinals WR Larry
Fitzgerald: Kevin Kolb plus the Eagles’ defense equals trouble.

Steelers running backs:
Neither Isaac Redman nor
Jonathan Dwyer has stepped up.



WR A.J. Green: 7 catches,
58 yards, TD

WR Steve Smith: 3-104

WR Percy Harvin: 12-104
(13 yards rushing)


Cardinals running backs: Beanie Wells, 68 total yards; Ryan Williams, 23

RB Kevin Smith: 16 carries,
53 yards (2-17 receiving)

RB Ronnie Brown: 4-8 (4-26 receiving)

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Updated: September 22, 2014 3:35PM

It never takes long for fantasy owners to go running to the waiver wire because of injuries. Bills running back Fred Jackson couldn’t last the first half in
Week 1. Hopefully his owners were smart enough to handcuff C.J. Spiller, who shined in Week 2.

Bigger problems arose Sunday, when two top-10 tight ends went down. The Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter and reportedly will miss four to six weeks. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was a surprise inactive with a rib injury. Given his track record, no one knows how long he’ll be out.

Owners don’t handcuff tight ends, but there’s hope. The position is deeper than ever, and though owners probably won’t find equal ability on the waiver wire, there are capable players to be had. Here are five favorites.

Martellus Bennett, Giants

After being stuck behind Jason Witten with the Cowboys for the last four seasons, Bennett appears to be breaking through with the Giants. He has the size (6-6, 270 pounds) to be a threat in the red zone and the quarterback (Eli Manning) to get him the ball. Bennett had a touchdown in each of the first two games, and he would have had two Sunday if not for a drop.

Brent Celek, Eagles

Celek is the least likely of this group to be available, so grab him if he is. He leads the Eagles in every category except touchdowns after catching eight passes for 157 yards Sunday against the Ravens. What’s promising is that Celek’s receptions doubled, even though Michael Vick threw 24 fewer passes Sunday than he did in Week 1. He doesn’t get the publicity, but he should.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens

Pitta is tied for the lead among tight ends with 13 receptions, and he’s first alone with 24 targets. Though he figures to have competition from fellow tight end Ed Dickson, Pitta has the hot hand. His biggest concern might be quarterback Joe Flacco, who struggled Sunday. Pitta was targeted 15 times and came away with eight catches for 65 yards.

Dante Rosario, Chargers

In perhaps the biggest surprise of Week 2, Rosario caught all three of Philip Rivers’ touchdown passes. It was his first game with more than one touchdown, and it marked a career high for a season. As fluky as all of that sounds, given Gates’ history of injury, owners have to consider Rosario, who appears to have jumped ahead of Randy McMichael on the depth chart.

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

Rudolph could have had two touchdowns Sunday, but a tipped pass went to receiver Stephen Burton. Rudolph has great size (6-6, 259) and even better hands, and he’s second on the team in targets behind Percy Harvin. Without a true threat opposite Harvin, Rudolph might stay there. His biggest threat is free-agent addition John Carlson, who has been targeted once.

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