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Tight Ends Waiver Wire: Week 8 Pickups and Adds


Fantasy owners are going to be without Washington’s Jordan Reed, Buffalo’s Charles Clay, Jacksonville’s Julius Thomas and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz this week. That’s a lot of receptions, yards and touchdowns to lose as fantasy teams enter the meat of their seasons.

There is variety when it comes to some of the available tight ends on league waiver wires. There is one former first-rounder who looks like he is ready to become a superstar, one former fantasy force who should have enough gas in his tank to deliver a decent week, and one former blocking tight end who is now adding pass-catching to his repertoire.

 

Week 8 Waiver Wire -- Tight Ends (TE)

Eric Ebron (TE, DET) -- 33% OWNED

Ebron was unceremoniously dumped by many fantasy owners after suffering a knee injury three weeks ago, and now those owners are probably breaking their computer keyboards for doing so. Ebron had the best game of his short career this past Sunday as he caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.

Ebron is a matchup nightmare for defenses. A man six-foot-four and 255 pounds should not run downfield as well as he does. This is why he was selected 10th overall in the NFL in 2014. Tight ends like Ebron are about as easy to find as offensive linemen who can run a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash.

With receiver teammates Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate occupying the attention of secondaries, Ebron cannot be double-covered by defenses like he should be. Now that he is healthy, gaining confidence and understands Detroit’s offense, Ebron is on the verge of becoming a fantasy monster.

Ebron will be in England this Sunday morning sipping tea and trying to get open against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that ranks 23rd in the NFL against the pass. Unless a batch of fish and chips get the better of his stomach, look for Ebron to have another great game and start turning into one of the best fantasy tight ends to own the rest of the way.

 

Vernon Davis (TE, SF) -- 27% OWNED

Stop the presses! We have a Vernon Davis sighting!

Davis overperformed against a Seattle Seahawks secondary that has been making tight end after tight end look like Shannon Sharpe lately. He caught four passes for 61 yards after going receptionless in his previous two contests. And while fantasy owners should not think this means the 2013 version of Davis that hauled in 13 touchdown tosses has returned thanks to a magical time machine, he is one of the better waiver wire gets at a thin position.

Davis does not have an easy matchup this weekend as his Niners go on the road their division rival, the St. Louis Rams. But the Rams do not shut down tight ends like Darrelle Revis shuts down wideouts. Cleveland’s Gary Barnidge just burned them for 101 yards this past week, while Seattle’s Jimmy Graham and Washington’s Jordan Reed have also had good games against them this season.

I know Davis’ best years are behind him. I know the Rams defense has the talent and tools to shut him down.  And I know Colin Kaepernick cannot hit the broad side of a continent. But the options are limited in many fantasy leagues at tight end, and Davis could get 60 yards and/or a touchdown for a lucky fantasy owner.

 

Richard Rodgers (TE, GB) -- 34% OWNED

Green Bay’s receivers are falling faster than the stocks of a failing company. Every week a different receiver gets injured, so Rodgers had been a defacto target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers more and more in recent games. Rodgers has 13 receptions for 124 yards and one TD over his last three outings.

Rodgers was doing more blocking than route running during his first year-plus in the league, but he is beginning to transition into more of an all-around tight end. Even though he is not blessed with super speed (10.1 career YPC) he is showing he can use his bulky body in tight quarters and down in the red zone.

When Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback, you always have a chance to catch a touchdown pass. That right there gives Richard Rodgers a leg up on the rest of the available free agent tight ends in fantasy football land.

Rodgers has to find openings this Sunday night against a staunch Denver Broncos defense that is the best against the pass and the best overall in the NFL. James Bond has had easier missions. But with Rodgers being found more often these days by his namesake quarterback, and with Green Bay’s pass catchers dwindling down to Randall Cobb and a couple Cheeseheads at the rate things are going, Rodgers should get some good looks on Sunday evening and beyond.

 

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