If you haven’t already found a suitable backup for Aaron Hernandez and his lingering ankle injury, shame on you. The hobbled New England Patriots tight end is expected to miss yet another game this weekend, according to NFL.com’s Albert Breer (via Twitter).
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez is expected to sit out Sunday's game vs. the Colts, I'm told. Been out since mid-October after re-injuring ankle— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 16, 2012
That means you’re going to need to find someone, yet again, to fill in the void left by your star tight end. Last week, Hernandez practiced and looked like he was on the verge of making his long-awaited return only to bow out at game time and leave you looking for a replacement on the fly.
Don’t let it happen again. Don’t trust anything that comes out of Bill Belichick’s camp. Also, don’t worry, I’ve got you.
Here are three tight ends who could have potentially huge games this weekend and are available in a good portion of ESPN leagues.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (Owned in 56.6 percent of ESPN leagues)
Olsen didn’t light up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. The Panthers actually were more or less inept on the offensive side of the ball against a very poor Bucs defense. He did have six grabs for 56 yards, though.
Fast forward to Week 11. The Bucs' defense has been exposed as one of the worst against the pass in the entire NFL. While they aren’t getting killed by tight ends, Olsen is a primary receiver in the Panthers’ offense and should commandeer his fair share of looks from Cam Newton this week.
Plus, he’s coming off the best game of his season and should lead to him being a bigger factor in the team’s offense moving forward.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (Owned in 2.4 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Indianapolis Colts’ tight end has a very favorable matchup against the New England Patriots in Week 11. Allen hasn’t come on as the prominent tight-end option I thought he’d become when he assumed the team’s No. 1 spot after Coby Fleener went down a couple of weeks ago.
With Fleener likely out again this week, Allen has a prime opportunity to finally have his coming-out party. The Patriots are giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Andrew Luck will undoubtedly unleash his big tight end into the Patriots’ secondary as much as possible on Sunday.
Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (Owned in 14.2 percent of ESPN leagues)
I’ve advocated taking a flier on Myers since the Raiders’ bye week (Week 5). He left last week with a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens but was effective (five catches, 57 yards) in the time he spent on the field.
This week, if he plays (listed as probable), he should put up similar numbers to his Week 9 explosion against Tampa Bay. The Saints defense is ranked 19th in points allowed to opposing tight ends. They’re also not a very good team defensively.
That should prove to be beneficial for Myers, who will see significant targets. That’s likely due to the large amount the Raiders will be throwing with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both expected to be out again this week. Plus, the Saints are going to put up some huge points themselves and the Raiders should be playing catch up most of the day.