Aaron Hernandez: Waiver Wire TEs to Replace Injured Patriots Star

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent INovember 17, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21: Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Tom Brady during a game with New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

At least we're used to finding fantasy replacements for Aaron Hernandez. The productive tight end has appeared in just four games this season, and he is set to miss another one.

The NFL.com’s Albert Breer brings us this bit of news.

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

So, if you were holding out hope that Hernandez would make it back to the field this week, don't worry; here are three players who are ready to have a solid week and are available on most waiver wires. 

*Percent of leagues owned in via NFL.com.


Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (Owned in 18.9 percent of leagues)

Week 11 Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers

Pitta is having a solid, yet unspectacular, year. Like many of his Ravens teammates, his production has been a touch inconsistent, but he does get his share of looks. 

In three of his last four games, he's received at least five targets. He is also coming off of one of his more productive outings on the season, where he went for 67 yards and a touchdown on five catches in last week's blowout of the Raiders. 

I like Pitta this week because of the matchup. 

The Steelers are playing fantastic pass defense. However, that does not apply to tight ends. In Football Outsiders' positional pass-defense rankings, the Steelers are No. 32 against tight ends, and they are not lower than No. 17 against any other position. 

This will lead to plenty of action headed Pitta's way. 

Projection: 6 catches, 57 yards, 1 touchdown


Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (Owned in 3.2 percent of leagues)

Week 11 Opponent: New England Patriots

Allen has emerged as a viable fantasy tight end as he holds down the Colts starting job for Coby Fleener.

He proved his worth two weeks ago, when he caught six passes for 75 yards against the Dolphins. Allen fell way off last week with just 31 yards on two catches, but quarterback Andrew Luck threw for just 227 yards as the Colts never had to worry the anemic Jaguars would mount any kind of challenge.

That will not be the case this week as the Colts take on the Patriots. Indianapolis will be going to the air a lot against the Patriots and their No. 29-ranked pass defense. Also, Football Outsiders has the Pats ranked No. 26 against tight ends. 

Projection: 4 catches 48 yards, 1 touchdown


Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (Owned in 10.8 percent of leagues)

Week 11 Opponent: New Orleans Saints

Brandon Meyers leads the Raiders in catches and he is No. 2 on the team in targets, and he has done this with amazingly consistent performances. 

In all but one game, he's caught at least 44 yards' worth of passes. 

The reason he is flying under the radar for fantasy purposes is that he isn't catching a lot of touchdowns. He has just two on the season, and both of those came in Week 9. 

Carson Palmer will look for Meyers in the red zone, and he will get more touchdowns as the season rolls along. I'm guessing he will get one this week as he goes against the awful Saints' defense. 

The Raiders have in injured running game that hasn't been effective all year. They will look to pass often against the Saints as they try to keep up with New Orleans' potent offense.