Jimmy Graham's Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook After Week 2

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 15, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates after a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Jimmy Graham had a monster game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he's established himself as the top fantasy tight end in the NFL.

The New Orleans Saints won an absolutely wild one against the Bucs, winning thanks to a game-winning field goal from Garrett Hartley as time expired.

It was a huge game for Graham. He finished the day with 10 reception for 179 yards and a 56-yard touchdown. Whether you're in a standard or PPR league, that's an absolutely monster game.

The 56-yard TD came in the first quarter and put the Saints up, 10-7. It set the tone early and showed a big mismatch for the Bucs defense.

Things got scary for a moment near the end of the half. Graham dropped a ball deep down field, and Ahmad Black drilled the tight end and was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

Two plays later, Drew Brees found Graham deep for a 30-yard pass that got the Saints to the 1-yard line.

This game proved what I had already believed, and that's that Graham is the top fantasy tight end with Rob Gronkowski out. Once Gronk returns, Graham will likely fall to No. 2, but there's a big gap between these two players and the rest of the field.

Games like this one aren't exactly rare for Graham. He finished last season with an incredible 85 catches for 982 yards and nine touchdowns. For a tight end, that's ridiculous. As you can see from this table, he puts up big points pretty frequently.

There are some really nice matchups for Graham down the road. The Saints will play three of the five worst passing defenses in the NFL this season, excluding themselves.  

The return of Sean Payton will likely make things even better for Graham this year. The defense last season was absolutely horrendous, and the offense was taken out of the game for far too long. Now, the Saints have allowed just 31 points and have controlled the time of possession by about 16 more minutes than their opponents.

Be prepared for big things from Graham for the rest of the season. As good as the game was this week against the Bucs, it was only a taste of what is to come for Brees' favorite target.