Player Notes

  • Cowboys sign several to reserve/future deals
    Cowboys signed TE Connor Hamlett, CB Jeremiah McKinnon, CB Duke Thomas, LS Zach Wood, RB Rod Smith, DB Jameill Showers, CB Sammy Seamster, DE Lenny Jones, LB Jeremiah George, WR Shaq Evans, OG Kadeem Edwards, and OG Klay DeBord to a reserve/future contract.

    Advice: They are mostly practice squad players. Hamlett is a former undrafted free agent out of Oregon State. He caught a 17-yard touchdown in Week 5 against the Patriots. Yesterday, 1:47 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Eric Ebron aiming for 1,000 yards in 2017
    Eric Ebron said his goal for 2017 is to stay healthy and reach 1,000 receiving yards.

    Advice: Ebron hasn't played all 16 games in a season since being drafted No. 10 overall in 2014. He missed three games this year with knee and ankle injuries and played hurt much of the first half of the season. Ebron still managed to set career-highs in catches (61) and yards (711) while cutting down on his drops. Only two tight ends managed 1,000 yards in 2016. Ebron can become a fantasy asset in 2017 if he stays healthy and gets more involved in the red zone. Yesterday, 6:38 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Travis Kelce goes 5-77 in Divisional Round L
    Travis Kelce caught 5-of-7 targets for 77 yards in the Chiefs' Divisional Round loss to the Steelers.

    Advice: The Chiefs got Kelce the ball on a couple shovel passes, with one picking up a good chunk of yards but the other being stuffed for a minimal gain inside the 10-yard line. Kelce also had a horrible drop on deep ball down the middle in the third quarter and took out his frustration two plays later with a dumb personal foul penalty to make it 3rd-and-20. At the end of the day, Kelce's stat line was respectable and he had a great individual season, leading all tight ends with 1,125 yards and finishing one catch behind Dennis Pitta's 86 grabs for the position lead. Kelce scored just four touchdowns but clearly became the Chiefs' top pass-game option in his fourth pro season. Kelce is locked up through 2021 and just turned 27. He and Rob Gronkowski are fantasy's top two tight ends. Sunday, 9:14 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jesse James piles up 83 yards in win over KC
    Jesse James caught 5-of-6 targets for 83 yards in the Steelers' Divisional Round win over the Chiefs on Sunday.

    Advice: With Ladarius Green still out with a concussion, James was one of Ben Roethlisberger's favorite targets. A Chiefs defense that usually smothers tight ends bit on a few deceptive plays from the Steelers, leaving James wide open for a couple big gains down the middle of the field. The 83 yards were James' most in a game this season. Green could be back for next weekend. Sunday, 9:05 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Witten scores first postseason touchdown
    Jason Witten absorbed six-of-nine targets for 59 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the Cowboys' Divisional Round loss to the Packers.

    Advice: Witten was the victim of an egregious missed call in the first half. Packers LB Joe Thomas clearly interfered with him on a throw to the end zone but the referees dismissed it as incidental contact. Witten made up for the missed opportunity by reeling in a six-yard touchdown strike from Dak Prescott early in the fourth quarter. It was Witten’s first touchdown in eight career postseason games. Witten, as many of you have no doubt discovered, isn’t the fleetest of foot. But he still has a great set of hands and should maintain his role as Prescott’s safety valve in 2017. Sunday, 7:01 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Cook cruises to 104 yards in win over Dallas
    Jared Cook corralled six-of-11 targets for 104 yards and a touchdown Sunday in the Packers' Divisional Round win over the Cowboys.

    Advice: Cook struggled in the first half, grabbing just two catches for 20 yards and failing to reel in his lone end-zone target. But Aaron Rodgers never lost faith in his tight end and Cook rewarded him with a second half for the ages. The Cowboys bit on play-action, leaving Cook all alone on his three-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. But Cook’s biggest contribution to this game was a magnificent 36-yard catch with three seconds left in the fourth quarter. Rodgers was falling backwards as he threw a missile down the left sideline that Cook caught to set up Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal. Thanks to Cook’s heroics, the Packers are headed to the NFC Championship for the second time in the last three seasons. Sunday, 5:35 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Ladarius Green leads Steelers' inactives
    Steelers declared TE Ladarius Green, LB Anthony Chickillo, DE Ricardo Mathews, Zach Mettenberger, T Brian Mihalik, CB Al-Hajj Shabazz and RB Fitzgerald Toussaint inactive for Sunday's Divisional Round game against the Chiefs.

    Advice: Green and Toussaint are both out with concussions while Mathews is nursing a foot injury. Mettenberger, Mihalik and Shabazz are all healthy scratches. Sunday, 4:03 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Larry Donnell hoping to be back in New York
    Impending free agent Larry Donnell is hoping to be back with the Giants next season.

    Advice: "It would be an honor," said Donnell. "I started here. I'd love to finish here." Donnell played scarcely this year while falling behind Will Tye on the tight end depth chart. He didn't catch a pass after Week 7 and was only targeted once over his final eight games. The Giants seem likely to move on. Sunday, 7:26 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Martellus Bennett not worried about leg injury
    Martellus Bennett (leg) said he'll be fine for next week's AFC Championship Game.

    Advice: Bennett suffered a leg injury late in Saturday's Divisional Round win over Houston but only missed a handful of snaps. "I've been fighting through [expletive] the whole year. I'm not going to stop now," said Bennett. "I'm getting too close to what my goal is in life." Bennett has been hampered by ankle and shoulder issues throughout the year but has yet to miss a game. He tied for third among tight ends with seven touchdowns during the regular season and will continue to be one of Tom Brady's top weapons inside the red zone. Sunday, 5:56 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Ryan Griffin goes catch-less against Pats
    Texans TE Ryan Griffin went catch-less on two targets in Saturday's Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.

    Advice: Despite an increased late-season role, Griffin was nowhere to be found in Saturday's loss as C.J. Fiedorowicz dominated the Texans’ tight end work against the Patriots. Griffin was overthrown on a late Brock Osweiler interception. An impending free agent, Griffin should draw significant interest after his 50-reception contract year. Griffin turned 27 this month and has emerged as a legitimate pass-catching threat. Saturday, 9:13 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Fiedorowicz manages 36 yards, scores TD
    C.J. Fiedorowicz caught 3-of-5 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Texans' Divisional Round loss to the Patriots.

    Advice: Brock Osweiler targeted Fiedorowicz in the end zone late in the first quarter, but the pass was a bit too high and bounced off his fingertips. Fiedorowicz atoned with a second-quarter score on a backfield-misdirection play that froze the Patriots’ linebackers and sprung him wide open. Fiedorowicz dropped an easy third-quarter pass underneath, hearing the footsteps of Patriots LB Elandon Roberts. 25 years old, Fiedorowicz emerged as a valued possession target in the Texans' 2016 offense. He will stay on the late-round tight end radar in 2017 fantasy drafts. Saturday, 9:03 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Luke Willson catches 15 2016 passes
    Luke Willson wasn't target in the Seahawks' Divisional Round loss to the Falcons.

    Advice: Willson was evaluated for a concussion, but cleared. A decisive No. 2 behind Jimmy Graham this season, Willson caught 15 passes for 129 yards and two scores. Now 27, Willson is headed to free agency. He was an intriguing prospect in the 2013 Draft, but has given little reason to believe he'll ever develop into a fantasy option. Saturday, 6:05 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jimmy Graham 18-of-18 on 2016-17 appearances
    Jimmy Graham caught 3-of-3 targets for 22 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks' Divisional Round loss to the Falcons.

    Advice: Returning from a torn patellar tendon — arguably the worst lower-body injury a football player can suffer — Graham appeared in all 18 of the Seahawks' games, posting a 65/923/6 regular season line for his most yardage since 2013. Graham averaged a career-best 14.2 yards per catch, and was physically dominant on film. His stats trailed off after Tyler Lockett got cooking late in the year, but Graham had the looks of someone who will remain a potent weapon at age 31 in 2017. Saturday, 5:06 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Hooper (knee) all set for Divisional Round
    Austin Hooper (knee) is not listed on the Falcons' final injury report for Saturday's Divisional Round game against the Seahawks.

    Advice: He's back after missing the previous three games with a sprained knee. Among rookie tight ends, only San Diego's Hunter Henry put up more receiving yards than Hooper this season. Friday, 12:02 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Dolphins want TE Dion Sims back as starter?
    Impending free agent TE Dion Sims says he's been told by Dolphins coach Adam Gase that the team wants him back as a starter.

    Advice: "He told me he wants me back as a No. 1," Sims said. "I want to be back. I have obviously proven myself to be a starting tight end in the league and want to continue in that role. I’ve done some great things this year and improved a lot." We don't doubt what Sims was told, but Sims isn't suddenly going to be a big-time pass catcher. He has 74 grabs across 56 career games, and averaged a woeful 9.4 yards per catch. He's primarily a blocker. Tight end is a position of need for the Dolphins after Jordan Cameron busted in monumental fashion. Thursday, 3:23 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Raiders sign 9 to reserve/future deals
    Raiders signed TE Cooper Helfet, CB Kenneth Durden, DE Jimmy Bean, WR K.J. Brent, DE Demetrius Cherry, WR Jaydon Mickens, TE Ryan O'Malley, and OGs Ian Silberman and Oni Omoile to reserve/future contracts.

    Advice: Helfet is a former Seahawks player. Bean went undrafted out of Oklahoma State last year despite prolific college pass-rush stats. Monday, 2:18 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Will Tye rips off 55-yard gain against Pack
    Will Tye caught 4-of-7 targets for 66 yards in the Giants' Wild Card loss to the Packers.

    Advice: Tye made the Giants’ longest offensive play of the game on a 51-yard seam ball, getting past Packers rookie ILB Blake Martinez and piling up yards after the catch. Otherwise, Tye was bottled up near the line of scrimmage. Tye beat out Larry Donnell for the Giants' starting tight end job, but the results were underwhelming with only one touchdown and one 50-yard game in the regular season. Tye is also an atrocious blocker. Jan 8, 5:46 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Clive Walford catches two passes in defeat
    Clive Walford caught 2-of-2 targets for 16 yards in the Raiders' Wild Card loss to the Texans.

    Advice: Walford caught three or fewer passes in all but one game this season. The Raiders wanted him to take on a bigger role in the pass game as a sophomore, but it never really happened with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree dominating the targets. He finishes with 35 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Walford is unlikely to be a top-10 tight end in fantasy next season. Jan 7, 6:08 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • 'Tough' to see Pitta back on current contract
    The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec wrote "it's tough to envision" Dennis Pitta returning for 2017 on his current contract.

    Advice: Pitta took a pay cut last offseason to stay with the team, and he might have to do the same again this spring. Pitta did lead tight ends with 86 catches in his comeback campaign, but he averaged 8.5 yards per catch while finding the end zone twice. That production is not worth the $7.7 million cap hit Pitta carries next season, especially since the Ravens currently have six tight ends on the roster. It would not be surprising if Baltimore moved on from both Pitta and Benjamin Watson this offseason. Jan 7, 8:17 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
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