As I mentioned in my Week 9 WR Rankings yesterday, there have been a lot of changes in the league this week that have an impact on rankings. However, the most effected position because of these changes is the tight end. But before we dive in to that, let's show you my rankings first.
Six teams on a bye is tough in terms of a tight end standpoint, especially when a couple of the guys happen to be Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce. Week 9 marks the most teams that will miss action all season, so if you're out a TE the waiver wire may be a little sparse. One of the guys I would suggest picking up that is a free agent in most leagues is Jason Tamme. He has seen more action since Leonard Hankerson has been sidelined. Last week he tallied ten catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. If Hankerson can't go again this week, Tamme remains the number two option in Atlanta and that could bode well for another solid performance. Even if Hankerson suits up, Tamme is still worth looking at depending on who is on the market in your league.
BYE WEEK: Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle
Ok, let's get to the topic I have wanted to talk about all week: coaching changes.
We will start with Coby Fleener. The Colt's finally had enough with their offense struggles and fired OC Pep Hamilton. They decided to replace him with Rob Chudzinski, who was on the coaching staff at the University of Miami with head coach Chuck Pagano from 1995-2000 and again worked with Pagano for the Browns in 2004, according to Mike Wells of ESPN. Chudzinski is an experienced offensive coordinator and loves to throw the ball. He was the OC in Carolina when Cam Newton threw for a career high 4,051 yards in his rookie year. Chudzinski's offensive schemes were compared to that of Norv Turner in an article by Tony Grossi in ESPNCleveland. And we all know that Norv Turner's scheme involves a lot of looks to the tight end. Furthermore, Chudzinski is a former tight end himself. He knows the position inside and out and has been a tight end coach in years past. He could get Fleener much more involved right when he walks through the door. I've always had Fleener as a low TE2 option, but this week he finds himself just outside of my top-15. He has potential to find himself in the top-15 for the rest of the season.
The Titans have a similar situation to the Colts. They fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt and put Mike Mularkey, a tight end coach, in charge. Delanie Walker already is already a big factor is this offense, but he could see even more action to propel him to one of the leagues elite. Walker hasn't found the end zone since Week 1, but that could change as Marcus Mariota is coming back.
One of the other changes in the league this week was Vernon Davis being traded to the Broncos. I'm not surprised about this move, there have been trade rumors surrounding Davis before the deadline approached. I really like this switch in terms of Davis' fantasy value. Davis was underutilized in San Francisco, but that should change in Denver. The Broncos needed more weapons this season as their offense, especially Peyton Manning, were struggling. It's no secret that Manning loves to go to his tight ends. He has made a name for people like Dallas Clark and most recently Julius Thomas. Current tight end Owen Daniels just hasn't lived up to the level that Manning has been used for in the past. Davis should be more of what Manning and the Broncos are looking for, and he could become a great red zone threat. Because of the history of Manning and his tight ends, I think Vernon will be a top-15 option from here on out. As for Daniels, he is not the one to own in this offense, he will be somewhat irrelevant as Davis takes over the job.