Fantasy Football Week 14 TEs: Start or Sit Cameron Brate, C.J. Uzomah, or Trey Burton?
As the 14th week of the regular season in the NFL begins, many leagues are in the midst of crazy playoff action. Terrible teams look to break the hearts of better ones, as upsets in fantasy football occur far more often later in the season than not. So even if you’ve got a first-round bye this week, consider this tight end advice and follow trends as the weeks go by, because you can’t just pull a Packers and fire your head coach after the next loss.
Start or Sit Cameron Brate versus New Orleans
New Orleans has been a lot of fun to watch this season. Their explosive offense and the nearly unstoppable arm of Drew Brees propelled them into first place in the silly and often times disappointing NFC South. Fun fact: the Saints are 5-1 on the road. The other three teams in their division are a combined 3-14 on the road. It’s a fun fact for us, but certainly not for them. Regardless, the Saints have some defensive issues at times, but have definitely done the job when it matters. Opponents are averaging a not-too-shabby 22.4 points per game against them, which is right in the middle of the league. Something to consider is New Orleans lost to the Bucs in their home opener this year and surrendered 48 points. Granted Tampa Bay has gone through some changes, Brate was only targeted twice in that game. Jameis Winston has shown a bit of interest in Brate, targeting him 10 times in the last two games, but he simply hasn’t been effective in the red zone. That makes “start or sit Brate” a difficult decision. He gained 26 yards off of three targets against San Francisco in week 12 and managed to haul in a touchdown, but that was his only saving grace since week 6. Even then, that week 6 touchdown was the only time he was targeted in that game. While Winston could potentially look to Brate down the line, this matchup with New Orleans is extremely touchdown dependent. His ceiling is as low as his targets. Also, I don’t trust his smile. With the Saints defense giving an average of just over 20 yards to tight ends in their last four games, it’s safe to say Cameron Brate is a sit this week.
Start or Sit C.J. Uzomah at Los Angeles Chargers
He sounds Amish. He looks goofy. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting for your consideration, C.J. Uzomah. He’s that tight end you keep around hoping he’ll have a few productive games back to back, but it just never happens. Even on 12 targets against Cleveland’s yucky pass defense, he only managed to catch 6 for 39 yards. A big part of Uzomah’s bad luck has to do with the Bengals and their ever-changing (and not in a good way) offense. With a new quarterback in town, things might trend upward, but it’s not likely. Uzomah had a decent effort in Cincinnati’s home game against Denver, but couldn’t manage to get more than 33 yards off his 5 receptions. He seems to be used sparingly for shorter gains of 8-10 yards, which isn’t good in any format. He’s got 2 touchdowns in 2 games where he was only targeted 2 times. His inconsistent target share is worrisome and the lack of red zone targets is not appealing in the slightest. Though he’s seen 18 targets through the last 2 games, his numbers simply aren’t reliable. Nor is Cincinnati’s offense, averaging just over 16 points a game in their last four. The Chargers defense isn’t perfect against tight ends, but they’ve been on a roll against the position as of late, allowing only 110 receiving yards and only one touchdown in their last four. Whether to start or sit Uzomah comes down to this: He’s simply too much of a risk this week to play, and the numbers are stacked against him. Consider Uzomah a sit against the Chargers.
Start or Sit Trey Burton versus Los Angeles Rams
The appeal here would definitely have to go to the Rams defense against tight ends. I get it. They’ve got a leak in their defense that tight ends have been exploiting. Even Detroit’s Levine Toilolo managed to gain 90 yards off of 4 receptions against them last week. I mean who the hell is that guy? Kelce burnt them for 127 and a touchdown in week 11 and players like Vannett, Watson, and Kittle have touchdowns against them. Simply put, the Rams aren’t great at containing tight ends. Which leads us to whether to start or sit Trey Burton. He’s had some luck through week 7, but both his yardage and target share have declined since then. After being targeted 34 times through the first six games, he’s only seen 20 in the last six. His floor seems to be pretty low, with his saving graces being a touchdown in week 9 and a two-point conversion in week 10. He failed to catch his lone target in the Bears loss to the Giants last week. While he’s had some great games earlier in the season, he simply hasn’t been a huge part of the Bears offense. His target share will most likely remain low this week, and without a touchdown, his numbers won’t be very high. Consider Trey Burton a definite sit this week.
Statistics have certainly told a story this year with tight ends. Some start hot and fade, while others flourish down the line. Leagues everywhere are looking for good options at the position, which is why reading between the lines while looking at statistics is a surefire way to ensure you don’t make the mistake of playing a dud at this crucial time of the season. Avoid these duds and look elsewhere for some point production.
If you find yourself in a position picking between the three, I would rank them as:
- Trey Burton
- Cameron Brate
- C.J. Uzomah
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