Monday, August 16, 2010
Fantasy tips on Jason Witten, Roy Williams
By Dan Graziano
OXNARD, Calif. -- ESPN.com's Christopher Harris is busy answering "32 Questions" on fantasy football during training camp. On Monday, he offered some intriguing thoughts on Cowboys tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Roy Williams. Harris thinks Dez Bryant's ankle injury might have been the best thing for Williams' fantasy status, although I probably won't ask Wade Phillips to elaborate on that angle today.
"[Witten] was one of only three tight ends to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving last season, and has finished among the top three men at his position in yardage in each of the past three seasons," writes Harris. "Still, his average draft position this summer is 61st overall, a full 22 picks after Dallas Clark (and No. 5 among tight ends), and it's because of his lack of touchdowns. Witten has six scores the past two seasons combined, and that's not even the most alarming part. In '09, Witten got only seven looks inside an opponent's red zone. By way of contrast, Greg Olsen had 24. And in '08, Witten had only six red-zone targets. (Tony Gonzalez led tight ends that year with 22.) Close-in targets aren't the only thing that make a fantasy tight end valuable, but they're one of the things. I mean, geez, Witten himself got 14 such looks in '07 alone."
Now there's some fantasy news you can use. Harris goes on to speculate that Williams could put up decent numbers in Jason Garrett's high-flying offense. He think he's worth a late-round pick. I'm going to try and track down Witten this afternoon to discuss his role in the red-zone offense. It seems to me that his prowess as a blocker almost works against him when it comes to getting opportunities near the goal line.
One piece of fantasy advice: When you finally get around to selecting a tight end, think about Brent Celek. He had eight touchdowns with Donovan McNabb in '09, and he's best friends with Kevin Kolb. I wouldn't be shocked to see him increase the total to 10 touchdowns this season.
Editor's note: Matt Mosley's track record in the Waco-based Artvandelay fantasy league is a bit lacking despite the best efforts of his co-owner and fellow Baylor grad Mason Griffin. He's been living off his reputation for making one of the all-time greatest trades -- Brett Perriman for Terry Allen -- for many years.