TE production against Minnesota

October, 15, 2009
10/15/09
3:05
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert


We don’t generally dispense fantasy advise around here, mostly because I have no idea how to judge these things. But those of you with Baltimore tight end Todd Heap on your roster might want to take a look at some of the numbers produced this season against Minnesota by opposing tight ends.

A tight end has been his team’s leading receiver in three of five games against the Vikings this season. In addition, tight ends have accounted for four of the seven touchdown receptions they’ve allowed and nearly 40 percent of their total yardage. Here are the highlights:

Top tight end performances vs. Minnesota, 2009
Date Opponent Player Rec Yards TD
Sept. 26 San Francisco Vernon Davis 7 96 2*
Oct. 5 Green Bay Jermichael Finley 6 128 1*
Oct. 10 St. Louis Daniel Fells 5 45 0
Sept. 13 Cleveland Robert Royal 4 60 1*
Sept. 19 Detroit Brandon Pettigrew 4 40 0
TOTALS -- -- 38 472 4
*Team's leading receiver

A couple of caveats here. First, Finley is the only 100-yard receiver -- tight end or otherwise -- the Vikings have allowed this season. Second, in most cases I think the Vikings have sacrificed their tight end coverage a bit to ensure they lock down a bigger threat.

Against Cleveland, that approach held receiver Braylon Edwards to one reception. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson finished with a manageable five receptions for 51 yards. Green Bay’s Greg Jennings had a quiet three-catch performance.

Coach Brad Childress essentially admitted as much when asked this week.

“I think it’s the old thing that you tell a quarterback,” Childress said. “They can’t double-team everybody. You’ve got to decide what you are going to take away. We don’t want to concede anything. You’re not conceding it. You’re still defending a play, but people do a nice job of finding that guy. … So you decide what you are going to take and what you are willing to live with.”

I don’t entirely disagree. If I had to choose, I’d rather have a tight end getting 8- or 10-yard passes rather than a receiver getting a series of one-on-one looks downfield. Fantasy players, consider yourself wanted about Sunday’s game at the Metrodome.

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