NFC West: Brandon Myers

A few notes on the changing landscape at tight end for NFC West teams on this second day of NFL free agency in 2013:
  • Jared Cook's addition to the St. Louis Rams gives the team two tight ends drafted in the first three rounds. Lance Kendricks is the other. Both are 25 years old. The NFL has 11 other tight ends drafted that early and younger than 26. The list includes Arizona's Rob Housler. The group averaged 50 receptions for 573 yards and five touchdowns in 2012. Kendricks and Cook were just under those averages.
  • Delanie Walker's departure from the San Francisco 49ers did not happen in a vacuum. When the 49ers decided against naming Walker their franchise player, Walker became available to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans had an opening after Cook left Tennessee for the Rams.
  • Walker was one of five NFC West tight ends to play at least half of his team's offensive snaps last season. Vernon Davis (91.3 percent), Zach Miller (83.7), Kendricks (80.7) and Housler (61.7) were the others.
  • Housler led NFC West tight ends in receptions with 45 last season. However, the Cardinals were the only team in the NFL with no touchdowns from tight ends. The Rams and Seahawks got 11 touchdowns from tight ends in 2012 after getting zero from the position in 2010. The 49ers got eight touchdowns from tight ends in 2012.
  • Thanks to video producer Fran Duffy for passing along a link to Greg Cosell's breakdown on Cook and other free-agent tight ends this offseason. Cook has outstanding speed for the position. Walker's departure from the NFC West and Cook's addition to the Rams combine to give St. Louis the most dynamic set of receiving tight ends in the division, a major shift from the recent past.
  • Cosell's breakdown also differentiates Cook and other fleet tight ends from the less dynamic Brandon Myers, who caught 79 passes for Oakland last season. Myers caught my attention for his ties to Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable. The two were together on the Raiders. Seattle could use a second tight end, in my view, but with Percy Harvin joining the offense, might the Seahawks be more apt to use three wideouts than two tight ends? Harvin, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate would seemingly need to play extensively along with Marshawn Lynch and Miller. Oh, and let's not forget about fullback Michael Robinson, who has had a good thing going with Lynch over the past couple seasons.
Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook, scheduled to become a free agent March 12, is working his way through the NFC West rumor mill.



The St. Louis Rams were up first. The pairing seemed natural given coach Jeff Fisher's ties to Cook. Fisher was the Titans' head coach when the team drafted Cook in 2009.

The Seattle Seahawks are taking their turn, with the Seattle Times and 710ESPN Seattle separately suggesting Cook could fit in tandem with Zach Miller.

I've got another free-agent tight end to consider for the Seahawks: Brandon Myers of the Oakland Raiders. Seattle assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable was the Raiders' head coach when the team used a sixth-round pick for Myers in 2009. Cable was also with Oakland when the team drafted Miller.

Myers caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns last season. He had 32 catches for 250 yards over three previous NFL seasons. I don't know if the Seahawks are going to pursue Myers, but the tie-in with Cable provides starting point, at least.

Meanwhile, the Titans have said they would like to re-sign Cook, who had 44 receptions for 523 yards when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 14. Cook, 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds, is more receiver than in-line blocker.

Chicago and Miami reportedly could show interest in Cook.

San Francisco's Delanie Walker is another tight end to watch in free agency.

Fantasy Watch: NFC West points leaders

December, 23, 2012
12/23/12
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Russell Wilson, Sam Bradford, Colin Kaepernick, Beanie Wells and Michael Crabtree ranked among the NFL's top 12 scorers in fantasy points for Week 15.

This might not be a big deal to everyone, but if you had Wilson and Kaepernick starting as lower-priced quarterbacks on your Gridiron Challenge team, you might blog about it.

St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks will be joining them in my Week 16 lineup. He faces a suspect Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense that ranks 27th in Total QBR allowed. Tight ends Brandon Myers (17 points), Martellus Bennett (13), Clay Harbor (11) and Antonio Gates (11) have had double-digit fantasy scoring games against the Bucs. Greg Olsen (nine), Jacob Tamme (8) and Fred Davis (7) came close.

Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson (22 points Saturday night) and Greg Zuerlein are rounding out my player lineup this week. It was only fitting that I failed to sub out the Detroit Lions' defense before their kickoff Saturday night against the high-scoring Atlanta Falcons. Call it richly deserved punishment for placing the Falcons only sixth on my most recent power rankings ballot.

The chart shows NFC West leaders in fantasy points this season. Not pictured: Larry Fitzgerald, with 87 points, down from 151 at this point last season. He trails Michael Crabtree (124), Sidney Rice (110), Golden Tate (95) and teammate Andre Roberts (95) among NFC West wideouts with two games remaining. Brandon Gibson (86), Danny Amendola (78) and Chris Givens (77) are next.

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