Coming into the 2010 season, the tight end position looked to be as deep and talented as ever. Unfortunately the position has shown some chinks in the armor with the collision sport of football cutting both Jermichael Finley and Dallas Clark’s seasons short. Antonio Gates owners also have to be a bit concerned as the premier player at the position missed Sunday’s contest due to a torn plantar fascia, and his level of health and performance going forward have to be in question. Beyond injuries wreaking havoc on the position, owners of Jason Witten and Vernon Davis have their own concerns, as both star tight ends quarterbacks are currently on the shelf, and each may see a dip in production because of it. Those in shallow-to-medium-sized leagues will likely plug the hole with a steady but unspectacular low upside option. Those in deep leagues may not have that luxury, and those in leagues with deep benches may be interested in taking a flier on a player with some upside. There is a player owned in 0 percent of Yahoo! leagues who offers that blend of being available to deep leaguers and having upside for owners in deep bench leagues.
James Casey | TE | Houston | 0 percent Yahoo! ownership
James Casey is an interesting player to keep tabs on. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 draft out of Rice. At 26 years of age, he is older than most second-year players because he spent three seasons playing baseball in the Chicago White Sox farm system after being selected out of high school in Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft. Casey played two productive seasons at Rice, posting eye popping numbers in his second season in the Owl’s high octane spread offense, catching 111 passes for 1,329 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Opening the year behind both Owen Daniels and Joel Dreesen, it didn’t appear Casey would make much of an impact this year, and whether he does going forward remains to be seen. However, he was productive Sunday in his first extensive action in 2010, due to Daniels being inactive with a hamstring injury. In five seasons in the league, Dreesen has done almost nothing to stand out in the passing game, and the options behind Andre Johnson at wide receiver, Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter, have been a mixed bag of mediocre and non-existent, leaving Casey an opportunity to earn some targets. With good size, 6′3″ and 240 pounds, good game speed (albeit a lackluster 4.66 forty-yard dash time at the NFL Combine) and a solid quarterback in Matt Schaub, Casey may be a pleasant surprise down the stretch.
Josh Shepardson is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of B-Chad.
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