Clearly, I’m all-in on stars who received no targets in their previous game. But seriously, Antonio Gates had scored in three straight games prior to last week’s stinker.
Antonio Gates, Chargers: I’m not worried about last week, which was a function of game flow and specific matchups. After at least eight targets in four straight games before last week, Gates gets back on track this week as the Bolts face a Bucs squad allowing more than 81 yards a game to opposing tight ends, including double-digit fantasy points in three of the past five.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs: With Rob Gronkowski out, Jordan Reed banged up and with a bad matchup and the recent struggles of Greg Olsen, I have only Jimmy Graham higher in my tight end rankings this week than Kelce. He is a huge part of the offense and coming off a big game, so I like Kelce’s chances at a top-three day against a Falcons team that gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends — including a nine-point effort last week to Jermaine Gresham. I repeat, Jermaine Gresham.
Others receiving votes: Just like I am with Cooks and Gates, I am back on board with Eric Ebron after a brutal game. Before last week, he had been on a tear and, you know, New Orleans. Expect Stafford to get his tight end back involved in a shootout. …
Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions, ankle, (Q): Riddick was limited in practice throughout the week and comes into the game as questionable. This has been the pattern for multiple weeks now, ever since Riddick returned from a two-week absence following the injury. He remains their go-to back when he is on the field, regardless of his designation.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders, ankle, (Q): Murray is again listed as questionable this week with an ankle injury. Last week he carried the ball 19 (!) times, so it’s not as if the team is reducing his workload because of an injury concern. He was a limited practice participant each day this week, and he is expected to be the majority ball carrier again in Week 13. As always with the late games, fantasy owners are advised to verify the status of players like Murray with a questionable designation.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, foot, (Q): Last week Rodgers was listed as questionable after getting his first practice reps since his foot injury but ended up being inactive. This week Rodgers increased his practice activity, fully participating each day. His questionable status feels much more like a probable designation, but even if he is active, Doug Martin is still expected to shoulder most of the workload for the Buccaneers.