Ben Standig

Fantasy Football: Trust Vernon Davis?

No Jordan Reed has fantasy owners scrambling. Here's why his replacement is worth a look.

By Jacob Troxell, special to Breaking Burgundy

He’s one of the top tight ends in the NFL, and in your fantasy league when he is healthy, so now that Jordan Reed is out for the second-straight week with a concussion, what do Jordan Reed owners do now? In the Redskins’ Week 5 win against the Baltimore Ravens, Tight End Jordan Reed suffered his fifth concussion of his college and NFL career, leaving Vernon Davis as the featured tight end in Washington’s offense. Even after missing last week’s contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, Reed remains a top five tight end this season, totaling just over 40 fantasy points in standard scoring ESPN leagues. As one of the biggest and athletic players at his position, it’s hard for anyone to fill Reed’s shoes in the Redskins’ offense, but Vernon Davis did it well enough for the Redskins to win last week. But is it enough for you to count on him in fantasy football?

Reed remains without a timetable for a return, and let’s be honest, if you thought Reed would make it through a 16 game schedule completely healthy, you were grasping at straws. Although Reed played 14 games last year, he has never played all 16 games in one season, as he has struggled with other injuries, not just concussions. While Vernon Davis has only been targeted 15 times all season (four against the Eagles) and caught 12 (two against the Eagles) of those balls, he did play 97 percent of offense snaps last week.

First, let’s solve the now. Week 7 The Redskins will face a porous Detroit Lions defense that is allowing the third-most points to tight ends in ESPN standard scoring leagues. The Lions are also 23 rd in passing yards allowed (271), 27 th in passing yards allowed per attempt (8.2) and have allowed the most passing touchdowns of any team in the NFL this year (17). Week 7 should be an easy decision for Reed owners. Pick up Davis, who is still available in 73.2 percent of ESPN leagues.

Week 8 features an opponent who has had similar struggles in the passing game. The Cincinnati Bengals are 26 th in passing yards per attempt (8.1) and have allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season, the third most in the league. A return from a concussion is always a toss-up, especially with someone who has a rich history of them. Even if Reed does not return in the next two weeks before the Redskins’ Week 9 bye, Davis is primed for success, and plenty of targets both weeks. Of course this means Week 9 Reed owners are stuck with two tight ends on bye weeks. Hopefully, by Week 10, Reed will be healthy again and Davis can be dropped if that holds true.

Fantasy verdict: Start Davis the next two weeks if Reed remains out and drop him at the bye week.

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