TEs – Jared Cook, Richard Rodgers
Week 2 Statistics:
Cook – 4 catch, 31 receiving yards; 3.10 fantasy points
Rodgers – 2 catch, 25 receiving yards; 2.50 fantasy points
The tight end spot routinely has been a sore spot for me in recent years. Though I had plenty of frustrations brought on by Jermichael Finley over his career, when his career ended it took out an integral piece of this offense that has never come close to being replaced since.
Green Bay has added options at the spot in that time, but none have ever brought along the kind of value and production that let the coaching staff trust making the position a focus of their offensive gameplans.
As it stands however, the offense is struggling with what they had found success doing in the early wake of Finley’s absence, and the guys they added in recent offseasons should allow them to at least try incorporating more usage of the position.
This would be a great week to really test that theory out.
Among the things lost in the 17-14 slugfest against Minnesota might be that we actually did see this spot getting a decent amount of looks in the passing game. Between Cook and the other Rodgers, we saw eight passes targeted to tight ends against the Vikings, with most of those coming in the few times the offense gained any semblance of a rhythm.
With the health issues that have struck the Lions at the linebacker position, the middle of the unit is likely to have holes all game. With only two healthy linebackers as it stands, Detroit may have to resort to using more nickel and dime package looks — giving guys like Cook (6’5″, 254 lbs) and Rodgers (6’4″, 257 lbs) a massive size advantage; even if they don’t, the current available players there aren’t exactly world-beaters (per PFF, every Lions LB option is currently rated as replacement-level for their 2016 play).
If the team’s gameplan focuses on attacking the weakest areas of their opposition, Cook and Rodgers should see a good combined workload, and their size should help them act as great end-zone targets to finish off drives.