Fantasy Football: Jason Witten is Once Again Safe to Start
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
The Dallas Cowboys season has been up and down as always, but Jason Witten is once again on
an upward trend and safe to start after his team returns from their bye week.
Witten has been one of the most reliable tight ends in the National Football League since his
second pro season back in 2004 where he posted 87 receptions for 980 yards. Since that year,
Witten has never posted less than 64 receptions in his career and posted 94 or more in three of the past five seasons.
This season however, Witten has been more known for his dropped passes than his usual clutch
catches. Over the first three games for Dallas, the Tennessee alum had just eight catches for 76 yards. For all the mistakes that the Cowboys made this past week on Monday Night Football, throwing to Witten was not one of them.
The seven-time Pro Bowl selection had 13 catches for 112 yards and a garbage-time touchdown
from Kyle Orton late in the fourth quarter. That 13-reception night marks the most Witten has
had since his 14 catches for 156 yards against the New York Giants back in Week 12 of 2009.
Considering Witten’s history of being quarterback Tony Romo’s security blanket over the
entirety of his career, it was only a matter of time that the big-name tight end got back to his usual self. Something that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones predicted before the Monday Night affair against the Chicago Bears.
Jones told Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News before the game “I think Witten’s probably got the fewest drops of about anybody we’ve ever had around here, so I’m not [concerned].
Turns out the Cowboys owner had no reason to be concerned after all and neither should
Witten’s fantasy owners. He’s not in the same conversation as the top-tier tight ends like Rob
Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham but he’s just below them in terms of production and reliability.
Over the past five seasons, Witten has posted 942 yards or more and 28 total touchdowns which
are as consistent as a fantasy manager can ask for at this position. With so many tight ends rising and falling over the past few seasons, from Owen Daniels to Brent Celek, managers need to try and find a player that can continue to give them reliable numbers.
While the beginning of the season probably left Witten owners pulling their hair out, the Dallas player more than made up for it on Monday night and he’ll continue to do so over the rest of the 2012 season.
Photo credit: Sportsgrid