Despite getting older, Atlanta Falcons‘ tight end Tony Gonzalez is still playing like he’s a young man. Widely regarded as the greatest tight end in NFL history, Gonzalez hasn’t seemed to slow down one bit in recent years. He’s as dangerous as he ever was and remains a key part of the Falcons’ offense and Super Bowl hopes. He has leadership qualities and intangibles that every coach dreams of and he posts great numbers year after year. Needless to say, we’ve come to expect a lot from him. So, it’s no wonder he has his Fantasy owners scratching their heads right now.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Gonzalez has only seven receptions for 69 yards. He did score one touchdown in Week 1, but it did nothing but salvage his week at that point. This kind of output obviously isn’t going to lead anyone to a Fantasy title, and owners have every right to be disappointed. But before you jump ship and try to trade him for name-value, pump the brakes. He’s about to atone and then some.
The Falcons play the Miami Dolphins this week, who seem to have opposing tight ends’ best interests at heart. They paved the way for Jordan Cameron‘s breakout performance in Week 1, allowing him nine receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. Coby Fleener, who had one reception for seven yards in Week 1, caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown against them last week. The Dolphins have a mean defensive line, but their secondary seems to be a really nice group of guys.
The Falcons have issues of their own, namely on offense. Wide receiver Roddy White is badly hobbled on account of his consecutive-games-played streak taking precedence over his health, and running back Steven Jackson is now sidelined for a few weeks with a thigh injury. The Dolphins are likely to throw double coverage on Julio Jones, leaving us with simple math:
Falcons offense – White – Jackson – Jones = ?
You guessed it! The answer is Gonzalez. Jones will definitely still be involved in the passing game, but if he is indeed double covered, the ball will be going to Gonzalez as often as possible. The Falcons figure to have to throw a lot in this one as well, due to the useless plodding nature of backup running back Jacquizz Rodgers and a stout Miami front-seven. That obviously bodes well for Gonzalez, who even stated this week that he expects to be leaned on heavily in this matchup, and also predicted one-on-one coverage against him. Those who have tried to play him one-on-one in the past can share their horror stories with you anytime.
He may have let you down last week, but he’ll put you on his back tomorrow. Get ready to see the Gonzalez we all know and love, and if you’re playing him, best of luck!