Matt Maiocco, of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, reports San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis sustained a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the team's Week 3 game. He will likely miss at least two games. Tight end Delanie Walker will likely start in his place.
Quarterback Alex D. Smith now loses one of his main targets in the passing game. Smith should still do fine, as wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Arnaz Battle are doing fine with the third-year quarterback. Where the loss of Davis could hurt is in the red zone. Smith has thrown Davis' way three times in the red zone, or 15.8 percent of the time.
Replacing Davis at tight end will be Walker, who has three receptions for 19 yards so far in 2007. Walker is entering just his second year with the team and has been a backup both seasons, limiting his role in the team's offense. He was a decent receiver in college, earning 1,347 receiving yards in 20 games with Central Missouri State.
Smith should be fine while Davis sits out. He still has running back Frank Gore, Jackson and Battle to use in the team's offense. The loss of Davis could hurt his numbers a little but not enough to cause fantasy owners to drop him if they do own him.
Davis owners will need to look for other options for the next three games. He is expected to miss just two games, but the team has a Bye week on Week 6, which should give him three weeks to rest and recover. Walker may be worth picking up, as he has some talent catching the ball in college. How that translates to the NFL has yet to be seen, so anyone who takes a chance on Walker will want to make sure he is benched.
Carolina Panthers tight end Jeff King could be worth picking up if you need a tight end. King has caught 13 passes for 130 yards with one touchdown so far in 2007. He's available in approximately 98 percent of fantasy leagues, so he should be easy to grab. He will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals over the next three weeks.
Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels is another option. He caught just one pass for 14 yards Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Since then, he has caught 12 passes for 114 yards in the past two weeks. He is available in approximately 56 percent of fantasy leagues. Daniels will play the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars over his next three games.
About Michael Egnak
Michael Egnak is a Hot Off The Wire Analyst at KFFL and has been with the company since 2005. Covering both NFL and MLB, Egnak is also a key contributor to KFFL's fantasy services.
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