The Morning After: Don’t stress if you slept on Ogletree, Bennett’s a better bet

Fantasy owners jumping for joy over their add of Kevin Ogletree should temper their expectations.

After exploding onto the national stage last night with a 114 yard, two touchdown effort, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree is the hottest commodity since Hansel. With nearly 55,000 adds in Yahoo! leagues at the time of this post, you had to be quicker on the draw than the kid from “American Pie” in order to land Tony Romo’s new man crush. As a result, many fantasy owners are likely dwelling on the fact that they missed out on their chance to snag a new weapon for their fake football teams.

Don’t worry. You’ll live without Ogletree.

Sure, it’s always nice to be the first one in your league to crack the next big thing (much like Victor Cruz’s owners last season), but there are a few reasons why Ogletree wasn’t necessarily worth a roster spot:

Targets/Health of Supporting Cast Romo found Ogletree roaming around the field 8 times last night, which is certainly a robust number of catches. But with Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant all coming around from injuries, Ogletree won’t see that many looks every week. Once all of Romo’s security blankies are back at practice on a consistent basis, Ogletree will come back down to Earth.

Matchup I am fairly confident New York trotted out their practice squad secondary last night. Decimated by injuries through preseason, Ogletree feasted on the Giants’ B unit. Up against healthy defenses, he won’t have a 20-foot catch radius.

Outlier Theory Compared to Ogletree’s career statistics, last night was a flash in the pan. For example, in 14 games last season, Ogletree has a mere 15 catches for 164 yards – or 50 more total yards than last night. That means that, even with Austin out for six games, Ogletree was no more on Romo’s radar than usual. In 2009 and 2010, he failed to crack 100 yards receiving for the entire season.

Who Else is There to Drop? This is the most important factor in why Ogletree is not the answer to your roster conundrums. If I am looking at benches filled with high-upside players like Russell Wilson, Kyle Rudolph, or Randall Cobb, Ogletree is not worth putting one of those guys back out in the wild for everyone else to snatch up. Now, if you are like an owner in one of my leagues and you are staring at Mario Manningham (and, more critically, Alex Smith throwing to him) wasting away on your bench, then by all means Ogletree was a smart move. But few players were worthy of the drop that would have been needed to make space for the Cowboys’ newest star.

So what’s the alternative for those who missed out?

Giants tight end Martellus Bennett could surprise at the position this season.

In watching the game last night, I did find myself rushing to the waiver wires for one player not named Ogletree. That player is Giants tight end Martellus Bennett. The former Cowboy has long been thought of as an athletic freak who would throw up huge numbers, but when you are sitting behind Jason Witten you don’t see the field too often. Thinking about the way New York employs tight ends in the red zone (think Jake Ballard and Kevin Boss of recent years past), Bennett is worth a waiver flier if you weren’t able to draft 3G coverage (Graham, Gronk, or Gates). With 40 yards and a touchdown last night, Bennett could be a this year’s breakout tight end.

So, if you whiffed on Ogletree, have no fear. There are plenty of other fish in the fantasy sea, and it was only the first game. Give your roster a few weeks to breathe as is, then make the big splashes that will take you to the top of the standings.


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