(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)
Every week it seems like the barren wasteland that is the tight end position in the NFL gets even weaker. Week 4 saw O.J. Howard go down with an injury that is expected to keep him out a few weeks, and Will Dissly is out with a season-ending knee injury.
Dissly’s injury opens up the door for third-year Nick Vannett to take over as Seattle’s No. 1 tight end. However, he won’t hold onto the job for long. Starting in Week 8, veteran Ed Dickson will return from the injured reserve. Pete Carroll confirmed that he is healthy, and considering the commitment they made to Dickson he will no doubt take over as the primary option. Dickson has not been a big-time threat as a pass-catcher historically, although he filled in admirably for Greg Olsen last season in Carolina. He finished that year with 30 receptions for 437 yards and one touchdown.
Touchdowns are going to be the big hinge for Dickson’s fantasy value. The Seahawks heavily utilized Jimmy Graham in the red zone last season, and have targeted both Dissly and Vannett multiple times through Seattle’s first four games. Dickson’s six-foot-four, 250 pound frame is built to be a red zone weapon, and although he has not held that role very often in his career, he does have 12 career touchdowns.
The Seahawks are lacking a true red zone threat, with Brandon Marshall struggling with drops and Dissly out for the year. Having Doug Baldwin back helps, but ultimately Dickson could be the guy Seattle turns to in the red zone.
With bye weeks coming up soon, the tight end position is going to get even more thin. Dickson returns Week 8 against the Lions. That week, the Falcons (Austin Hooper) Cowboys (Geoff Swaim) Chargers (Antonio Gates) and Titans (Jonnu Smith) will be on a bye. In Week 9, the Seahawks face the Chargers. The Cardinals (Ricky Seals-Jones) Bengals (Tyler Eifert) Colts (Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle) Jaguars (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) Giants (Evan Engram) and Eagles (Zach Ertz) are all on a bye week.
Dickson is by no means a TE1, but when the bye week hell starts rolling in, he isn’t going to be the worst option to turn to. Sadly.