When fantasy football draft season rolled around, Coby Fleener was getting hype as a set-and-forget TE1 who would lead you to championship glory. Never accounting for the actual talent of the real-life player, fantasy prognosticators filled your heads with seasons past of Jimmy Graham and Ben Watson production. Instead, Fleener was revealed to be the same player he was in Indianapolis, just unfettered by the meddlesome Dwayne Allen.
Fleener this year has been part of the indistinguishable morass of sometimes-usable tight ends. The only difference between Fleener and the rest of them was his draft stock last August. He’s had three games all year over seven fantasy points, and exceeded sixty yards just once since week three. The Saints simply have too many mouths to feed for Fleener to be a needed part of that offense. He’s dropped down to being an unreliable matchup-based play, and even then, he isn’t that great of a play. He’s gotten fewer than twenty fantasy points four times this year, and over sixty just three times (and a naked sixty yards gets him just below TE1 territory, not even startable). He’s had just five startable weeks this year, and he can’t be a player you rely on weekly. This week, he gets a terrible matchup in your fantasy semi-finals. It’s also worth noting that two of the games where Fleener hit the mythical seven fantasy points for a TE1, he was playing against the league’s worst defense against tight ends.
This week Fleener takes on the best defense in the NFL at stopping fantasy production from tight ends. So far this year, the most a tight end has scored on them was last week when Charles Sims caught the first touchdown against them and mustered a respectable, nice 6.9 fantasy points. Before then, only three players had at least fifty yards against the Cardinals. Those three (Jimmy Graham, Vance McDonald and Lance Kendricks) had 155 yards combined against the Cardinals. They represent nearly half of the tight end production against them, as the #1 TE in every other game this year has combined for only 159 yards against the Cardinals. The other TE list includes Greg Olsen, Martellus Bennett, Cam Brate and Kyle Rudolph—all good matchup tight ends.
Coby Fleener hasn’t lived up to his draft day promise, and this isn’t the week to try to ride him to the fantasy finals. He has been lost in the shuffle with Michael Thomas and Willie Snead coming on, and his matchup is literally the worst possible in the NFL. Steer clear, unless you want this to be the last fantasy lineup you set in 2016.