Jason Witten
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By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Thu, Jan 22nd 10:19am EST

Jason Witten came up when most needed in 2014, leading all TE in 3rd down receptions. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: 22 of Witten's 26 3rd third down receptions went for first downs showing that, even if his overall numbers were down, he is still the go-to guy for the Cowboys. A lot was said about Witten's unselfish blocking that fueled the second ranked rushing attack and his willingness to give Gavin Escobar red zone opportunities, but Witten finished the season strong, averaging 68 yards per game in his last five games. The truth is that Witten had his worst statistical season since 2004, fueled by his least targets since 2006, but he still caught five touchdown passes and had eight games with five or more catches. His role may be similar in 2015, so keep that in mind as you select a starting TE.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Sun, Jan 11th 7:11pm EST

Jason Witten had one of his best games of the 2014 season in a losing effort for the Cowboys.

Fantasy Impact: Witten caught six passes for 71 yards, both the second best total of the season, but that was not enough for the Cowboys in a 26-21 loss. He was also the top target for Romo with seven targets and goes into the offseason with five or more catches in four of his past five games. Witten may not be a top-10 TE target coming into 2015, but will always have value as Tony Romo's safety valve.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Thu, Jan 8th 10:38pm EST

Jason Witten is in his 12th NFL season and knows that his chances to make an impact on a winning Cowboy team may be dwindling. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: Witten was a huge part of the Cowboys Wild Card win with his 21 yard reception on 4th and 6 in the fourth quarter, finishing with five catches for 63 yards. Witten's overall numbers may not be great for the season, but he has 23 catches and 271 receiving yards in his past four games, chipping in a touchdown catch as well. Witten has been solid against the Packers in his career, averaging 68 yards per game in their six matchups, but the Packers have been good against tight ends this year, ranked 10th in fantasy points allowed. Witten may be comfortable with Romo, but the Packers defensive will not allow him to have a great game. Unless Witten catches a touchdown pass, which he has never done in six previous playoff games, look for him to have five points or fewer this week.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Tue, Jan 6th 1:12pm EST

Jason Witten was solid in the Wild Card with over the Lions, with five catches for 63 yards, including a huge fourth down conversion in the fourth quarter to keep the Cowboys alive. (Source: Charlotte Observer)

Fantasy Impact: Witten has been quarterback Tony Romo's safety valve for the past nine years, with his impact only increasing in the playoffs. His 21 yard reception on 4th and 6 on Sunday was case and point of Romo's comfort with Witten. He has averaged 15 more yards per game in his five playoff games with Romo than his NFL career, but has not caught a playoff touchdown. Witten has done well against the Packers in his six games, averaging 68 YPG with two touchdowns and 5.5 receptions per game. The Packers ranked tenth against TE this year, so Witten has his work cut out for him, but should continue to be Romo's top option for safer routes.


By Ryan Olinyk, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Dec 22nd 5:17pm EST

Jason Witten helped Tony Romo make history, catching the 15 yard touchdown to pass Troy Aikman on the Cowboys' all-time passing yards list. Witten finished the game with 7 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. (Source: CBS sports)

Fantasy Impact: NIce to see the Cowboys' tight end get in the end zone, it was his second solid game in a row. Jason Witten has an amazing matchup in week 17, going against the Redskins who average the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends per game.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Dec 15th 4:05pm EST

Jason Witten has seven catches for 69 yards against the Eagles.

Fantasy Impact: Witten's seven catches are the most of the 2014 season and the most since Week 17 of the 2013 season, also against the Eagles. Previous to this game, Witten had only averaged four catches for 47 yards in his career in Philadelphia and has only averaged four catches for 32 yards in the past five games. WItten was the most targeted player for the Cowboys last night, with a season high 9 targets, and has an opportunity to thrive in Week 16 as well, as the Colts rank 30th against fantasy tight ends. The Colts have double digit points to tight ends five times this year with four of those outings being for 15 or more points; look for Witten to be a top-10 tight end this week with a strong potential to be a top-5 scorer.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Wed, Dec 10th 9:34am EST

Jason Witten has played in Philadelphia 11 times over his career, but he still has opportunities to learn how to be better against the Cowboys' rival. (Source: Fox Sports)

Fantasy Impact: Witten has had an up and down season this year and over the past two games only has three catches for 34 yards, including only one catch for eight yards against the Eagles on Thanskgiving. Witten had touchdown catches in back to back games before this and had five or more targets in 10 of the first 11 games; over the past two games, though, Witten only has five targets combined and also saw backup tight end Gavin Escobar catch a touchdown pass against the Bears. Over his 11 games against the Eagles in his career, Witten has averaged 47 yards and has only two touchdowns in games against the Eagles in Philadelphia. Witten's role in the offense has diminished this season and the Eagles have the sixth ranked defense against tight ends so he may not be worth a start on Sunday night.


By Ryan Olinyk, Cowboys Correspondent, Fri, Dec 5th 8:10am EST

Jason Witten was held to just 2 receptions for 26 yards on 3 targets Thursday night in Chicago. (Source: CBS sports)

Fantasy Impact: The tight end position has been an absolute disaster this year and Jason Witten added another poor performance on Thursday. If you don't have Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas it is hard to have confidence with any other tight end. Jason Witten is a low-end TE1/high-end TE2.


By Jacob Harpel, Cowboys Correspondent, Fri, Nov 28th 2:20pm EST

Cowboys' TE Jason Witten was held to only one catch for eight yards in the Thanksgiving showdown against the Eagles. (Source: CBS)

Fantasy Impact: This was a huge drop off for Witten, who was able to score in his last two games. The Cowboy TE was only targeted twice the entire game and could not get anything going as the Eagles forced him into his least productive game so far. The Cowboys' will try and rebuild their momentum against the Chicago Bears in week 14.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Nov 24th 1:58pm EST

Jason Witten had an eventful weekend; on Friday, his wife gave birth to the couple's fourth child and on Sunday night against the Giants, Witten caught four passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Witten was a fantasy dud earlier in the season, but has caught touchdown passes in four of his last six games and has been strong for fantasy purposes. His streak of five catches ended at a paltry two games, but Witten continues to find new ways to be a part of the offense. The touchdown catch for Witten was on a roll out on the goal line where quarterback Tony Romo found Witten on a shovel pass. Witten continues to be on the field in almost every formation and will continue to be a vital piece of the Cowboys offense in some form. The Eagles came into Week 12 ranked fourth against tight ends for the season, but allowed Titans TE Delaine Walker to tally 155 receiving yards; Witten may not be that active, but does average six receptions and 67 yards per game against the Eagles in their 21 career matchups.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Tue, Nov 18th 6:36pm EST

Jason Witten knows that statistics are not the most important thing right now and that the Cowboys need to focus on winning the NFC East. (Source: Fox Sports)

Fantasy Impact: Witten has been productive over the past few weeks, a welcome sight for his fantasy owners. After averaging five targets and only 38 yards per game over the first seven weeks of the season, Witten has averaged seven targets and 55 yards over the past three weeks. Witten has also found the endzone in three of the past five games, serving as a safety blanket for Brandon Weeden and Tony Romo. The Giants rank 23rd against tight ends this year and backup tight end Gavin Escobar had two touchdown catches against the Giants earlier this season; Witten may be a lower tier TE1 this week, but could have a good Week 12 performance.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Nov 10th 2:59pm EST

Jason Witten has found a way to build value in the second half of the season with touchdowns in three of five games. (Source: CBS Sports)

Fantasy Impact: Witten again had five receptions and was a double digit fantasy performer; he has five or more catches in three consecutive games and has been a double digit performer in PPR leagues for four of the past five weeks. This is a return to positive value for Witten, who had not scored a touchdown until Week 6, which was also the first week that he had double digit fantasy points. Witten has averaged seven targets per game in his career and has been at seven or more targets in four of ten games this season and is averaging 5.7 targets per game this season; this is a bit of a drop off from his career average, but he has had seven or more targets in each of the last three weeks, showing that the Cowboys will turn to him. Gavin Escobar received critical redzone targets in Weeks 6 and 7, leading to three touchdowns, but he only has one target since then; Witten is the starting TE for the Cowboys and has found a way to be worthy of a starting role in fantasy lineups as well.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Fri, Nov 7th 3:52pm EST

Jason Witten has played every offensive snap for the Cowboys this year and has fought to keep himself as an instrumental part of the offense. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Witten's blocking ability is not something that fantasy owners can get points for, but his blocking keeps him on the field, allowing him to catch the ball. Over the past two weeks, Witten has more than five receptions in each game as well as more than 60 yards per game. This is an improvement on his 60 catch and 708 yard pace for the season and shows that the Cowboys still draw up plays for the 12 year veteran. Brandon Weeden specifically looked to Witten a lot last week as a safety valve and it is well documented that starter Tony Romo looks to Witten frequently; no matter the quarterback, Witten should be a top 10 TE option this week. The Jaguars have given up 8.4 fantasy points per week against TE's this year in standard leagues, including four weeks where they have given up double digit points, as they rank 20th in points allowed to tight ends.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Nov 3rd 9:37am EST

Jason Witten led the team in receptions and yards in a losing effort. (Source: CBS Sports)

Fantasy Impact: For the second consecutive week, Witten had at least five catches and sixty yards, solid numbers for a tight end. Unfortunately for Witten, for the second straight week, it came in a losing effort for the Cowboys. Coming into Brandon Weeden starting, it seemed that the quarterback would look to the experienced Witten and he did, as Witten was second on the team in targets with seven. He is still on pace for his worst full season, but if the Cowboys look to him for six to eight targets per game he may still have value. Witten has a very good rate of catches to targets so if the Cowboys quarterbacks look to Witten as they have, he may have a solid end to the season.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Tue, Oct 28th 11:28am EDT

Jason Witten had his best game of 2014, but it was not enough in the Cowboys' 20-17 loss. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: Witten has had a very weak 2014 season, but was actually a double digit fantasy performer in Week 8 with his five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown last night. This was in a losing effort and Witten was very frustrated with the results in vein of his efforts, as seen in his issue with the coin toss in overtime. Witten has caught 73% of the attempts he has been targeted in and has at least five targets in seven of eight games this year, but the offense has moved away from him a bit. He does have touchdowns in two of three games and is quarterback Tony Romo's safety blanket so there is still at least some value in having Witten. The biggest impact on Witten may be the health of Romo, as backup quarterback Brandon Witten may look to Witten more rather than stretch the field to options like Terrance Williams or Dez Bryant. Keep tabs on Romo's health before making a decision on Witten against the 32nd ranked passing defense of Arizona.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Oct 20th 11:33am EDT

Jason Witten is now only behind Tony Gonzalez in career receiving yards. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: Jason Witten has had his worst full time season for fantasy purposes this year yet still has made historical significance with tight end marks for receptions and yards. Furthermore, his blocking abilities have opened up opportunities in the running game for the league leading rushing attack and his unselfishness in the passing game has allowed players like Terrance Williams to become very strong options. Unfortunately for Witten owners, these are not good things for fantasy; even over the past two weeks, Witten's red zone opportunities have gone to the better receiving tight end in Gavin Escobar. Witten will still be the starting tight end for the Cowboys and get his sparse opportunities as a stable option, but he should no longer be a TE1 in a standard league. He only has three receptions per game and one touchdown over the whole season; for fantasy purposes he is no worth a roster spot.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Oct 13th 1:38pm EDT

Jason Witten becomes the second TE in NFL history with 900 catches. (Source: CBS Sports)

Fantasy Impact: A week after becoming the third TE in NFL history with 10,000 yards, Jason Witten caught his 900th pass in the 2nd quarter versus Seattle yesterday. This catch was also the first touchdown of the year for Witten, ending his five game touchdown drought. The Seahawks have been surprisingly ineffective against tight ends this year and Witten preyed on this in catching his first touchdown of the year. Many may look at Witten's red zone catch as a good omen, but the Cowboys continued to work on deeper routes and the running game in their 30-23 win over Seattle. This may cut out Witten and be a cautionary note for fantasy owners.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Fri, Oct 10th 6:22pm EDT

This is the first time in eight years that Jason Witten has gone five games into the season without a touchdown. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: Much has been written about Jason Witten's role being smaller in the offense this year, but that might change this week. Seattle's defense is its calling card, but they have looked weaker against tight ends than they have in the past. Quarterback Tony Romo's strength is in passes to the left and the middle of the field and that is good for Cowboys fans because Richard Sherman plays on the right side of the Seahawks defensive scheme. Witten is best over the middle and will find a way to get into the end zone this week. Look for a double-digit fantasy output from Witten this week.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Mon, Oct 6th 2:46pm EDT

Jason Witten becomes the third tight end in NFL history to catch for 10,000 yards, joining Shannon Sharpe and Tony Gonzalez. (Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Fantasy Impact: Although Witten set this mark in a four catch, 59 yard performance against Houston, this has been a down year for Witten. He is currently on pace for only 60 receptions, which would be his lowest mark since a 35 reception performance in his rookie season of 2003. He has maintained a yards per catch that is comparable to his career average (11.4) and nearly 74% of his receptions have gone for first downs, but Witten's days of being a top-5 TE may be over. As the Cowboys have boosted their rushing attack through the development of DeMarco Murray, Witten's role with the team has moved to more of a blocker than a receiver. Also, as defenses are more prone to loading the box to defend Murray and the league leading rushing attack, quarterback Tony Romo has looked downfield moreso than the shorter routes that Witten runs. Romo has his highest yards per completion since 2011, which does not bode well for Witten. Fantasy owners should look to either move on from Witten or to find another TE and play the better matchup of the two. Witten actually has a good matchup against the Seahawks in Week 6, as they have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in two of three games and are averaging 13 points per game allowed to tight ends.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Wed, Oct 1st 11:00am EDT

Jason Witten may be getting less of a role in the Cowboys offense, but he is still finding ways to contribute. (Source: Bleacher Report)

Fantasy Impact: Witten's new role with the team may be a fantasy death for 2014. Witten is a great teammate, that has never been doubted, but his fantasy value may not be that high for the remainder of this year. As DeMarco Murray is on a historic rushing pace and Dez Bryant is finding new ways to get Tony Romo's attention by learning new routes, Witten is being a good teammate and focusing on blocking and making the most of the opportunities that he does get in the passing game. There is little, if any chance, that Witten goes the entire season without a touchdown catch or that he will have less than 60 catches and 600 yards as his projections dictate, but Witten is not going be a 90 catch player this season as he has been before. A positive sign for Witten is that quarterback Tony Romo is working on shorter routes and more accuracy. Romo has looked to Witten more than any other receiver in his career; this comfort may lead to a boost in fantasy production in the final three quarters of the season. There will be weeks where Witten will be a good option, but having him as a weekly TE1 may not be smart. He may have a good matchup in Week 6 with Seattle, as the aggressive Seahawks defense may force Romo to look to his most reliable option rather than stretch the defense. Phillip Rivers was able to carve up the Seahawks defense with Antonio Gates in a Chargers upset victory and Romo may have that same luck with Witten in Week 6.


By Chris Zolli, Cowboys Correspondent, Tue, Sep 23rd 12:48pm EDT

Jason Witten may not be having a great start in 2014, but still is a vital part of the Cowboys attack. (Source: Fansided)

Fantasy Impact: Jason Witten has always found a way to be a part of the Cowboys offense and his connection with Tony Romo is undoubtable. Since becoming the starting QB of the Cowboys, Romo has targeted Witten an average of 122 times per season and Witten has four seasons of over 90 catches. His ability to keep plays alive and find soft spots in the coverage keeps Witten's value. He should still be your starting tight end unless you have an elite option like Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas and averages about five catches per game against each of the Cowboys next three opponents (Saints, Texans, and Seahawks). Although Witten is a solid option at TE, it should also be noted that he does not have a touchdown reception against the Saints in the seven games he has played against them.


By Rick Johnson, Cowboys Correspondent, Sat, Sep 20th 9:08am EDT

After two games, Jason Witten has the same amount of receptions, six, as he did in 2012 when he set the NFL single season record for a tight end with 110. Witten says that game flow has dictated more attention to running the ball which is why his numbers are down. (Source: Dallas News)

Fantasy Impact: For now I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to a player who has not had less than 73 receptions since 2006. Start Witten as usual as teams must account for Dez and DeMarco, and stay confident that Tony will look his way more soon enough.


By Bobby Bunch, Cowboys Correspondent, Tue, Sep 9th 11:10pm EDT

Witten managed only 2 catches for 14 yards on 6 targets in Week 1. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: As with the rest of the Cowboy's pass catchers, Witten was a victim of Romo's poor outing. There is still plenty of potential for Witten as he remains Romo's security blanket. Expect better weeks ahead as Romo shakes off the rust and settles into the new offense. Witten's highest value comes in PPR formats as he has averaged 90 catches a season over the last 5 years but averaged only 5 TDs per year in that same span. For now, feel comfortable starting Witten but monitor Romo's progress and adjust accordingly.

Breaking Football | Jul 30th
Beginning of the end for Witten? Perhaps. But Murray leaving could open the door to more passing again
The NY Times | Jul 30th
A spike in targets likely as the Cowboys compensate for a weaker running game.
WalterFootball | Jul 29th
Witten had a down year last season due to the Cowboys extremely effective run game. With DeMarco Murray gone that effectiveness will most likely decrease, which will push the Cowboys to throw more and give Witten a boost again this season.
Fantasy Football Maniax | Jul 15th
Witten's value declined this year, as he finished with just 64 receptions for 703 yards and 5 touchdowns. He should maintain low TE1 to high TE2 value, but I do not see him regaining his Top-5 fantasy TE status.
Fantasy Couch | Jul 7th
He will put up slightly better numbers than he did in 2014. After Witten, the TE selection starts to get very risky