A gimpy Jimmy Graham makes the most of his limited playing time in Week 8

10/28/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Through five games of the 2013 season, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was on pace to have the best campaign an NFL tight end has ever had. He was posting lofty totals in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, and as the premier weapon in a high-powered offense led by Drew Brees, it seemed like Graham had a great shot to keep his torrid pace.

An injury in Week 6, however, has slowed Graham considerably. He posted a goose egg in the Saints' Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots, then used the Saints' Week 7 bye to get as healthy as possible. He returned in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills, but was extremely limited, playing only 18 snaps.

Graham has a partially torn plantar fascia in his foot, and while there is no risk of worsening the injury by playing through it, it is still an extremely painful ailment. The pain very well may not subside unless the facia completely tears.

Blog Photo - A gimpy Jimmy Graham makes the most of his limited playing time in Week 8Though he may be limited until the pain goes away, Graham is still making an impact in his very limited playing time. In those meager 18 snaps on Sunday, Graham was targeted just three times, but caught all three passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns.

Making the most of limited looks is nothing new for Graham. Over the two weeks previous to his injury, Graham had hauled in 14-of-14 targets for 235 yards. In Week 4, he was targeted only four times, but turned those four targets into 100 yards and two touchdowns. When a player is as talented as Graham (not to mention as dangerous of a red zone target), a ton of looks aren't always necessary to turn in big numbers.

It looks like Graham will continue to be limited by his partially torn plantar facia, at least in the short term. While you can't expect fantasy football's best tight end to continue to post lines highlighted by two touchdowns, Graham is clearly still a fantasy option as long as he is getting action in red zone packages.

Graham's status is bound to be updated constantly throughout the week, and we will hopefully have a good idea of how many snaps he'll get before he and the Saints take on the New York Jets next Sunday.
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