Bucs Fantasy Brief: Can We Consider Dallas Clark a Fantasy Starter?

Sunday will mark an interesting reunion between two former Indianapolis Colts teammates. Now, playing for different teams, Dallas Clark of the Buccaneers will be facing Peyton Manning of the Broncos for the first time ever.

The duo played pitch-and-catch in Indy for eight years. In that timeframe Clark caught 393 passes for 4,535 yards and 44 touchdowns. From 2007-2009, the heyday of the pair, Clark had 235 catches for 2,507 yards and 27 touchdowns, solidifying him as a must-own fantasy tight end.

So far this season, Clark has not had the fantasy football numbers that he is seen in the past, as he has made a return from two injury-marred seasons. But in recent weeks he has been showing signs of life as the Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense continues to thrive. On the year, Clark has 31 receptions on 45 targets; 11 of those receptions and 15 of his targets have come in just the last two games while he has scored twice in his last three outings.

With defenses planning heavy to stop Doug Martin’s impressive running game, while paying equal mind to the Buccaneers’ receivers that have compiled a league-leading number of receptions of 40+ yards, Dallas Clark has snuck his way into sleeper status in the last two weeks.

In Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Clark was third among NFL tight ends in points-per-reception (PPR) fantasy points scored and seventh in non-PPR formats. The numbers continued last week as he put up his third double-digit PPR fantasy game of the season.

Going into the Peyton Manning “reunion” game on Sunday, Clark is once again in good position to post some solid fantasy statistics. The Denver Broncos defense is giving up the third most points to tight ends in PPR formats, and the most points to tight ends in standard leagues.

Having given up 62 receptions, 716 yards and eight touchdowns, the Broncos are allowing a league high 10.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. As they are ranked sixth-best against running backs and ninth-best against receivers, Dallas Clark becomes a more-than-viable fantasy football tight end option. If you are in a deeper league, or even struggling with your current tight end in a PPR league, this Clark/Manning meet-up could certainly spark some flashbacks.

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