With Golden Tate and Mike Williams still nursing injuries, look for Seattle Seahawks’ tight end John Carlson to shine this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Carlson has had a slow year thus far, disappearing in the passing gam for long stretches at time. Seahawks’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck makes his triumphant return this weekend after recovering from a concussion and should look for Carlson early and often against the Arizona Cardinals. Chris Baker is also back in action for Seattle and should help take a bit of the pressure off Carlson in multiple tight end sets.
ESPN has Carlson low in this week’s rankings, using his production this season as a baseline for his No. 18 ranking. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals tight ends are near non-existent, combining for only 17 catches, 139 yards and no touchdowns on the season. With the quarterback situation in flux and Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver, Arizona need not bother with the tight end, using them mostly for blocking. Even in the red zone, the Cardinals will look more to Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells in the running game or make use of Fitzgerald in the passing game.
The bottom line: Carlson may see targets but is an unknown while Arizona doesn’t have a viable option at the position. Use Carlson if you have no better options and are looking for a sleeper, but run and hide from any of the Arizona tight ends.