3. Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers
Stats: five receptions, 138 yards and one touchdown
The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a terrible start and some are beginning to hit the panic button. Their defense was rocked this past week against the Kansas City Chiefs which forced Ben Roethlisberger to go to the air more often.
Jesse James was one of the winners from Pittsburgh’s defensive problems. He had five targets with one reception going for 46 yards. Fellow tight end, Vance McDonald, also had five targets but only caught three passes for 23 yards.
Roethlisberger has always utilized the tight end position. However, he has major weapons at wide receiver that demand the ball.
Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster each had over 16 targets in this game. James will continue to get work and is starting to establish himself as the team’s top tight end. This is now two weeks in a row where he produced over 50 receiving yards.
James won’t be able to sustain TE1 production, but he has put himself into the mix as a fill in tight end and solid streamer. The key will be to keep an eye on McDonald’s involvement. This past weekend was his first game of the year and still saw five targets.