With the lockout officially over it is time to kick fantasy preparation into high gear! Let’s get things rolling with an updated look at the Top 15 tight ends for the coming season:
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers
- Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
- Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
- Zach Miller – Oakland Raiders
- Owen Daniels – Houston Texans
- Chris Cooley – Washington Redskins
- Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons
- Kellen Winslow – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints
- Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions
- Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals
- Greg Olsen – Chicago Bears
- Dustin Keller – New York Jets
- I discussed my thoughts of Jimmy Graham in a recent ADP Thoughts (click here to view), but it is worth repeating here. He is considered a sleeper for a reason. Tight end is not a position that is easy to predict and, if you miss on your selection, you can often find a viable replacement on the waiver wire. With that said, why would you gamble so early on Graham when you can get someone like Cooley, Daniels or Gonzalez as many as 50 picks later? The potential upside between the four does not justify the significantly earlier pick.
- Speaking of Owen Daniels, I mentioned this point the last time I posted rankings, but I just wanted to drive it home once again. Over the final four games of the season he had 22 receptions for 271 yards and 2 TD, showing just how productive he can be when healthy. Don’t let the struggles as he fought back from injury skew your opinion.
- The absence of Marcedes Lewis was not accidental, as he falls just short of the Top 15 for me. I just can’t count on him being able to replicate the 10 TD he scored in 2010, which is where the bulk of his value came from.
- Will Rob Gronkowski be the main tight end for the New England Patriots or will he continue to share time and opportunities with Aaron Hernandez? It certainly helps to limit both of their potential values and making them both TE2 for me. Either could be a viable starter in any given week, but you just never know which one it is going to be.
- Early on in the 2010 campaign it looked like Dustin Keller could emerge as a must use option and the safety blanket for Mark Sanchez. In Weeks 2 & 3 he combined for 13 receptions, 213 yards and 3 TD. In Week 4 he delivered another 2 TD, despite only picking up 28 yards. Unfortunately those were the last TD he would score on the season. Clearly he has the potential, but he needs to put it all together.
Make sure to check out the rest of the early rankings from Rotoprofessor: