Obviously the news regarding Jason Witten has the biggest impact on these rankings, but it doesn’t represent the only change. Let’s take a look at how things currently look (the number in parenthesis represents a players previous ranking):
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots (1)
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints (2)
- Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots (4)
- Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers (5)
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers (6)
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers (7)
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys (3)
- Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions (8)
- Fred Davis – Washington Redskins (9)
- Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons (10)
- Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos (11)
- Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles (12)
- Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans (13)
- Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals (14)
- Owen Daniels – Houston Texans (15)
- Colby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts (16)
- Dustin Keller – New York Jets (17)
- Kellen Winslow – Seattle Seahawks (18)
- Martelius Bennett – New York Giants (19)
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings (20)
- Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts (NR)
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers (21)
- Tony Moeaki – Kansas City Chiefs (22)
- Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens (23)
- Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns (NR)
Dropped from rankings – Kellen Davis, Heath Miller
- Jason Witten could still be the #3 tight end by year’s end, but his recently revealed spleen injury does cause some concern. According to Albert Breer (via Twitter), “Garrett says they’ll reevaluate next week, after that 8-10 day period, no surgery now.” If surgery is eventually needed Witten will miss a few games, so there obviously is now a bit of risk involved in drafting him. Until we know what is going to happen he has to fall a few spots in the rankings.
- According to John Klein of the Washington Examiner (click here for the article), “The oft-repeated line is that a tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend. Well, maybe. But the reality is that when it comes to Robert Griffin III, Fred Davis hasn’t been a favored target throughout training camp. It’s Pierre Garcon.” He went on to say that, “Davis continues having a quiet camp.” That’s not to say that Davis won’t have a big year, as many expect, but I definitely wouldn’t be reaching for him. There’s just as good of a chance of someone like Jacob Tamme, Jared Cook or Colby Fleener having a better season.
- Speaking of Fleener, while his rapport with Andrew Luck is going to help, is he the best tight end the Colts have? According to Paul Kuharsky of espn.com (click here for the article), “But while Fleener’s been streaky in the early stages of his first camp, I’m told Allen’s steadily been the same guy I’ve been watching over the last couple of days. He’s thick (6-foot-3, 255 pounds), athletic and versatile. He’s playing the “F” spot in the offense of Bruce Arians, a “move” tight end who can line up anywhere, shift anywhere, block as needed and get open to show off his quality hands and run with the ball.” While Fleener remains higher on the rankings, for now, Allen is quietly becoming a tremendous sleeper option.
- We previously talked about the Brown’s Jordan Cameron as a potential sleeper at the position (click here to view). He looked the part in the first week of the preseason, with 2 receptions for 58 yards (second most among tight ends), including a 42 yard romp. He moves onto the bottom of our rankings and should continue to be viewed as a potential under-the-radar option in all formats.
Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: