2012 Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Top 25 Tight Ends (Updated 08/23/12)

The Jason Witten situation continues to have the biggest impact on our tight end rankings, so let’s see where he falls and all the other changes from the past week:

Tier 1 – The Elite

  1. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots (1)
  2. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints (2)

Tier 2 – Not Elite, But Extremely Good Options

  1. Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots (3)
  2. Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers (4)
  3. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers (5)
  4. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers (6)
  5. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys (7)
  6. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions (8)

Tier 3 – Worth Considering as a Low-End TE1

  1. Fred Davis – Washington Redskins (9)
  2. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons (10)
  3. Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos (11)
  4. Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles (12)
  5. Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans (13)
  6. Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals (14)

Tier 4 – Solid TE2 Options

  1. Owen Daniels – Houston Texans (15)
  2. Colby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts (16)
  3. Dustin Keller – New York Jets (17)
  4. Kellen Winslow – Seattle Seahawks (18)

Tier 5 – Possible Breakout Candidates

  1. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers (22)
  2. Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings (20)
  3. Martelius Bennett – New York Giants (19)
  4. Dwayne Allen – Indianapolis Colts (21)
  5. Tony Moeaki – Kansas City Chiefs (23)
  6. Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens (24)
  7. Jordan Cameron – Cleveland Browns (25)

Dropped from rankings –None


  • According to an article in the Gaston Gazette (click here for the article), “Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes Olsen could be poised for a breakout season not having to share catches with Jeremy Shockey, now a free agent, and with the arrival of new fullback Mike Tolbert, who should lighten Olsen’s load as a blocker.  In fact, Rivera believes ‘it’s possible’ Olsen could put up numbers similar to what Gronkowski and Graham did last season.”  That seems a bit of an extreme expectation, though it goes to show you just how highly the team thinks of him.  He is definitely a TE2 that needs to be on your radar.
  • Wondering why Heath Miller isn’t included in these rankings?  According to Jamison Hensley of espn.com (click here for the article), “Tight end Heath Miller was expected to be featured more in Haley’s offense, but that remains to be seen after what happened in camp. Miller didn’t get many passes thrown his way, and he wasn’t even on the field on a third down in a red zone drill.”  That’s more than enough of a reason to avoid him as it appears like he will be more of a blocker this season.
  • While Jason Witten has the potential to be the third best tight end this season, we are unfortunately in a holding pattern.  Until we know the extent of his injuries and how long he may be out, we will just have to wait and see.

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

2012 Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers (Updated 08/24/12)
2012 Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs (Updated 08/22/12)

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