Fantasy Football Preview: Tight Ends


We’re coming down to the home stretch here. I mean that in two ways: I only have two posts left and three position previews for fantasy football (this post is for tight ends and the last post will combine defenses and kickers) and the regular season opener is 10 days away! WOO! But onto the fantasy football part…

Top 5 Tight Ends:

1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Projections: 164 points, 77 receptions, 1000 yards, 8 TD
Last Year: 50 receptions, 800 yards, 10 TD
Bye Week: 6

His numbers from last year were great. And he missed 6 games. That just tells you how amazing of a player he is. He is and will be the top tight end for years to come. If you want to rely on a tight end, draft him. He’ll go early for a TE.

2. Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts
Projections: 150 points, 93 receptions, 1000 yards, 8 TD
Last Year: 37 receptions, 300 yards, 3 TD
Bye Week: 11

Those with Dallas Clark last season weren’t very happy. He missed 10 games with an injury. Last season was bad for tight ends all together injury-wise. This season he’ll be back to his old, healthy form and as Peyton Manning’s favorite target.

3. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Projections: 136 points, 91 receptions, 1000 yards, 6 TD
Last Year: 94 receptions, 1000 yards, 9 TD
Bye Week: 5

Witten put up good numbers last season for a TE without Tony Romo throwing to him for over half the season. With Romo healthy and the whole Cowboys team extremely better than last season, Witten will have an even better fantasy season.

4. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers
Projections: 135 points, 70 receptions, 1000 yards, 7 TD
Last Year: 21 receptions, 300 yards, 1 TD
Bye Week: 8

Mr. Tweet-a-lot missed 11 games last season on a very injured but Super Bowl Champ Green Bay Packers team. However, he’s healthy and is looking to do some damage to opposing defenses this season. He’s regarded as one of the best tight ends in the league and will put up numbers to show it.

5. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Projections: 135 points, 66 receptions, 900 yards, 8 TD
Last Year: 56 receptions, 900 yards, 7 TD
Bye Week: 7

One of only a few bright spots for the 49ers (along with Crabtree [who may not even be a bright spot], Patrick Willis, and Frank Gore) he will continue to be Alex Smith’s security blanket meaning he’ll be thrown to quite a few times and make quite a few catches for quite a few yards.

Top 3 Tight Ends to Avoid:

1. Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks
Projections: 102 points, 63 receptions, 800 yards, 4 TD
Last Year: 60 receptions, 700 yards, 5 TD
Bye Week: 6

Last season he had a fair at best QB throwing to him in Jason Campbell. This season, he’ll have an awful QB throwing to him in Travaris Jackson (please, someone explain to me why Carroll would have Jackson starting). His fantasy numbers will be even worse this season.

2. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Projections: 87 points, 62 receptions, 600 yards, 5 TD
Last Year: 70 receptions, 700 yards, 6 TD
Bye Week: 8

For a guy that changed the position of tight end, his career may as well be over. He can no longer run, get separation, or jump. He is barely targeted as it is and has seen even less in the preseason. When he is targeted, he hardly catches anything. If he does catch a ball, he does nothing after the catch. Avoid him.

3. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
Projections: 70 points, 50 receptions, 500 yards, 3 TD
Last Year: 42 receptions, 500 yards, 2 TD
Bye Week: 11

I’m not just picking him because I want to find anything bad about the Steelers that I can. He had a down year last season but expect this season for it to be even worse. That’s because the Steelers offensive line is even worse than the Ravens (and you didn’t like that was possible). So, he’ll be staying behind to block. This is good news for the Ravens because this allows our defense to be able to get to Roethlisberger AND it takes away one of Roethlisberger’s targets.

Top 3 Tight End Sleepers:

1. Todd Heap, Arizona Cardinals
Projections: 80 points, 42 receptions, 500 yards, 5 TD
Last Year: 40 receptions, 600 yards, 5 TD
Bye Week: 6

Our beloved HEAAAAAP will fare very well in Arizona, I predict. With their new franchise QB Kolb, he’ll be thrown to very often (along with Fitzgerald obviously) as a security blanket. He’ll be relied on in the end zone as well as on 3rd downs.

2. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans
Projections: 122 points, 69 receptions, 900 yards, 6 TD
Last Year: 38 receptions, 500 yards, 2 TD
Bye Week: 11

He missed 5 games last season and is establishing himself as one of the top players at the position. ESPN has him ranked as the 6th TE but I guarantee many people will undervalue and overlook him. I wouldn’t if I were you.

3. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Projections: 105 points, 59 receptions, 700 yards, 6 TD
Last Year: 31 receptions, 400 yards, 5 TD
Bye Week: 11

Last season, he put up decent numbers for a rookie. Now, in his second season with the Saints, he knows the offense a lot more and is the new number one TE with Jeremy Shockey gone. Put that together with the great rapport he’s built up with Brees, we have ourselves a major sleeper who could finish as one of the top 5 or even top 3 TEs in the league. In the preseason game against the Raiders, he was thrown to 9 times and caught 5 balls for 73 yards in a half. He won’t be thrown too that often every game, but he’ll be stellar this season.

There you have. The final fantasy football preview will be coming soon and will take a look at both the defense/special teams position as well as the kicker (two of the least important).