This year there are 7 elite Tight Ends and 5 or 6 more that will be fantasy starters this year. If you’re in a 12 team league that mean you can be the last team to take a TE and you can still get a good starter. This year more than any year I’m not taking a top 5 Tight End
1. Antonio Gates, SD – The lack of Vincent Jackson for at least 3 weeks means Gates will be the #1 receiver on that team for the first 3 weeks and even when Jackson is back he’ll still the most targets of any tight tend.
2. Jermichael Finley, GB – He had at least 70 yards in 5 of his last 6 games and should see his TDs approach double digits
3. Dallas Clark, Ind – Clark is part of the best offense in football (at least top 2) and is always a focal point, it will be hard for him to repeat his 10 TDs from last year though
4. Jason Witten, Dal – Only has 2 TDs last year which is sure to go up this year. Money in the bank for 1,000 yards and 90 catches.
5. Brent Celek, Phi – Celek will be the safety blanket for first year QB Kevin Kolb
6. Vernon Davis, SF – Fantasy zombie Vernon Davis rose from the dead last year, but don’t expect a repeat of his 13 TDs.
7. Tony Gonzalez, Atl – With Michael Turner and Harry Douglas healthy I think his production drops off this year.
8. Zach Miller, Oak – For the first time in his career he’ll have a TD who can get him the ball and it will be Jason Campbell, a QB who loves the tight end.
9. Kellen Winslow, TB – Winslow didn’t have a TD in the last 8 weeks, but had at least 4 catches each week
10. Visanthe Shiancoe, Min – All he does is catch touchdowns and that will continue this season
11. Chris Cooley, Was – McNabb has made a living checking down to his TEs.
12. Owen Daniels, Hou – Daniels has top 5 potential, but he still hasn’t practiced this year and that worries me.
13. Heath Miller, Pit – He had career highs in first downs and TDs last year, Big Ben being out actually helps his value.
14. Dustin Keller, NYJ – Keller had a TD in each of the Jets’ playoff games last year, he worth a flier if you take a backup.
15. Greg Olsen, Chi – Mike Martz doesn’t care of the TE much, but Olsen is still a big target in the red zone.
16. Jeremy Shockey, NO – If he can stay healthy he’ll be a fantasy starter, I’m not convinced he can stay healthy though.
17. Todd Heap, Bal – He’s a capable bye week fill in, but Ed Dickson will push him for playing time.
18. Jermaine Gresham, Cin – When was the last time the Bengals had a good tight end, fantasy or real life? I can’t remember either. Gresham has a shot at 600 yards this year
19. John Carlson, Sea – If Charlie Whitehurst earns the starting job sometime this year Carlson could repeat his 7 TDs of 2009.
20. Kevin Boss, NYG – With the terrible offensive line last year the Giants made boss stay in and block rather than catch passes.