Allen’s Fantasy Football: Top 10 Tight Ends

Fantasy Football Fantasy Football Rankings

By: Allen Yates

The last important position to draft is the tight end position. These are the players who present alot of touchdowns in the red zone, and are security blankets for quarterbacks all across the league. The position has been in flux due to arrests and injuries, so the top ten may look a little different from previous years.

  1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers – Bye Week: 8 

The 6-5 big bodied tight end has been a staple and model of consistency in the Chargers offense. However, with his injuries of late, the one time basketball star clocks in at number 10 on the list. Gates is a sure handed player who posted sub par numbers to be Antonio Gates. He only went over 60 yards one time this season and averaged a measly 3 yards after the catch. The Chargers offense needs a jolt of something to get them going in the right direction. Maybe Ken Wisenhunt can provide that with his play calling and bring Gates back to being one of the elites again. However, don’t count on much from Gates unless he is healthy and the Chargers do something offensively.

  1. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers – Bye Week: 4 

Olsen is coming off a very productive year, setting single season highs in catches and yards for his career. He was one of Cam Newtons favorite receivers and it showed throughout the season. Olsen has the skill set to sometimes line up in the slot due to his speed and mismatches against linebackers. Although he only eclipsed the 100 yard mark once last season, he should be primed for bigger numbers this season. If Cam looks for him in the red zone, he could have a spike in his TD numbers this coming season as well.

  1. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans – Bye Week: 8 

Daniels was hobbled for most of last season with hip, shoulder, back, and hamstring injuries but did his best to play through them. Daniels is a great receiver who can go get the ball in the middle of the field. The one glaring weakness Daniels has is nothing he can control. The Texans are so run oriented that the receivers often get forgotten down in Houston. In the red-zone it is almost always Arian Foster scoring the ball. Look for Daniels to do more of the same this year, produce solid yardage and a couple scores as the Texans try to reach a championship.

  1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – Bye Week: 5 

Rudolph is an enigma of a player to be on this top ten list. The only reason he clocks in at 7 is because of his nine touchdowns he hauled in last year. Rudolph only had 53 total catches last year, which is easily not top 20 worthy. He should see more targets this coming season with the addition of Greg Jennings to an offensive who was carried by the great Adrian Peterson the whole season. If Rudolph continues to get the red-zone looks, he is an option at number 7.

  1. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens – Bye Week: 8 

Pitta was a sure handed Tight End who broke out last season. He seems to have no problem finding the end zone, or catching passes all over the field. With the loss of Anquan Boldin to the 49ers, look for Pitta to be an even larger threat in the passing game. Pitta only had one game of 100-plus yards, and seemed to turn invisible in a few games this past season, posting 4 catches over 3 games. However, in this new league with not many respectable receiving tight ends, Pitta can be a low risk high reward draft pick.

  1. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – Bye Week: 9 

Davis had an extremely disappointing second half of the season when the spark plug, Colin Kaepernick, took over under center. Davis only recorded one catch from week 14 until the end of the season. Davis is simply too talented to not figure out a way to be a mainstay in the high-octane offense that the 49ers are becoming. Davis may be the fastest tight end in the NFL today, along with his size and strength he should be primed to become the Davis of old. Davis posted 13 TDs back in ’09, and with a full season of workouts and him taking snaps with just the wide receivers, Davis seems primed to have another breakout season.

  1. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys – Bye Week: 11 

Witten showcased his toughness last year playing with a very painful spleen injury. Witten set a single season record for receiving from the tight end position, posting 110 catches. With all that Witten brings to the table, he doesn’t find the end zone that much. Witten only had five end-zone targets last year, and only had three touchdowns. If Witten could get into the end-zone more, he would be a top two tight end because he brings you the yards with ease.

  1. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons – Bye Week: 6 

Tony G finished second in catches last year for the tight end position. He also was third in yards, scores, and fantasy points all at age 36. Tony was strongly considering retirement, but couldn’t leave without one more crack at a Super Bowl. Although Tony is a question because of his age, he is still a dominant red-zone threat. Gonzalez had 12 catches and eight TDs inside the 20. Look to draft Gonzalez high, his red-zone production should be worth your while. 

  1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots – Bye Week: 10     robgronkowski 

When healthy, Gronk is arguably the best and most lethal tight end in the NFL. However, the only problem is his health. Gronk is currently rehabbing from surgery, and the Patriots do not have a timetable for his projected return. However, when he does return consider him a lock to start. He has a whopping 29 red-zone TDs over the past three years. The current state of the Patriots look grim, Aaron Hernandez would be on the list but he was released and is currently battling legal issues that could place him in jail. If and when Gronk comes back, he will be one of his Hall of Fame quarterbacks favorite targets. Be mindful of his health as your draft days come near.

  1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints – Bye Week: 7 

Jimmy had an odd season given his superior size and overall skill set. Graham dropped a NFL-worst 14 passes last season and his receiving yards dropped almost 230 yards. To Grahams credit, he was riddled with injuries last season, wrist and ankle injuries, and the loss of head coach Sean Payton. Look for Graham to get back into form this season due to his coach being back in the fold and a full off season to get 100 percent healthy.

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