RankingsJune 24, 2010

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Early Bird 2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: TE - 3 comments

By R.J. White

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 29:  Running back Dallas Clark #44 of the Indianapolis Colts completes a reception in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 29, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Unlike with running backs and wide receivers, there’s absolutely no need to spend an early pick on a tight end. Last year, forgotten tight end Vernon Davis rose from obscurity to be the No. 1 player at his position by the end of the year. How often do you see that at another position? Even if you didn’t strike gold with Davis, you could have found top-six options Brent Celek and Visanthe Shiancoe either late in your draft or on the wire early in the season. The owners that did just that, while spending their early picks on the harder-to-fill positions, are likely the ones that won your leagues last year. Will that be you in 2010?

Thanks again to bungle613, joejlitz, Dan Lambskin, dream_017, flux, and bazzy_51 for submitting the rankings that were averaged with my own to give you these rankings.

June Tight End Rankings

1. Dallas Clark
2. Antonio Gates
3. Jason Witten
4. Vernon Davis

Three guys spent the last two seasons in the top five of the final TE rankings; you’ll find two of them at the top of this list, and perhaps Tony Gonzalez should be joining them as a result. Be that as it may, we obviously love Clark and Gates for steady, elite seasons. Witten may have disappointed last year by catching only two TDs, but his reception and yardage totals suggest he’s still heavily involved in the offense.

5. Brent Celek
6. Tony Gonzalez
7. Jermichael Finley
8. Owen Daniels
9. Kellen Winslow

Gonzalez had another solid season in 2009, though it paled in comparison to his previous year’s stats. Still, he finished as the fifth best TE in the game. Three of the people that finished ahead of him are in the first tier, and the other is Celek, who will now have to adjust to life without Donovan McNabb. Finley has brought up tons of sleeper buzz, to the point where you’ll never get him at a discount unless you play in a league littered with clueless owners.

10. Visanthe Shiancoe
11. Chris Cooley
12. John Carlson
13. Heath Miller
14. Zach Miller (OAK)

Shiancoe will benefit a great deal from the return of Brett Favre (should it happen) — he finished second in scoring touchdowns in 2009 behind Vernon Davis. McNabb has always felt comfortable throwing to TEs, which bodes well for the returning-from-injury Cooley. If he’s smart, he’s drafting himself this year. Jason Campbell moves from Washington to Oakland, where he’ll quickly find that Zach Miller is his best receiving target (and it’s not even close).

15. Dustin Keller
16. Kevin Boss
17. Greg Olsen
18. Jeremy Shockey
19. Brandon Pettigrew

Olsen finished as the 10th best tight end in the league last year, but the addition of Mike Martz raises red flags for Olsen’s 2010 outlook. Martz’s teams have largely eschewed using tight ends in the passing game, and that trend has affected Olsen’s stock to the point where he won’t be drafted in many leagues this year. Pettigrew should improve in Year 2, but he could lose targets to imported TE Tony Scheffler.

20. Jermaine Gresham
21. Todd Heap
22. Ben Watson
23. Martellus Bennett
24. Fred Davis

Gresham and Heap found their way onto three ballots, while Watson was listed twice. Both Bennett and Fred Davis picked up a 20th-place vote from our panel. Use that information as you wish.

The Strategist

I generally am not one to draft a tight end early, and 2010 will be no exception. It would be nice to have a guy like Clark or Gates locking down the TE spot for my team, but I’m not willing to pick them in the third or fourth round with so many good RBs and WRs still on the board. The first guy I may target is Jason Witten, and that’s only if last year’s TD-sparse point total scares other owners off, allowing me to land him in the sixth after I’ve built the core of my team. I’d be pretty happy with Gonzalez in the sixth or seventh as well, but if I can’t get him either, there are plenty of fine consolation prizes in one-TE leagues.

R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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3 Responses to “Early Bird 2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: TE”

  1. User avatar joejlitz says:

    I’m rethinking my Zach Miller rankings. He performed very well for a team without a solid QB (66 catches, 805 yards, 3 TDs). Campbell showed he knows how to go to the TE with Cooley in WAS, so I expect Miller to improve on those stats. TDs are fickle, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with 6 or so in 2010.

  2. User avatar Hank_Scorpio says:

    I’m just glad to see Shockey ranked #18. He’s not a fantasy starter anymore — it’s time for everyone to cut bait with this guy.

    Nice job, R.J.

  3. shmity72 says:

    carlson should be at the bottom of tier two…thanks for your hard work!



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