These 2010 Fantasy Football Tight Ends Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers. Bye: 10. AUG. 27 UPDATE:
Jermichael Finley's heading to the top of my tight end rankings. In just one half of action, Finley saw nine targets, and caught six balls for 85 yards and a touchdown. He's a freak of nature who can't be stopped.
AUG. 22 UPDATE:
Jermichael Finley saw a team-high five targets from Aaron Rodgers at Seattle, converting those looks into four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Finley could easily finish as the No. 1 tight end this year; the only tight ends who should be going before him in fantasy are Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates, and even then, Finley might be the best option.
All aboard the Jermichael Finley bandwagon! I had Jermichael Finley as a sleeper last year, and he didn't disappoint. This season, I'll be pretty surprised if he doesn't finish as a top-five fantasy tight end. Finley is incredibly talented and will be a full-time starter in 2010.
Finley's 2009 stats (55 catches, 676 yards, 5 TDs) don't tell the whole story. He started off slow and missed three weeks in the middle of the season. During his final eight games last year, Finley caught 44 balls for 575 yards and four touchdowns. Multiply that by two for a full 16-game slate, and you get 88 receptions, 1,150 yards and eight scores.
With Tony Gonzalez turning 34, and Vernon Davis' bloated numbers bound to dip just a bit, Finley is my No. 3 fantasy tight end.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 78 catches. 1,025 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 162.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 240.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers. Bye: 10.
Antonio Gates had yet another great season in 2009, catching 79 balls for 1,157 yards and eight touchdowns. He'lllikely receive more targets during Vincent Jackson's 2-4 game suspension and subsequent hiatus.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 83 catches. 1,075 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 161.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 244.
Dallas Clark, TE, Colts. Bye: 7.
Dallas Clark went berserk last year, catching 100 passes for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. I don't think he'll match his reception and yardage totals in 2010, but double-digit touchdowns is always possible as long as Peyton Manning is healthy.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 88 catches. 975 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 157.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 245.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers. Bye: 9.
I don't need to tell you that Vernon Davis had an incredible year. He caught 78 passes for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those expecting a repeat performance, however, will probably be disappointed. The 49ers will be running the ball more, and some of Davis' end-zone targets will go to Michael Crabtree. Don't get me wrong; Davis is still going to have a solid season. It just won't match what he did in 2009.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 71 catches. 880 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 142.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 213.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys. Bye: 4. AUG. 9 UPDATE:
What happened to using Jason Witten on the goal line? Though Cowboys coaches promised to use Witten more in the red zone, Witten ran only one route on goal-to-go at the 1-yard line against the Bengals. On that play, Romo felt the pressure and had to dump it off to Felix Jones. Instead of Witten getting the end-zone targets, Roy Williams undeservedly saw two tosses go his way. I want to see what happens in Dallas' next two preseason games, but it's not looking good right now.
AUG. 8 UPDATE:
ESPN.com is reporting that the Cowboys coaching staff plans on using Jason Witten more as a receiving threat in the red zone. Witten's touchdown totals have never been high because he's always been asked to block. If the team is serious about this, Witten could have a huge fantasy season in all formats; not just PPR leagues.
The epitome of consistency, Jason Witten caught at least four passes in each of Dallas' 18 games last year. He led the team in receptions (94) and finished only behind Miles Austin-Jones in receiving yardage (1,030). However, there was a major problem: Witten scored only two touchdowns. In fact, Witten has never scored more than seven times in any season. The reason for this is that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett turns Witten into a blocker when the Cowboys reach the red zone.
Witten's great for PPR leagues, but in more traditional formats, expect long stretches of touchdown-less games.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 86 catches. 990 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 135.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 221.
Brent Celek, TE, Eagles. Bye: 8.
Brent Celek is coming off an amazing fantasy season, catching 76 balls for 971 yards and eight touchdowns. Will Kevin Kolb limit his numbers? Absolutely not. Celek and Kolb are BFFs, and in the two games Kolb started, Celek had 16 receptions for 208 yards and a score. There shouldn't be any sort of drop-off.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 73 catches. 910 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 133.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 206.
Zach Miller, TE, Raiders. Bye: 10. AUG. 23 UPDATE:
Jason Campbell targeted Zach Miller six times against the Bears. Miller came up with three catches and 32 yards. On one play, Miller dragged multiple defenders more than five yards down the field. He's a very good TE1.
AUG. 14 UPDATE:
Jason Campbell looked most comfortable throwing to Zach Miller in the 2010 exhibition opener. Miller saw four targets in a quarter-and-a-half, and was able to come up with three receptions for 15 yards.
Zach Miller has topped 775 receiving yards the past two seasons (66 catches, 805 yards in 2009), but his fantasy value has always been curbed because Oakland just wasn't in the red zone that often. That will change with Jason Campbell at quarterback. Whether it was Chris Cooley or Fred Davis, Campbell loved feeding the ball to his tight end in Washington. I see no reason why that would change in Oakland.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 72 catches. 925 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 128.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 200.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons. Bye: 8.
Tony Gonzalez caught 83 balls for 867 yards and six touchdowns last year. But those are poor numbers by Gonzalez's standards. In fact, that yardage total was his lowest since 2002. Gonzalez is now 34, and I'm concerned because he had just eight receptions for 79 yards and a score in the final three weeks of the 2009 season. His name and reputation will likely cause him to be overdrafted in most leagues. I'd proceed with caution.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 70 catches. 790 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 122.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 196.
Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Vikings. Bye: 4. AUG. 25 UPDATE:
Aside from Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe will benefit most from Sidney Rice's hip surgery. Shiancoe will receive more end-zone targets than anticipated. He's an awesome tight end to own in touchdown leagues.
Brett Favre loves giving it to his tight end in the end zone. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Like every other Viking receiver, Visanthe Shiancoe's fantasy value hinges solely on the 41-year-old Favre's ability to stay healthy. Be careful.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 58 catches. 640 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 118.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 176.
Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins. Bye: 9. AUG. 14 UPDATE:
Donovan McNabb was most comfortable throwing to Chris Cooley. Cooley caught all three of his targets for 33 yards in the preseason opener.
Chris Cooley had 29 receptions for 332 yards and two touchdowns in seven games before landing on the IR with a season-ending ankle injury. Donovan McNabb has always looked for his tight ends in the end zone in Philadelphia, so Cooley could have a big year.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 64 catches. 800 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 116.
Projected 2010 PPR Fantasy Points: 180.
As a Bengals fan, I agree that DE is the biggest need, but LB is right behind. But Walt doesn't even have LB listed here at all. Burfict is likely to miss a couple games every season, Dansby and Maulauga aren't likely to return, and the other LBs are just guys. Reuben Foster would be a big windfall if he makes it to pick #9!