Mostly agree with your rankings; with the optimism bias from being a cardinals fan personally, I'd argue you could make a 1 star increase at each position, but their current rankings are also fair. I very much disagree with the 1 star ranking at special teams however, as we have a pro bowl gunner in Justin Bethel being joined by some high upside athletes in the kick coverage team and kick return game. Probably the best coverage unit in the game, which coupled with a punter who is below average (don't think he's as bad as stats show- his hangtime is rediculous, and it seems the staff went with him for this reason. I'd choose a distance leg with our coverage team, butI digress). In short, I'd say 3 stars is fair. A perfectly average special teams unit, whose only limitation really seems to be Drew Butler's distance and the uncertainty of a new long snapper (but both seem pretty reliable this far)
These 2012 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 2012 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2012 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots. Bye: 9.
I'd normally say that picking a tight end late in the first round is crazy talk, but Rob Gronkowski is the very rare exception. The Gronk posts receiver-type numbers at the tight end position, which makes him incredibly valuable. The only downside is that he is unlikely to match his 2011 numbers (90-1,327-17) because Brandon Lloyd was acquired via free agency.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 83 catches. 1,200 yards. 13 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 198.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 281.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints. Bye: 6.
I loved Jimmy Graham as a fantasy sleeper last year, and even I was way off on his projected numbers. Graham posted receiver-like stats, catching 99 balls for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to match those numbers this season because of Bountygate.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 85 catches. 1,090 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 169.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 254.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers. Bye: 7.
Antonio Gates is reportedly healthy now. We'll see how long that lasts, but it's reason enough to consider him a buy-low candidate. With everyone clamoring for Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, Gates has suddenly become a forgotten man. Philip Rivers will rely on him more than ever with Vincent Jackson gone.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 72 catches. 1,040 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 164.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 236.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers. Bye: 9.
Vernon Davis started slowly, but finished the 2011 season on a tear. The reason for this? Davis admitted that he had issues learning Jim Harbaugh's offense at first, but mastered it once the playoffs came around. Now entering his second year with Harbaugh, Davis is poised for a monstrous 2012 campaign.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 73 catches. 960 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 144.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 217.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers. Bye: 10.
Jermichael Finley was widely considered a top-three tight end going into last season, but disappointed, catching only 55 balls for 767 yards and eight touchdowns. However, he was coming off a knee injury, so he should be better in 2012. He's a nice buy-low candidate if you can't get one of the elite tight ends.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 64 catches. 910 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 139.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 203.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots. Bye: 9.
Aaron Hernandez caught 79 balls and seven touchdowns in 14 games last year. I'd expect those numbers to stay the same in a full slate because of the Brandon Lloyd signing. Even still, Hernandez is a solid TE1 despite being the No. 2 tight end on his own team.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 78 catches. 920 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 134.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 212.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys. Bye: 5.
Jason Witten had 79 receptions in 2011 - the first time he failed to register at least 81 in a single season since 2006. The problem was that Tony Romo had three dynamic receivers to throw to. Well, Laurent Robinson is gone, so things should be back to normal.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 88 catches. 970 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 133.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 221.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions. Bye: 5.
You have to love Brandon Pettigrew this year if you're a believer in the Madden Curse. Once Calvin Johnson goes down with an injury or is abducted by aliens, Matthew Stafford will look toward Pettigrew more often.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 85 catches. 840 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 126.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 211.
Jared Cook, TE, Titans. Bye: 11.
Jared Cook had one hell of a finish to his 2011 campaign. He caught 21 balls for 335 yards and a touchdown in the final three games. That's definitely a sign of things to come; Cook always had talent, but just had to get it together mentally. He did so, and now he's ready to be a solid fantasy TE1 going forward.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 68 catches. 870 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 123.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 191.
Brent Celek, TE, Eagles. Bye: 7.
Brent Celek struggled in 2010 and the first half of last season, but he finished the year strong. The difference? The Eagles shored up their offensive line, thanks to Howard Mudd, which allowed Celek to run more routes. Expect a strong 2012 campaign from Philadelphia's tight end.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 67 catches. 850 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 121.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 188.