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.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings. Bye: 11. AUG. 25 UPDATE: Kyle Rudolph saw four targets go his way against the Chargers. He snagged three of them for 36 yards. The outlier resulted in a defensive holding call. The most notable thing that occurred was something the Viking announcers said when the team ventured into the red zone: "This is Kyle Rudolph territory." I like Rudolph as a sleeper tight end, so hopefully that means he'll score a decent amount of touchdowns this season.
AUG. 11 UPDATE: Christian Ponder seemed most comfortable throwing to Kyle Rudolph. The second-year tight end caught two balls for 22 yards in the preseason opener. Rudolph was plagued by a hamstring injury last season but is now completely healthy. He should have a big year as Ponder's No. 2 target behind Percy Harvin.
AUG. 1 UPDATE: John Carlson, who was signed to a ridiculous contract this offseason, sprained his MCL in training camp. He'll be out for a while, so he'll fall behind in terms of integrating himself into the offense. Kyle Rudolph, who has been very impressive this summer, will benefit. He's a nice tight end sleeper.
I don't understand why the Vikings overpaid for John Carlson. He's just not that good, and he's going to take away targets from Kyle Rudolph. Still, the second-year tight end is going to be a decent reserve fantasy player in 2012.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 69 catches. 780 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 114.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 183.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers. Bye: 6. AUG. 18 UPDATE: Greg Olsen led the Panthers with 33 receiving yards on two catches (and two targets) versus Miami. Cam Newton will continue to look toward Olsen frequently, now that he's the only reliable tight end on the roster.
Greg Olsen was a disappointment in his first year with the Panthers, catching just 45 passes for 540 yards and five touchdowns. The good news is that Jeremy Shockey is no longer on the roster, so Olsen should see more targets go his way. He's a bit of a sleeper for that reason.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 64 catches. 760 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 112.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 176.
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: 61 catches. 750 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 111.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 175.
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals. Bye: 8.
It's frustrating that Jermaine Gresham hasn't taken the next step toward becoming the elite tight end the Bengals thought they were getting when they selected him in the middle of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Cincinnati brought in Orson Charles to be a complementary pass-catching tight end, so that's troubling for Gresham's long-term fantasy prospects.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 63 catches. 680 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 110.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 173.
Owen Daniels, TE, Texans. Bye: 11.
Owen Daniels was having a decent season before Matt Schaub was knocked out for the year. He'll be back to being a top TE2, especially now that Schaub will have to rely on him more because Jacoby Jones is gone. The problem is that Daniels is unreliable, given that he gets hurt so much.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 60 catches. 760 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 106.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 166.
Fred Davis, TE, Redskins. Bye: 10.
Fred Davis missed the final four weeks of the season, but still managed to haul in 59 balls for 796 yards and three touchdowns. It's unknown how well Robert Griffin will gel with Davis, but there's no question that Davis' fantasy potential is much higher with the talented, young signal-caller under center. Unfortunately, Chris Cooley will be back from injury to steal some targets.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 56 catches. 750 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 105.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 161.
Dustin Keller, TE, Jets. Bye: 9.
Dustin Keller had his best year as a pro in 2011, catching 65 balls for 815 yards and five touchdowns. It'd be great if Keller had a quality quarterback who could help him progress into becoming a TE1, but the Jets' situation at the position is quite dubious.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 59 catches. 730 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 103.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 162.
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts. Bye: 4.
I normally wouldn't rank a tight end this highly, but Coby Fleener's familiarity (as well as his raw talent as a pass-catcher) will probably help him accumulate big numbers this year.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 58 catches. 650 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 101.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 159.
Heath Miller, TE, Steelers. Bye: 4.
Heath Miller has always blocked too much to be much of a fantasy factor, but the good news is that the Steelers spent their first two selections in the 2012 NFL Draft on offensive linemen. If the front improves, Miller won't have to block as much. This could help him emerge as a high-end TE2, though it must be noted that tight ends typically aren't big stat-producers in Todd Haley's offense. .
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 59 catches. 690 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 99.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 158.
Kevin Boss, TE, Chiefs. Bye: 7. AUG. 20 UPDATE: Kevin Boss saw a team-high five targets from Matt Cassel at St. Louis. He caught four of them for 62 yards. It seems like he will be Cassel's go-to guy in the intermediate passing game instead of Tony Moeaki.
Kevin Boss was brought in so the Chiefs could run a two-tight end offense, much like the Patriots. That's not a bad plan, but Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss are not Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Boss will focus more on blocking, so he's not much of a fantasy option.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 53 catches. 670 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 97.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 150.