These 2013 Fantasy Football Tight Ends Rankings will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2013 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2013 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints. Bye: 7. JUNE 11 UPDATE: Jimmy Graham has reportedly looked terrific in OTAs, as he and Drew Brees are really clicking. Graham was banged up last year, but is now 100 percent. He's so much better than all of the other tight ends.
The Bountygate ramifications and a wrist injury derailed Jimmy Graham's 2012 campaign. Graham's numbers dropped from 99-1,310-11 to 85-982-9. I expect him to be closer to 2011 form as long as he can stay healthy.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 94 catches. 1,210 yards. 13 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 199.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 293.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons. Bye: 6.
Tony Gonzalez looked done in 2010, but has somehow gotten better in each of his previous two seasons. He caught 93 balls for 930 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012. Gonzalez turned 37 in February, so there's always a concern he could decline rapidly, but it's more likely that he'll come close to matching those numbers.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 87 catches. 870 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 135.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 222.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers. Bye: 9. JULY 31 UPDATE: Vernon Davis has been working as a receiver in training camp. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said that Davis has "taken it up to a new level." With Michael Crabtree out for the year, Colin Kaepernick will have to rely on Davis more often.
MAY 22 UPDATE: Someone will receive Michael Crabtree's targets. Anquan Boldin is one candidate, but I feel like Vernon Davis is the favorite for that. Colin Kaepernick didn't throw much to Davis when he took over Alex Smith's job, but that could easily chance with Crabtree out for the year.
It's not a good sign that Vernon Davis had exactly one reception in each of his four games to close out the 2012 regular season. However, the good news is that Davis dominated both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, combining for 11 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in the two contests.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 68 catches. 910 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 133.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 201.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys. Bye: 11.
Jason Witten caught a whopping 110 passes last year. While it's very unlikely that he'll match that total - his previous career-high was 96 - he'll at least approach it because Dallas still hasn't found an immediate replacement for Laurent Robinson. Witten will once again be a top-three PPR tight end option.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 83 catches. 910 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 129.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 231.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers. Bye: 8. AUG. 16 UPDATE: Antonio Gates was the only Charger starter who had more than one target from Philip Rivers in the second preseason game. He was thrown to five times. With San Diego now concentrating on a short, quick passing game, Gates' receptions are sure to rise. He's still a risky player because of his durability issues, but he's worth snagging in Rounds 8-9.
Antonio Gates just had his lowest reception, yardage and touchdown output (49-538-7) output since his rookie campaign in 2003. Gates is 33, so with Philip Rivers also regressing, it doesn't seem like he's due to rebound.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 65 catches. 760 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 124.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 189.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings. Bye: 5.
Touchdowns are difficult to predict, but Christian Ponder made an effort to look for Kyle Rudolph often in the end zone. Rudolph scored nine times in 2012. It's just a shame that he's stuck with such a mediocre quarterback; otherwise, he'd push to be a top-five fantasy tight end.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 68 catches. 680 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 122.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 190.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots. Bye: 10. SEPT. 1 UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski will not go on the PUP list, which is obviously promising. He's definitely worth picking in Round 6, but I wouldn't take him beforehand because he could easily re-injure himself.
AUG. 4 UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski has been dressed in street clothes during most training camp practices. The Boston Globe's Ben Volin says it's likely the Patriots will keep Gronkowski on the PUP list, meaning he'll miss the first six weeks of the season. I wouldn't touch Gronkowski until at least the seventh round of a 12-man league.
JUNE 19 UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski is now considered a long shot to be ready for Week 1. ESPN's Ed Werder reported that the Patriots legitimately don't know when their big tight end will be back on the field.
MAY 29 UPDATE: Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery in mid-June. He's expected to be out for 10 weeks after that, putting his Week 1 status at risk. Gronkowski should not go in the first six rounds of your fantasy draft. He's had way too many health problems in his career, and this offseason has proven to be quite disastrous.
Rob Gronkowski is difficult to rank. He is unquestionably the No. 1 tight end and a first-round fantasy option if healthy, but he may need a fifth procedure on his arm. If that's the case, Gronkowski may miss the beginning of the season. He'll be a dominant force when healthy, so he's still worth an early-round pick.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 48 catches. 640 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 121.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 169.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers. Bye: 4. AUG. 23 UPDATE: Cam Newton was most comfortable throwing to Greg Olsen in the third preseason game. Olsen, who saw a team-high seven targets, snagged three balls for 44 yards.
Greg Olsen is pretty consistent in terms of scoring touchdowns - he's found the end zone five times in each of the past three seasons - but his yardage managed to increase to 843 last year (from 540) because Jeremy Shockey was no longer around.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 71 catches. 860 yards. 5 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 116.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 187.
Jared Cook, TE, Rams. Bye: 11. AUG. 25 UPDATE: Jared Cook was barely targeted in his first two preseason games, but that certainly was not the case at Denver. Cook saw six targets come his way. He dropped one and caught four others for 50 yards and a touchdown. Cook is highly athletic and has all the potential in the world, but he needs to be consistent for the first time in his career. He's very risky as a TE1, but has great upside as a TE2.
AUG. 9 UPDATE: Jared Cook was brought in to be a potent, intermediate target for Sam Bradford, but he didn't make a single catch in the preseason opener. He wasn't even targeted. Some publications are trying to sell Cook as this next, great tight end, but he has never lived up to expectations, so it's a bit ridiculous to suddenly expect him to do so after signing a big contract.
The Titans didn't really want to use Jared Cook to his potential, and it seems like the Rams have a different plan for him. Plus, I trust Sam Bradford over Jake Locker. Having said all that, I feel like Cook is overrated. He's very physically talent, but has never put it together, much like Jermichael Finley.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 63 catches. 790 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 115.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 178.
Owen Daniels, TE, Texans. Bye: 8.
The Texans love to trot two- and three-tight end sets onto the field, which hurts Owen Daniels sometimes. However, James Casey is gone, so Daniels only has to worry about Garrett Graham right now.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Stats: 65 catches. 760 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2013 Fantasy Points: 112.
Projected 2013 PPR Fantasy Points: 177.