The Top 20 Tight End Rankings For The 2013 Fantasy Football Season
On Thursday we covered the Top 20 Wide Receivers, so let’s get back at it today with the Top 20 Tight Ends. This is a new position of great importance to winning fantasy titles as many leagues make it mandatory to start at least one TE, so having a stud or a better than average tight end can help your team with getting many needed points.
This used to be a throw away position, but not anymore, as many people use late first’s and even early second round picks on the elite tight ends this year. Below is my take and rankings for the Top 20 Tight Ends of the 2013 fantasy football season.
So let’s get started with the Top 20 TEs, here we go…
#1 Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (Age 27) Bye: 7
95 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 total TDs
The rumor is Graham has looked stellar in OTAs, as he and Drew Brees are really connecting. Graham’s numbers fell from 99 catches and 1,310 yards with 11 scores to 85 catches for 982 yards and 9 TDs. Graham was hurt a little bit last year, but is now healthy heading into camp and he’s so much better than anyone else at the position. I expect him to be closer to 2011 form and be the far and away #1 TE this season as long as he can stay healthy.
#2 Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (Age 24) Bye: 10
80 catches for 1,195 yards and 11 total TDs
Gronkowski is considered a long shot to be ready for Week 1 after having forearm and back surgery within a few months. Reports have said that the Patriots really have no clue when their stud Tight End will be back on the field. That is not good considering Hernandez is no longer in the mix and they need playmakers. He is the best tight end and a first-round fantasy option if healthy, but that’s a big IF. Have to rank him #2 because if he is healthy, look out!
#3 Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (Age 31) Bye: 11
85 catches for 1,100 yards and 8 total TDs
Witten caught a sick 110 passes last year. While his previous high was 96 catches, it’s safe to reason that he will match that those numbers again this year. Dallas still hasn’t found a third option in the passing game. So, Witten will once again be a top TE option.
#4 Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (Age 29) Bye: 9
70 catches for 985 yards and 9 total TDs
Someone has to get Crabtree’s targets since he popped his achilles. Vernon Davis will probably being the one seeing most of them. While Boldin is a favorite for the targets by some, Colin Kaepernick has not worked with boldin before so I feel he is more comfortable with Davis, even though he didn’t throw much to Davis when he took over for Alex Smith. That was until NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, when Davis had 11 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in the two games.
#5 Tony Gonzales, Atlanta Falcons (Age 37) Bye: 6
75 catches for 875 yards and 8 total TDs
Tony Gonzalez is back again for what will be his last season, for sure now that he is 37 years old. He still looked elite last year posting 93 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. While he may not see added production, the production from last year is still on the table for Gonzo.
#6 Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (Age 28) Bye: 4
70 catches for 860 yards and 8 total TDs
Greg Olsen as underrated as it gets, but he is sure is pretty consistent at getting in the end zone as he’s found it five times in each of the last three seasons. Olsen jumped from 540 yards two years ago, to 843 last year. Largely in part because Jeremy Shockey was not around anymore and because Cam only has one other target besides Olsen.
#7 Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (Age 28) Bye: 4
66 catches for 850 yards and 7 total TDs
Bump Finley! Use to be a popular saying in the fantasy world, to bad he has never lived up to the hype. Finley did have a strong finish to the season making 18 catches for 203 yards in his final three matchups. Plus, rumor is has it, Finley has lost some weight but beefed up the muscle. That can;t be a bad thing.
#8 Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (Age 28) Bye: 8
63 catches for 835 yards and 7 total TDs
Pitta may be a breakthrough TE this year as Flacco has come to rely on him pretty heavily. In the 15 games he played, Pitta made 61 catches for 669 yards and seven scores, including a 7/125/2 stat line in Week 15. Pitta also lit it up in the playoffs posting three scores in four games. He’s a strong TE1 candidate, especially with Anquan Boldin gone and no real #2 option in Baltimore.
#9 Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Age 33) Bye: 8
60 catches for 790 yards and 8 total TDs
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.
#10 Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Age 24) Bye: 5
65 catches for 710 yards and 7 total TDs
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.
#11 Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns (Age 24) Bye: 10
58 catches for 675 yards for 7 total TDs
New head coach Rob Chudzinski specializes in using tight ends in his offense, and both he and Norv Turner apparently love Jordan Cameron, an athletic player who is starting to put all of it together.
#12 Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (Age 28) Bye: 9
64 catches for 690 yards and 6 total TDs
Brndon Pettigrew was a major disappointment in 2012, catching just 59 balls for 567 yards and three touchdowns, though he was pretty much out for the final quarter of the season. Pettigrew kills his team with drops, so look for his targets to decrease if that continues, especially with Reggie Bush getting some balls thrown his way.
#13 Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams (Age 26) Bye: 11
55 catches for 675 yards and 6 total TDs
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.
#14 Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears (Age 25) Bye: 8
59 catches for 630 yards and 6 total TDs
Martellus Bennett was pretty inconsistent with the Giants in terms of being a receiver, getting something like 70 yards and a touchdown one week and securing just a single reception the next. However, Bennett is slated to be Jay Cutler’s No. 2 option after Brandon Marshall, so he should have a bigger year.
#15 Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (Age 31) Bye: 8
57 catches for 615 yards and 5 total TDs
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.
#16 Dustin Keller, Miami Dolpins (Age 28) Bye: 6
52 catches for 570 yards and 5 total TDs
Dustin Keller won’t be catching passes from Mark Sanchez for the first time since his rookie campaign, so that’ll be a welcome change to his fantasy output. Ryan Tannehill isn’t exactly proven, but he can’t possibly be worse than the man who was responsible for the Butt Fumble.
#17 Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (Age 25) Bye: 8
58 catches for 655 yards and 6 total TDs
Coby Fleener had a great debut to his NFL career, catching six balls for 82 yards at Chicago. However, he fizzled out at the end of the season, logging exactly one reception in each of his final five games. Dwayne Allen could make the bigger fantasy impact again in 2013.
#18 Brandon Myers, New York Giants (Age 27) Bye: 9
56 catches for 585 yards and 4 total TDs
It was unusual to see the Giants acquire a tight end who can’t block, but they did so with Brandon Myers. Eli Manning will use Myers as a reliable intermediate target, just as Carson Palmer did. Myers caught a whopping 79 balls for 806 yards and four touchdowns last year.
#19 Mercedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (Age 29) Bye: 9
59 catches for 695 yards and 7 total TDs
Marcedes Lewis has been terrible ever since he signed his 5-year, $35 million contract in August 2011. With Blaine Gabbert and/or Chad Henne still under center, there’s no reason to take a chance on Lewis.
#20 Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (Age 26) Bye: 12
48 catches for 515 yard and 4 total TDs
Jermaine Gresham was never a fantasy stud or anything, but his value took a major hit when the Bengals drafted Tyler Eifert in the first round. This ensures that Gresham will concentrate on blocking.