NFL Fantasy Preview: 2010 Tight End Rankings
Tight Ends are not exactly a valued commodity in fantasy football circles, but having a good one can give you a much needed edge over the competition. We all know the type of impact an Antonio Gates or a Dallas Clark can have on a fantasy team, but what about the rest of the tight end crop for 2010? If you can pluck out a diamond in the rough from this group, it could pay off with a couple of extra wins throughout your fantasy season.
Here is a look at the top 20 Tight Ends for 2010, with outlooks and projections for the top 10.
1. Dallas Clark, IND – 98 Rec, 1100 yards, 10 TDs
Dallas Clark might be a tight end, but he essentially puts up receiver-like numbers. The 31-year-old has become a reliable target for Peyton Manning, and as a result he should once again be the highest producing fantasy player at his position in 2010.
2. Antonio Gates, SD – 80 Rec, 1050 yards, 10 TDs
Since his breakout year in 2004, Gates has become one of the elite tight ends in fantasy football, and rightfully so. Since then he has recorded at least 8 touchdowns each season, and with Vincent Jackson likely done for the season, expect Gates to get even more looks from quarterback Philip Rivers.
3. Jermichael Finley, GB – 73 Rec, 1000 yards, 9 TDs
This may be higher than you will see Finley on most lists, but I have one suggestion for all you fantasy owners out there: Believe the hype! Finley will be a monster in his third season. He looked strong down the stretch last year and has already impressed in the pre-season. And in a potent offense with a stellar quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, expect things to only get better from here for Finley.
4. Vernon Davis, SF – 74 Rec, 950 yards, 9 TDs
Davis and Alex Smith built a strong repertoire last season and they should be able to continue right where they left off in 2010. However, you can expect Michael Crabtree to cut into those numbers somewhat as the 2nd-year receiver will be in the line-up from week one this time around. However, you should still consider Davis to be a top end tight end going into this season.
5. Jason Witten, DAL – 90 Rec, 1050 yards, 7 TDs
Jason Witten quietly recorded an impressive 94 receptions in ’09, however those numbers were clouded by a dreadful 2 touchdowns. however, you shoul expect that total to improve dramatically in 2010. The Cowboys have struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone thus far in the pre-season, and if they want to improve in that area, Romo will have to learn to look Witten’s way more often inside the 20 yard line.
6. Brent Celek, PHI – 75 Rec, 950 yards, 8 TDs
Celek had a breakout year last season and even with McNabb gone, he should continue to produce in pass-happy Eagles offense. It may only be Kolb’s first year as a full-time starter, but with that being the case you can expect him to look for his safety valve early and often in 2010.
7. Tony Gonzalez, ATL – 80 Rec, 900 yards, 7 TDs
Gonzalez may be getting up there in age, but he has proven that he can still produce for any fantasy team willing to give the 34-year-old a shot. Matt Ryan had an off year in ’09, but Gonzalez still produced 83 receptions and 6 TDs. If Matt Ryan can improve upon his numbers in 2010, expect Gonzalez to do the same.
8. Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – 60 Rec, 740 yards, 9 TDs
The return of Favre may have had the greatest impact on Visanthe Shiancoe. A relative unknown going into last season, he put up an impressive 11 touchdowns with Favre under center. It is no secret that Brett likes to go to his tight ends in the red zone and he seems to have ofund a reliable one in Shiancoe. With Soidney Rice out for the first half of the season, expect Shiancoe to be Favre’s go-to guy once again.
9. Kellen Winslow, TB – 80 Rec, 900 yards 6 TDs
One interesting stat that you should know about Winslow is that he caught at least four passes in each game since Josh Freeman took over the starting quarterback position last year in week 9. If these two can continue to develop a strong feel for one another, it may very well be a surprisingly productive for the Bucs’ top tight end.
10. Owen Daniels, HOU – 75 Rec, 850 yards, 6 TDs
Prior to his season-ending injury on November 1st against the Bills, Daniels was on pace for an impressive 1100 yards and 11 touchdowns. While we don’t expect him to reach those totals coming off major knee surgery, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up solid numbers worthy of a number one tight end spot on your fantasy roster.
11. Zach Miller, OAK
12. Chris Cooley, WSH
13. Greg Olsen, CHI
14. John Carlson, SEA
15. Heath Miller, PIT
16. Dustin Keller, NYJ
17. Kevin Boss, NYG
18. Jeremy Shockey, NO
19. Todd Heap, BAL
20. Jermaine Gresham, CIN