Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

Tight end is probably my favorite position when it comes to making a fantasy football preranking draft board. You always have your elite guys, but then there is a sudden drop off where anyone can emerge as a sleeper. Cooley came out of nowhere a few years ago. Tight ends like Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme came in as must start fantasy players last season despite being backups. New names like Marcedes Lewis and Rob Gronkowski appear every fantasy season, making this the most intriguing fantasy football position—for me at least.

In deep leagues it makes sense to draft a backup tight end, but in your standard set up, it is generally frowned upon. And since it is a single player, make sure that if you draft a backup, they don’t have the same bye week as your starter. Rookie mistakes don’t win fantasy championships.

Click the link to see my top 20 tight ends and don’t forget we are always open to answer any comments or questions you have about drafting TEs or our rankings. Enjoy.

Follow these links to see rankings of other positions:
Quarterback - Running Back - Wide Receiver - Tight End - Kicker/Defense

1. Antonio Gates
2. Jason Witten
3. Dallas Clark
4. Jermichael Finley
5. Vernon Davis
6. Owen Daniels
7. Kellen Winslow
8. Greg Olsen
9. Chris Cooley
10. Zach Miller
11. Marcedes Lewis
12. Brandon Pettigrew
13. Rob Gronkowski
14. Jimmy Graham
15. Dustin Keller
16. Tony Gonzalez
17. Jared Cook
18. Ben Watson
19. Tony Moeaki
20. Todd Heap

- I feel that you have a very solid, unquestionable top three. Finley, Davis and Daniels make up the mid-tier and then you have the rest. 26 starting tight ends vying to be named to the top 20.

- Olsen was completely underutilized in Chicago and will show off his real talent moving to Carolina. The only factor playing in there is the addition of Jeremy Shockey, but I think that his time is behind him. Olsen has huge potential this year.

- I’ll probably hear some comments about Marcedes Lewis being too low. I’m hesitant to move him higher though since he hasn’t shown that he is a yardage guy. I’m sure he’ll be their main target in the end zone much like last year, though, making the vast majority of his points off touchdowns.

- I like the move of Zach Miller to the Seahawks, he has long been one of my favorite fantasy tight ends, and after a disappointing 2010, he could perform very well in Seattle with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm.

- Bottom four was pretty much a toss-up. I like Jared Cook a lot even though no one knows his name. Watson could perform well receiving small dump-off passes when his QB is in trouble. Moeaki was up and down, but could receive a little attention again this year with Bowe getting a lot of coverage and a rookie receiver in the second spot. And Heap’s change of scenery could benefit him as well since the only other passing option in Arizona is Larry Fitzgerald.

- A couple notable names left off: Brent Celek (Philly apparently hates tight ends), Visanthe Shiancoe (could make a move up if he gets along with McNabb, stay tuned in the preseason), Heath Miller (gave up completely on him last year) and Michael Hoomanawanui (just cause I wanted to type his name).


  1. You've got Gronkowski kinda low compared to other lists. Is that because you think Ochocinco is going to take some of his catches from him?

  2. Gronkowski blew up at the end of the year. But who else was Brady going to throw it to once they got to the red zone? Ochocinco will get some of the red zone looks. Also, even though Gronk did well at the end of last year, he still has Aaron Hernandez who started 2010 off strong. He could easily be higher, and on a lot of boards he is, I just think the other guys have more upside.

  3. How do you think Dallas Clark will hold up injury-wise this year? In one of my recent mock drafts, I had all my regulars and back-ups that I wanted and was generally quite pleased with my team at round 13 and all I had left was DEF, K, and one bench spot. On a whim, I took Jacob Tamme. Now granted, it's a big gamble, but Clark is getting long in the tooth and if he goes down again this year, I would be able to avoid the piranha tank that would be going after Tamme. If Clark stays healthy, then it's a no-brainer who to drop when I need to pick up a bye week QB, TE, or DEF. What do you think? I haven't seen any reports on Clark during camp this year.

  4. As far as I know, Clark is playing with a splint or something protecting hand. But has been advertised at 100% and I see no reason why he shouldn't be. I don't see it being a recurring injury at all, so it shouldn't hold him back. I don't see him getting 100 catches and 1,100 yards like two years ago... but we should see a very strong comeback from him.

    So... the likelihood of playing Tamme is low. It's an interesting strategy to take someone in case of an emergency, but I think it's a wasted pick. Also, I do not claim to have the ability to predict injuries, which is a problem I ran into last year. I need to put that disclaimer somewhere.

    If you are comfortable with all of your backups and believe you have a solid bench, then more power to you for making that gamble.

  5. Jimmy Graham is kinda low, I know there is so many receivers that Brees throws to but I feel Graham will get a lot of TDs

  6. Graham is going really high in a lot of the mocks that I've done. And I dont think that he is worth taking as the 5th or 6th tight end drafted. He does get some TDs, but not the yardage. Too inconsistent for my liking. But, like I said, pretty much everyone between 7 and 20 on this list are very close to each other in their potential.