End of Fantasy Football RankingsThere was so much hype this preseason surrounding Jordan Cameron (read the preseason stuff on Cameron and know that he did not fail to live up to the hype) that I somehow managed to leave Julius Thomas off the preseason rankings! Now I am not saying I would have given him a top 15 billing but he deserved to be on this list. His 60 receptions ranked 9th but Jimmy Graham's 81 catches was the most any TE had so this was not a year for Tight Ends. Graham was also the only TE to eclipse 1000 yards and 1 of just 3 to catch at least 10 TDs. Thomas and Vernon Davis each caught 12. However, there were some young guns who made waves this season, thanks to injuries and red zone targets.
Joseph Fauria caught 46% of his passes for TDs! Well he only had 15 catches but he caught 7 of them in the endzone! The Detroit Lions has played Brandon Pettigrew on IR so Week 17 could show us if Fauria could be used as an everyday TE. Charles Clay stepped in for the injured Dustin Keller and caught 65 passes for 716 yards and 6 TDs. Keller had signed a one year contract with the Miami Dolphins so the TE position is all Clay's for the foreseeable future.
Coby Fleener took over ful time for the Indianapolis COlts when Dwayne Allen went down with a season ending hip injury. Fleener caught 51 passes for 583 yards, but scored just 4 TDs. Who knows how that situation will playout next season as Allen is the better blocker.
Zach Sudfeld was getting Cameron type hype with Rob Gronkowski injured and Aaron Hernandez in jail, but it wasn't soon before long the New England Patriots cut him and he landed in fantasy football hell, with the New York Jets.
PreseasonThe 2012 NFL season was not a good one for TEs other than Jimmy Graham & Tony Gonzalez. By the time the fantasy playoffs rolled around, Rob Gronkowski was ranked #1, despite all of his injuries, which makes him nearly undraftable this season. I never suggest drafting two TEs, so why waste a late round pick on him. There are too many other needs in fantasy football, like a 4th RB to worry about being able to stash Gronk until the 7th week of the season, as he is starting the season on the PUP list.
Heath Miller had a nice bounce back year with 71 catches for 816 yards and 8 touchdowns. With the loss of Mike Wallace and the lack of a good ground attack, expect Ben Roethlisberger to rely on his old friend again this season, when he returns to the field!. Jason Witten did catch 110 passes for over 1000 yards, but he managed to score just 3 touchdowns. Kyle Rudolph had a fantasy friendly season with 9 touchdowns, but PPR owners were disappointed with just 53 catches for 493 yards. Either way the room for improvement is there so draft with confidence.
The two biggest breakout performances came from the Ravens Dennis Pitta and Raiders Brandon Myers (now a member of the New York Football Giants). Pitta took over for Ed Dickson, which was a surprise to us, and finished with 61 catches for 669 yards and 7 touchdowns. Brandon Myers became one of Carson Palemer's favorite targets and caught 79 of his 105 targets, for 806 yards and 4 scores. Now with Eli Manning, you can expect Myers TD total to increase, but his receptions to decrease. Take the good with the bad!
Other notable TEs wearing a new helmet this season:
Training Camp Updates
Dustin Keller is done for the 2013 NFL Season; tears ACL, MCL & PCL, dislocates knee
Ed Dickson unlikely to be ready for Ravens week 1
Dennis Pitta will miss the 2013 NFL season with a dislocated hip!
Heath Miller is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery and may not be ready for the start of the season
* - New Team
** - Rookie
*** - Sleeper
1.) Jimmy Graham - New Orleans Saints
- The fact that Tony Gonzalez is an absolute physical freak is well documented. Hardly a soul in the NFL has a better diet and conditioning routine. Expect no loss in effectiveness from him this season despite the fact that he is age 37 and not taking part in much of the off-season preparations. Another variable to consider when attempting to gauge production from the 16 year veteran is Head Coach Mike Smith's desire to run the ball. Expect the Falcons to hand the ball to newly acquired asset Steven Jackson much more than they were able to last season behind the worn down Michael Turner. Jackson was brought in for a reason and could take substantial chances away from Gonzalez. However, the future hall-of-famer is still Matt Ryan's most trusted receiver on 3rd down and in the red zone. - @Miller_WeTalkFS
- See Harrison's Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football preview
4.) Vernon Davis - San Francisco 49ers
- When Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles, Vernon Davis' value jumped through the roof. Yes, Anquan Boldin is in town, but Colin Kaepernick has yet to develop any chemistry with him. Davis has been there for all of Kaepernick's starts (when healthy) and should be the target of most of his passes, at least early on. 4 of the 49ers top 5 targeted receivers are injured or no longer with the team. Crabtree and Mario Manningham are hurt, Randy Moss is a free agent and Delanie Walker plays for the Titans now. Davis has the potential to be the best TE in the game, he just needs the targets to come his way! Just look at the first 2 games Colin started, the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. Davis averaged 6.75 targets and 5.25 receptions, averaging 80 yards and scoring twice. If they can work together like that all season long, Vernon Davis will be one of the more valuable draft picks. - @WeTlkFntsySprts
- Even a little bit of Gronk is better than all of the rest of the TEs
6.) Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers
7.) Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings
8.) Owen Daniels - Houston Texans
9.) Brandon Myers *- New York Giants
10.) Martellus Bennett *- Chicago Bears
11.) Jared Cook *- St. Louis Rams
- After Cook went to the Rams, the Rams offense was called the Greatest Show on Turf. But, the last time that happened it was with Kurt Warner at QB. I'm not saying Sam Bradford is terrible, but that he is not Kurt Warner. with Steven Jackson gone and a presumed RBBC in St. Louis, there should be lots of passing for Sam Bradford, and during practice this off season, Cook has been going away from the usual in line tight end and lining up outside. In fact, in the slot last season, he was only targeted 24 less times than new patriots WR Danny Amendola. "He's going to play all over the place," said coach Jeff Fisher, who also coached Cook when he was with the Titans. "We've even got him in the backfield, so we've got some good things for him." With a 4.49 40 and mismatches to abuse as a wide receiver, this could finally be the year for Cook - Harrison
13.) Antonio Gates - San Diego Chargers
14.) Jermichael Finley - Green Bay Packers
15.) Fred Davis - Washington Redskins
- Before Fred Davis tore his Achilles last season, he was targeted at least 4 times in every game and 7 times twice. He even caught all 7 passes thrown his way in week 3. He was only averaging 13.5 yards per reception, but the potential for a solid season is there, if healthy. With Robert Griffin III suffering that knee injury last season, you have to assume the Redskins will ask him to make quicker decisions with the ball, which should lead to more dump offs. Considering Alfred Morris doesn't catch the football, those balls should end up in the hands of Davis. If you are in a deep league and don't want to draft a TE in the early rounds, Fred Davis could be a sneaky pick. - @WeTlkFntsySprts
16.) Jordan Cameron ***- Cleveland Browns
- Cameron was a non-factor in college, (16 receptions 1 TD career at USC), A non-factor in the NFL in 2012 (20 receptions 1 TD last season for the Browns) . So, why is he a sleeper for us? He is a 6"5 245 pound TE who runs a 4.6 40 on a team that just let former tight ends Alex Smith and Ben Watson go and only has primary blocking TE Kellen Davis to compete with. Also, with Norv Turner as OC of the Browns, Cameron could get more looks to hopefully the Antonio Gates of old. With Brandon Weeden a year older, and the fact that he is going at pick 160 on average on ESPN Average Draft Position, Cameron is a great sleeper. - Harrison
18.) Brent Celek - Philadelphia Eagles
19.) Jermaine Gresham - Cincinnati Bengals
20.) Zach Sudfeld - New England Patriots
21.) Robert Housler - Arizona Cardinals
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