Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 TE Rankings

The tight end position is deeper than ever. Long gone are the days of praying for Shannon Sharpe or getting stuck with somebody who spends most of his time blocking.

Sure, you had Dallas Clark (100 catches, 1,106 yards) and Vernon Davis (13 TDs) putting up WR-caliber numbers last year, but if you miss out on the top couple guys, all is not lost. Check this out: In 2009, eight TEs had 800 or more yards, and 11 had six or more TDs. In 2008, there were five and five, respectively. In 2007? Four and seven. Feel me?

The TE ranks are loaded, so you should adjust your draft strategy accordingly. You can grab one of the top-tier guys starting around Round 5 if the big WRs are off the board, or you can wait out a run on TEs not suffer that much of a drop-off.

As you peruse my rankings you'll notice a few things:

I put young guns Jermichael Finley and Brent Celek in the top five, at the expense of stalwarts like Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. I just think they both have more upside, but I'd be content with just about everyone in the top 11 as my starter.

It'll be interesting to see how the Chris Cooley/Fred Davis pass distribution works out with Donovan McNabb taking over as QB in Washington. Those guys could hurt each other, or one could emerge as a top-10 fantasy TE. We'll just have to wait and see.

You'll notice I'm not too high on Greg Olsen, who I tabbed as one of my busts a few weeks back. Mike Martz won't do any favors for his fantasy value.

Remember when Jeremy Shockey was among the cream of the crop? If the guy could stay off the trainer's table, he might still be there. But even if he can't play 16 games, he'll get enough good looks in New Orleans to be a solid fantasy backup.

Looking for a really deep sleeper? How about Jared Cook in Tennessee? He had a rough rookie year (9 catches, ankle injury, residence in coaches' doghouse), but he's 6-foot-5 and 242 pounds with 4.4 speed, for gosh sakes, he's only got Bo Scaife ahead of him on the Titans depth chart. He could do something.

1. Antonio Gates
2. Dallas Clark
3. Jermichael Finley
4. Brent Celek
5. Vernon Davis
6. Tony Gonzalez
7. Jason Witten
8. Zach Miller
9. Visanthe Shiancoe
10. Kellen Winslow II
11. Owen Daniels
12. Chris Cooley
13. Heath Miller
14. John Carlson
15. Kevin Boss
16. Greg Olsen
17. Dustin Keller
18. Jeremy Shockey
19. Tony Scheffler
20. Fred Davis
21. Anthony Fasano
22. Todd Heap
23. Marcedes Lewis
24. Ben Watson
25. Bo Scaife
26. Jermaine Gresham
27. Brandon Pettigrew
28. Aaron Hernandez
29. Jared Cook
30. Shawn Nelson

Photo by The Associated Press

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