Saturday, July 14, 2012

Early 2012 Tight End Tiers

Tier 1: Gronk
1. Rob Gronkowski

Who I want the most: Brandon Manumaleuna. Just kidding, but I always get a kick out of his name. Last year, Gronkowski may have been the biggest difference maker of ANY fantasy player. Take away all his touchdowns and he is still the number TWO tight end! He ranked right behind Calvin Johnson for all WR/TE and would give you the biggest positional advantage in fantasy football. He is worth a first round pick (although I still have reservations in taking a tight end in the first) and he, barring injury, will without a doubt be a top five tight end.

Tier 2: The Elite
2. Jimmy Graham
3. Antonio Gates

Who I want the most: Jimmy Graham. Graham was sixth among all receivers in targets last year and has freak Antonio Gates-like potential. And speaking of Gates, injury concerns and Philip Rivers throwing to the other team concerns make him a moderate risk this year. For those who do not want to use a first rounder on Gronk, Graham is a great option in the late second or early third round.

Tier 3: The Near Elite
4. Jason Witten
5. Jermichael Finley
6. Vernon Davis

Who I want the most: Jermichael Finley. None of these options are nearly as appealing as last year but they round out the cream of the crop. Finley has all the potential in the world, but has been a disappointment. His drops are as aggravating as ever and he was a mark of inconsistency. He had only four double digit games but still ranked as the number five tight end. He has the highest ceiling of this group and hopefully he does not actually "freestyle" too much this year.

Tier 4: The Solid
7. Aaron Hernandez
8. Jacob Tamme
9. Tony Gonzalez
10. Brandon Pettigrew

Who I want the most: Jacob Tamme. I'm much higher on Tamme than others but I think he will have a fantastic year with as Manning's top tight end. Remember when Dallas Clark went down and Tamme stepped up? Well, now Tamme has a chance to really gel with Manning, and he will be one of Manning's top options. Take a chance on him as you can get him much later than other tight ends. And as we have seen in many of the past years, once we get out of the top five, most tight ends will produce almost the same.

Tier 5: The Rest
11. Fred Davis
12. Jared Cook
13. Owen Daniels
14. Dustin Keller
15. Jermaine Gresham
16. Kellen Winslow
17. Lance Kendricks
18. Brent Celek
19. Coby Fleener
20. Greg Olsen

Who I want the most: Owen Daniels. Even though the Texans have gravitated towards a run-heavy offense, Daniels is the proven and still has great potential. 

Sleeper: Jermaine Gresham. Gresham was very solid last year and can blossom as Andy Dalton continues to improve. Take a chance on him late if you are not very confident in your number one tight end.

Deep Sleeper: Lance Kendricks. He has flashed potential but never really had a chance to prove himself. On a team that lacks superstar receivers, this could finally be Kendricks' year. If Sam Bradford bounces back, Kendricks should produce like a top 12 tight end.

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