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Fantasy Football Outlook: Top 20 Tight Ends For 2010

Hello again to my fellow fantasy footballers. I'm here with another addition of The Fantasy Outlook, this time ranking the TE's for the 2010 fantasy football season. People write off TE's a lot in fantasy but I have found this to be a mistake. A top TE often produces at the same level or better then a top fantasy number 2 wide receiver. Combining a top TE with 2 top WR's can really give you the edge you need to succeed, or in case you miss your shot at a second top WR, they can replace that value.

Last year in my own personal rankings, I felt that Dallas Clark would be the top fantasy TE and in most scoring formats I was correct. At the same time I completely dropped the ball on Vernon Davis as I felt that he would never live up to his giant potential.

I am changing the selection format up slightly from my previous posts. These rankings are 100 hundred percent my own personal rankings. I did not factor in where these players were taken in the mock drafts I participated in or read over. I will post a number at the end of each player's briefing and that is the ranking they received using the process I used for my other rankings.

The point system I used is the same as recent posts:

1 reception equals 1 point, 10 receiving yards equals 1 point, 1 receving TD equals 6 points

So without further ado here are my top 20 TE's for fantasy football this upcoming year.

 

1. Chris Cooley, Was: What a curverball off the top but I want you to really think about this. His new quarterback is McNabb who loves his TE's. I mean he made Chad Lewis a legitimiate threat for at least one year. Cooley is also the best target on the team. He also runs the routes needed for a quick pass which will be needed as McNabb runs for his life behind a terrible offensive line. So what are his downsides? Well he is coming off a broken ankle, but by the time the season starts it will have been about 10 months since the injury.  Fred Davis also proved himself to be a capable threat at the TE spot. However his hands aren't as good as Cooley's. Cooley was mostly hurt by Campbell's reluctance or inefficiency at getting him the ball in the redzone. McNabb has no qualms with targeting his TE all over the field and particularly in the redzone. This all shapes up, to me, for a huge year from Cooley that leaves him as the best TE when it is all said done. (9)

Projected Stats: 92 receptions 1100 receiving yards 11 TD

2. Brent Celek, Phi: Is it homerism? Possibly. But I think it is more then that. I do not believe Celek has reached his full potential. With teams focusing so much on our 3 WR's and the addition of possibly another pass catching threat in Cornelius Ingram, I find Celek has the opportunity to really showcase the goods this upcoming season. It also doesn't hurt that he is Kolb's roommate through training camp and on the road so just the chemistry that should develop between them leaves him as a likely canidate to excel this year. (4)

Projected Stats: 82 receptions 1010 receiving yards 9 TD

3. Antonio Gates, SD: The main pass weapon of River's for his entire tenor as QB in SD should continue to succeed. Before there was Vincent Jackson dropping a 1000 yard seasons there was Chris Chamber's not doing that and Gates still kicked ass. So the loss of Jackson for 3 games, possibly a hold out of 10 games, will not negatively effect Gates production. If anything it might make him better as there will be more balls thrown his way. (2)

Projected Stats: 76 receptions 1059 yards 8 TD

4. Dallas Clark, Ind: Last year Dallas was huge for Manning, putting together one of the finest seasons ever for a TE. I chose Dallas as the number 1 TE because I didn't believe that Anthony Gonzalez could reproduce what they were losing in Marvin Harrison. This year I have to take a step back and look again. I think with the emergence of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie and the return of Anthony Gonzalez, Clark should still produce at a top level, but nowhere near the monster season he had last year. (1)

Projected Stats: 85 receptions 987 yards 8 TD

5. Vernon Davis, SF: I am now a believer. Davis showed what a man with his considerable talent can do when he buys into his coache's philosphy and works hard. I think he is in for another fantastic year, although expecting 13 TD's again is a bit much. Davis should still perform at a top level though and is an excellent selection. (7)

Projected Stats: 75 receptions 917 receving yards 8 TD

6. Jason Witten, Dal: Witten is a catching machine in the Dallas offense. Romo looks for him constantly which is why he regularly puts up 90 catch 1000 yard seasons. The problem is the Cowboys like to pound the rock once they reach the redzone and use Witten more as a blocker. His touchdown totals have always been the achilles heel for fantasy owners (never more then 7 TD's in a season, and a career average of 4) and if you're not in a PPR league it kills his value. (3)

Projected Stats: 92 receptions 1031 receiving yards 4 TD

7. Jermichael Finley, GB: Beastly. That's the word most often used to describe Finley's 2nd year in the league. He snatched the starting role from Donald Lee and it took him a few games to get acclimated but when he did, wow what results. In his last 6 games (including the playoffs) Finley grabbed 34 balls for 496 yards and 4 TD's. Now even though it is dangerous to do so, lets stretch that production over a full 16 game schedule. 91 catches 1323 yards and 11 TD's. That's WR 1 numbers right there. Playing in the pass heavy offense of Green Bay those numbers actually look attainable. I will take a more realistic look for TE numbers but you can expect the world if you take Finley. (5)

Projected Stats: 68 receptions 845 receiving yards 8 TD

8. Tony Gonzalez, Atl: He is the most prolific TE in NFL history. Last year was a down year for him (83 receptions 867 yards 6 TD, still impressive) but I am sure a good amount can be attributed to the injuries on the offense, most notably with Matt Ryan. Although he is older and he has to slow down at some point, with a healthy Ryan I see another nice year for him. (8)

Projected Stats: 78 receptions 900 receiving yards 6 TD

9. Owen Daniels, Hou: Through 8 weeks, last year, Owen Daniels was the best TE in football. He was having a career year and was on pace for an 80 reception 1000 yard 10 TD season. He tore his ACL in week 8, so his health level will be questionable to start the season. He has the potential to be very big for you in the 2nd half of the year and to put up solid numbers all around. Grab him and stash him for the playoff run and enjoy the helpful numbers he gives you until then. (6)

Projected Stats: 75 receptions 884 receiving yards 5 TD

10. Visanthe Shiancoe, Min: Shiancoe developed quite a rapport with Favre last year and became a favorite in the redzone. He won't get you a ton of receptions or yardage but he does score a huge bevy of TD's. (10)

Projected Stats: 53 receptions 582 receiving yards 10 TD

11. Kellen Winslow, TB: He is the only proven receiving weapon in Tampa Bay. He makes for a great safety valve for Josh Freeman, he puts up some good yardage, and he gets targeted a lot but isn't much of a TD machine. Great filler for your team though. (12)

Projected Stats: 81 receptions 885 receiving yards 5 TD

12. Heath Miller, Pit: He should not suffer as much as the other receiveing targets in the absence of Ben Rothliesberger. He runs nice crisp routes and should be able to capitalize when targeted. However as I have stressed, a return to a run heavier offense is in the cards so a slight drop off is expected. (11)

Projected Stats: 63 receptions 671 receiving yards 6 TD

13. John Carlson, Sea: He's still young and has room to grow. Hasslebeck has never been a big fan of using his TE's so only a slight increase is expected. Don't know how that dynamic changes if Whitehurst see's the field at some point. (16)

Projected Stats: 54 receptions 621 receiving yards 6 TD

14. Kevin Boss, NYG: We had a discussion a few weeks ago with some of the Giant fans about how good Boss really is. They claim the Giants underutilize Boss but he has the talent to succeed with the best. Well in fantasy if you aren't used correctly your value holds no weight. Talent means nothing, only production. Boss is underused so taking him as anything but a back up would be a mistake. (14)

Projected Stats: 54 receptions 556 receiving yards 5 TD

15. Dustin Keller, NYJ: This is an upside pick with low risk. Keller was used sparingly during the regular season but targeted often once the playoffs started(12 receptions 181 yards 3 TD over 3 games). There are a lot of questions though. How much will the Jets pass? How will the addition of Santonio Holmes affect his production? Will Mark Sanchez be erratic or precise? Depending on the answers to these questions Keller could flop or be in for a huge year. (18)

Projected Stats: 53 receptions 602 receiving yards 4 TD

16. Zach Miller, Oak: Ranked kinda low considering he is the only real sure receiving option in Oakland, but I have my reasonings. Campbell will gladly dish out passes to his TE's for 80 yards of a field, but once they approach the redzone it is like they disappear all together. Cooley suffered this same fate since after the 2007 season and now I am afraid it is Zach Miller's turn. (15)

Projected Stats: 62 receptions 701 receving yards 1 TD

17. Jermaine Gresham, Cin: Perceived to be a very talented rookie, he was selected in the first round  by the Bengals. He is going to a team that recently adjusted it's style to more of running attack but Palmer might be intrigued by his first real option at TE ever and get him the ball more then a little bit. He is a rookie though so an adjustment period is expected. He is also still recovering from torn cartilage in his knee. He's a worthwhile backup. (19)

Projected Stats: 42 receptions 452 receiving yards 4 TD

18. Fred Davis, Was: I expect Washington to run more 2 TE sets since they have a talented array at the position. Fred Davis filled in very well for Cooley after he went down and amassed over 500 yards with 6 TD's. I think Cooley regains his status as the number 1 but Davis' contribution should be notable as well. A Handcuff TE? (17)

Projected Stats: 41 receptions 437 receiving yards 4 TD

19. Anthony Fasano, Mia: His 2009 season was anything less then impressive but I expect a turn around with the addition of Marshall and with Henne having most of a year's experience under his belt. The kid does have talent, he also has no competition for the position. As you can see from all my rankings I expect Miami to improve dramatically on offense, especially in the passing game this year. Fasano should benefit.

Projected Stats: 40 receptions 425 receving yards 4 TD

20. Todd Heap, Bal: They drafted 2 rookie TE's in Baltimore and so that will negatively affect his production but I think he uses this as an audition year and puts up respectable back up numbers.

Projected Stats: 40 receptions 410 receving yards 4 TD

Notable missing person: This is a special section. I did not include Greg Olsen because well, there's no room in a Mike Martz offense for a productive TE. I looked over it again and again and even with Olsen's immense talent, he will be used primarily to block in both the run and passing games therefore not getting enough opportunities to make a decent fantasy impact. Could this be my year's Vernon Davis? Only the season will tell.

There you have it. My TE rankings for the 2010 season. May they help you on your way to a fantasy football championship. Unless you are playing me.

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