Every fantasy team needs a good tight end. Ask Chris Cooley.
The tight end position is almost as obnoxious as that of the lonesome kicker. Every team needs at least one and there are only a few premium TEs to grab. After that it’s all about hope and upside. For that reason, many fantasy owners will blow an early draft pick going after one of the elite tight ends which is generally a mistake.
As an example Jason Witten and Greg Olson were nabbed early in most drafts last season and both saw kickers out-perform them in fantasy points. Of course this amplifies an even more intriguing point, that even the top TEs don’t score much more than the best kickers. So with that in mind why grab a TE before than the 7th round, or at the very earliest after you have a QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs and at least one flex player?
If one of the elite or semi-elite TEs slip 2-3 rounds past their standard ADP (average draft position) then snap them up. In most drafts Dallas Clark is going in the 4th round, with Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Antonio Gates and Jason Witten all going in the 5th round.
Meanwhile Tony Gonzalez is going around the 9th round. Vinsanthe Shiancoe, who scored identical numbers to Gonzalez, is going in the 13th round.
Just some food for thought; save that early pick for a player who will give you more production than even the top TEs.
Tier One – The Elite
He continues to flourish with Peyton at QB
With Jackson out he’s important than ever
Solid chemistry with Alex Smith helps
Freakish skills but will be overhyped this year
Should be a favorite target for Kevin Kolb
Off year, should rebound nicely in 2010
Tier Two – The Safe Mid-Round Options
A healthy Matt Ryan should boost his stats
4th in targets in ‘09 with QB carousel
IF healthy he goes here, monitor his rehab
Top 5 skills, poor supporting cast
Needs O-line help and a healthy Hasselbeck
Solid pick. Shanahan should boost value
Big jump with Jason Campbell at QB
If Favre retires his value drops big time
Tier Three – All About Upside
Ranking based more on promise and hope
Big Ben suspension hurts Heath
Best TE in Tennessee (sleeper alert)
Poor yardage but always a redzone threat
Value picks up in Detroit with Stafford at QB
At this point I value upside of veteran mediocrity
Saints offense means he’s always a threat
The Browns need a reliable set of hands up the middle and in the rezone
Like Gresham above, he’s all about rookie upside
Another rookie with upside
Tier Four – Desperate Measures
A decent #2 TE option with Flacco at QB
Moves up several spots if Cooley gets moved
May not be ready for the start of the season
A match-up bye week filler
Without a better QB, he’s hit or miss
Always capable of surprising
Fuente: Fantasy Knuckleheads