2012 Playoff NFL Fantasy Football: Tight Ends (TE) Rankings, Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIJanuary 2, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:   Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates with fans after defeating the Carolina Panthers 45-17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Jimmy Graham vs. Lions – 

When it comes to selecting a tight end for the first round of the 2012 playoff fantasy football contest, it has to begin and end with Jimmy Graham of the Saints. Only one player at this position was better than Graham, Rob Gronkowski through the regular season, and he had a record setting year for touchdowns at the position. Not only are the Saints a high-scoring offense, but they will play against a Lions defense that just gave up 45 points to the Packers with Matt Flynn starting.

With Matthew Stafford playing better than ever before down the stretch, this should be an even more explosive matchup than when these two teams faced off back at the start of December. In that game, Graham failed to find the end zone, but he did have eight receptions for 89 yards in the blowout victory.

Not only will Graham likely have the top fantasy performance at this position in the wild-card round; you can count on having him in future weeks. That is a big deal when you factor in that many playoffs fantasy contest award some kind of bonus benefits for those players who advance that you had on your team the week before.


Owen Daniels likely to Play –

Maybe you’re a Texans fan and you can’t resist the urge to select players from your team, especially since their matchup against the Bengals will be the first playoff game in franchise history. First off, congratulations on your team making the playoffs, and if you're looking to add a tight end from Houston, it should be Owen Daniels that gets in your lineup.

Last week, Daniels was listed as probable, but the coaching staff wasn’t taking chances with playing key players (other than Andre Johnson, but that’s because they felt he needed the work) so James Casey received an opportunity to play and totaled seven receptions for 91 yards. At this time, it could be rookie T.J. Yates starting after he suffered a dislocated shoulder (non-throwing arm) or veteran Jake Delhomme starting for the Texans. Delhomme actually did a good job in relief, after struggling in recent years. Perhaps some time off to rest his shoulder (had Tommy John surgery a few years back) did him some good.

No matter the starter at quarterback, the Texans passing game will continue to feature their tight ends. Look for Daniels to see up to 10 targets in this game.

1 Jimmy Graham Lions
2 Brandon Pettigrew @ Saints
3 Tony Gonzalez @ Giants
4 Heath Miller @ Broncos
5 Jermaine Gresham @ Texans
6 Owen Daniels (I) Bengals
7 Tony Scheffler @ Saints
8 Joel Dreessen Bengals
9 Jake Ballard (I) Falcons

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