Fantasy Football 2012: Top 30 Tight End Rankings (Updated 8/29)

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIAugust 29, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13:  Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys gets tackled by Matt Giordano #27 and Miles Burris #56 of the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter of an NFL pre-season football game at O.co Coliseum on August 13, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While it’s good to hear Jason Witten is likely to have the questionable tag for the Cowboys' early first game against the Giants, fantasy owners should still protect themselves in case he’s out, and for more than one week.

There’s really no telling how long his spleen injury will keep him out, or if he suffers a setback once he returns to game action.

With this in mind, fantasy owners who land Witten in the middle round should target a respectable backup. Kyle Rudolph and Greg Olsen are two names that jump out to me who could have good seasons.

The Panthers expect Brandon LaFell to have a breakout third season, but don’t be surprised if Olsen is Cam Newton’s No. 2 target after Steve Smith. With Smith coming back from a foot injury, Olsen is set up for a big game against the Buccaneers.

Consider Rudolph the Vikings' go-to option in the red zone for touchdowns via the passing game. Rudolph has had a solid offseason and will be on a team that his forced to throw the football often, especially with Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford exploiting their weak secondary.

2012 Standard Position Rankings - Top 200 | QB | RB | WR | Cheat Sheets |