Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Five Tight Ends You Need to Have

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIIDecember 20, 2014

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 24:  Tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots loses his helmet after a touchdown catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in a pre-season game August 24, 2012  in Tampa, Florida.  The Bucs won 30 - 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Tight Ends sometimes get overlooked in fantasy football, but there's no denying their importance. A top tight end could be the difference between a league title and disappointment.

Which tight ends can get you over the top? We give you the tight ends you absolutely need to have.  


Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England

It'll be tough for "Gronk" to match his epic 2011 season. He had over 1,300 yards and an NFL-record 17 touchdowns. 

But he doesn't have to. For one, Gronk has the skill set to come very close and provide you with great production from the tight end spot. Yes, the Pats also have Aaron Hernandez, and while he will take some of the receptions, Gronk's production last season shows that doesn't matter. 

He may not have another historic season, but it'll still be a great one. 


Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans

Sean Payton isn't there, but Drew Brees still is. That means Jimmy Graham is going to put up big numbers again.

Graham had 99 receptions, which is great in PPR leagues. He also had 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns.

With Robert Meachem gone, Graham's targets should only increase. Look for an even bigger year for Graham.


Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta

The Falcons want to air it out, and Gonzalez will be a beneficiary. The veteran caught 80 passes for 875 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

With Julio Jones improving and Roddy White commanding attention, Gonzalez should have some room to operate over the middle. That will increase his targets.

Ten touchdowns is not out of the question. Gonzalez will be a very good fantasy starter. 


Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego

Gates has struggled to stay healthy, but there's no question that when he is healthy, he's one of the best tight ends in football.

In 13 games last year, Gates had 778 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. With Vincent Jackson now in Tampa Bay, Gates should see more balls.

If he stays healthy, which is a big if, Gates should catch over 10 touchdowns and have over 1,000 yards. He will make fantasy owners very happy.


Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit

Pettigrew is playing for an explosive Detroit offense and will only benefit from Calvin Johnson's dominance.

Pettigrew had 83 catches for 777 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. He was also the second most targeted tight end in football.

The Lions don't have any running game to speak of, and teams will focus on covering Calvin Johnson. That means double- and triple-teaming. All of which should give more room for Pettigrew to operate.

Matthew Stafford is establishing himself as one of the elite QBs, and Pettigrew is poised to have a huge season.