A training camp casualty to Dennis Pitta (hip) has shook up the fantasy football world. Here is a revised look at the 2013 LestersLegends fantasy football tight end rankings.
1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Graham caught 85 passes last year for 982 yards and nine touchdowns. He has 20 TDs in the past two seasons combined.
2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Witten caught 110 passes for 1,039 yards last year. His downside is his touchdown total (three). That can be overlooked, particularly in PPR leagues, because of his consistency and durability.
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Gronk is a high-risk, high-reward option. He’s the best tight end in the game when healthy. He could miss the start of the season, and the risk of re-injury seems great at this point.
4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
I’m still a little concerned with Davis after his disappointing 2012 season that netted 41 catches for 548 yards and five touchdowns. He got on the same page as Colin Kaepernick with two 100-yard games. With Michael Crabtree on the shelf with an Achilles injury, look for heavy involvement from Davis.
5. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph won the Pro Bowl MVP, but that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically ascend to greatness. I believe he has the physical tools to make the leap, particularly if Christian Ponder can take a step forward. Rudolph caught nine touchdowns last year.
6. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Gonzo continues to go strong. He’s 37, but showed no signs of slowing last year when he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. Julio Jones and Roddy White command so much attention on the outside that Gonzo is free to work the middle of the field.
7. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Gates disappointed last year, finishing with 49 catches for 538 yards and seven touchdowns. He has averaged nine touchdowns for each of the last nine seasons.
8. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans
Daniels caught 62 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns last season. He’s always an injury risk, but he’s productive when he can stay healthy.
9. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen caught 69 passes for 843 yards and five touchdowns last year. He’s one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets.
10. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
Perhaps a change of scenery will allow Cook to realize his potential. His yardage dropped from 759 to 523 yards last year, but he should see improvement with Sam Bradford and the Rams.
11. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers
Finley has the physical tools to be a great tight end, but his hands and injuries seem to get in the way. He had 667 yards and two touchdowns last year. Finley could easily beat those numbers, but consistency has been an issue.
12. Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Myers caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders last year. The Giants have had a revolving door at tight end the past few years, but they all have been solid fantasy contributors. Myers should keep it going.
13. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Bennett caught 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns for the New York Giants last year. He should benefit from Brandon Marshall’s presence.
14. Dustin Keller, Miami Dolphins
Keller was limited to eight games last year and even in a mess of season for the New York Jets, his numbers extrapolate to 56 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns had he played a full season. He should be healthier and get better quarterback play from Ryan Tannehill.
15. Fred Davis, Washington Redskins
Davis had 24 catches for 325 yards before an Achilles injury ended his season. He averaged just 26 yards in the first four games, but was starting to gel with Robert Griffin III, averaging 65 yards in the next four games.
Given the weapons that RGIII has to work with, Davis should remain one of the top targets as long as he’s healthy.
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