Fantasy Rankings: NFC West Tight Ends in 2009

Josh SatlerAnalyst IJuly 5, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 26:  Tight end John Carlson #89 of the Seattle Seahawks lunges but can't make a catch in front of Manny Lawson #99 of the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at Candlestick Park on October 26, 2008 in San Francisco, California. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 34-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

After Seattle's John Carlson, the NFC West TEs drop off considerably, only featuring No. 2's and fill-ins for starters' off weeks.

1.  John Carlson

In just his first year in the league, and having to play most of it without starting QB Matt Hasselback, Carlson quickly put his receiving skills on display and caught 55 passes for 627 yards and five TDs.

With Hasselback healthy in 2009, look for the duo to be even more dangerous and for Carlson to take a big step forward with over 750 yards and between seven and nine TDs. The kid is talented.

2. Vernon Davis

The fact that Davis sits as No. 2 in the division shows just how thin the NFC West is for fantasy TEs in 2009. Now this is not to say that Davis doesn't have potential because he certainly does; but potential doesn't always lead to production and this has been the case for Davis up to this point.

In 2008, he finished with 31 catches for two TDs.

But if there was a defining moment which might turn the "light switch" on, it came after Coach Singletary sent him home in the 4th quarter of a 34-13 shellacking to the Seahawks. After that, Davis seemed more focused and just maybe it will translate to success in 2009. We think it could.

Look for between 45 to 50 catches and five TDs.

3. Randy McMichael

McMichael's 2008, just like the Rams, was a nightmare. He only played in four games and caught 11 measly passes.

This year, with Torry Holt gone, he has an opportunity to grab even more receptions and we think Bulger will look his way as QBs tend to trust veteran targets more than young players.

Look for a 30 to 40 catch season and between three to five TDs.

4. Leonard Pope

Pope only receives mentioning because the Cardinals need to be represented in this section. The fourth-year TE caught only nine passes for 77 yards which illustrates how little the (TE) position is used in the Cards' offense.

But that's understandable when you have the plethora of weapons they do at the receiver position. In 2009, don't expect a much different outcome from last year.

Draft Tip

Carlson is a legit fantasy TE and will go between rounds six and eight. Davis shouldn't be your No. 1, so anything before round 10 would be a reach.

McMichael might end up a nice fantasy sleeper who'll be available towards the end of the draft and Pope should not even be on your draft board.