TIGHT END ALL BE ALL: Best Fantasy TEs According to Draft Value
There are a bunch of TIGHT ENDS that can and will be serviceable this year in Fantasy Football. Everyone knows about Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark. To get one of those guys you are most likely using a 4th or 5th round pick and thus, removing your ability to stock up on quality WRs and RBs. Instead of grabbing one of them, take one of these guys instead, cause any and all of these guys have the potential to be within a couple points of the heavy hitters on a week to week basis.
5) Visanthe Shiancoe
Shiancoe finished last year as a top ten fantasy tight end while managing to go the entire year as a free agent in most leagues. He gets an upgrade in QB with Favre and since we know how much Favre likes to go to the TE in the red zone it is safe to say Shiancoe is a safe sleeper bet. Feel comfortable waiting until the 11th or 12th round to get him but don't be surprised if he ends up with more TDs than Jason Witten. Might be a good idea to double up on TEs when drafting them late. A nice compliment to Shiancoe might be Zach Miller, who can also be drafted late and also has breakout potential.
4) Kevin Boss
Who's the Boss? When it comes to pass catchers in Giants uniforms it is hard to say exactly who the boss was. It used to be Plaxico Burress. Until a WR steps up and proves he can be the red zone target that the gun wielding Burress was for so many years, look for Manning to target big man Kevin Boss when inside the twenty. Double digit touchdowns is a definite possibility for a team that is going to need to score while being in such a tough division. Boss can be drafted much later than Chris Cooley or Greg Olsen, two guys who will most likely provide similar numbers to Boss'. Take Boss late but keep your eyes pealed for when mid level tight ends begin to leave the board. With all the Giants fans out there it is safe to assume he could be a sleeper on a lot of notebooks come drat day.
3) Dustin Keller
Dustin Keller became somewhat overrated in his rookie campaign last year in New York. Like was previously stated about Shiancoe's upcoming season was true for Keller last year, having a guy like Brett Favre running the offense makes a pass catching tight end a lot more attractive to fantasy owners. This year Keller has a year of service under his belt, has gotten used to playing in New York, and has arguably a better coach running the team. One might think that having a probable rookie QB in Mark Sanchez might drop his value a little, but another way to look at it is that Sanchez will be looking for the tight end in his rookie year while playing it safe as more of a game manager. An 800 yard/6 TD season is not out of the question for Keller, someone who is going very late in drafts this year.
2) Tony Scheffler
Scheffler is so high on this list because he does not even get drafted in the majority of fantasy leagues. If you can get a quality TE in the last round of the draft then you probably have pretty nasty players at all the other positions. Scheffler was a great TE for Cutler and now with Kyle Orton running the team, another quarterback who likes using the TE, as well as Josh McDaniels as a coach, someone who is well known for making the TEs a huge part of the offense, Scheffler is poised to have a top 15 TE year if not top 10. Is a top 15 TE going to win you your league? No, but unless you get a freak like Antonio Gates that one year, a TE in general is probably not going to make or break your team. Gambling on one in the draft and missing however can ruin a team. A fifth or sixth round pick can go a log way when acquiring a second WR or third RB. Don't waste one of these picks on the elite TEs when you can grab a Scheffler and a Shiancoe at the end of the draft and possibly receive the same outcome.
Although to get Daniels you probably need to look for him in the first 8 or 9 rounds, he is still atop this list because of the value you could be getting with such a midlevel pick. Daniels is most likely in that next group of TEs that comes after the first tier. You might group him with the Cooleys and the Olsens and the Winslows. You don't need to pick him in the first five rounds but you are losing a quality pick (top ten) when you go for him. For a 8-10 round pick Daniels has the opportunity to put up numbers like the Wittens and the Clarkes. The Houston offense is poised for a big year and if Shaub can stay on the field, the success of the Texans' high octane passing attack could rely heavily on Owen Daniels' ability to get open and collect major yardage. The negative aspect of his fantasy performance last year was his lack of TDs but those come more easily than yards due to the fact that TDs are much more situational. With Shaub injured for parts of last year there weren't too many red zone attempts perfect for Daniels to flourish in. With Slaton and Andre Johnson it is possible that the Texans of 09 are like the Colts and Bengals teams of recent fantasy fame, and if that is the case than Owen Daniels could make the jump from mid level tight end to stud. And if that happens then this will be the last time he is ever on one of these lists. Get him while you can!