Fantasy Football: Keeping It Tight With a New Era of Tight Ends
Looking around the league, you can see that the veteran tight ends are making their way towards the end of their careers. With that said, we must look towards the future and see what new athletes have come to play this magnificent position.
Over the years, the names of Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, and Tony Gonzalez have topped our list at fantasy football league drafts. As the years have progressed, so have the new faces of the National Football League.
With that said, I would like to talk about a very profound position that all fantasy owners embrace at their prospective drafts each year. The position that I will be commenting on is the tight end position.
In the following slides, I will provide all fantasy owners with some young talent that is waiting to break out at the tight end position.
Brent Celek: Philadelphia Eagles
Even though Brent Celek is going into his fourth year as a pro, you can say that he has had only two real seasons starting. Many have considered his success a fluke. With Donovan McNabb departing Philadelphia this year, many have said that Celek's production will drastically decrease.
Disregarding my being an Eagles fan since 1989, I have a hard time believing this. Coach Andy Reid has a new young quarterback named Kevin Kolb. Kevin Kolb will have guidance from coach Reid throughout the season. Kolb will throw a lot of short passes, and by doing so, Celek will have his hands full all season.
Brent Celek's production won't decrease—I see him contributing the same amount as last year. For fantasy owners, I think Celek is a great pick. He's young, productive, and he will light up the screen come fantasy football season.
2009 stats: 76 receptions, 971 yards receiving, 8 touchdowns
Projection 2010: 77 receptions, 970 yards receiving, 9 touchdowns
Jermichael Finley: Green Bay Packers
If there were a breakout player at the tight end position that I would consider, my pen and paper would write "Jermichael Finley." Finley surprised many across the football world. He was drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Ever since then, Jermichael Finley has shocked many skeptics with his athletic abilities. At age 23, he is only starting his career. He's a great pick for fantasy owners because he can contribute in an enormous way.
With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Finley will see his numbers increase over the years. His speed and size will place him at the slot position at times, and that will set him up for some deep ball plays.
2009 stats: 55 receptions, 676 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns
2010 projection: 64 receptions, 875 yards receiving, 8 touchdowns
John Carlson: Seattle Seahawks
Entering his third year as a pro football player, John Carlson has placed his feet in the NFL as a future star tight end. His numbers have stayed the same in the past two years, but the future looks great for young Carlson.
With the running game hopefully coming back in Seattle, John Carlson can expect a variety of passes from Matt Hasselback. His receiving yards did decline in the past two years, but his touchdown statistics saw a slight increase. He managed seven touchdowns in 2009, two better than in the previous year.
Moving forward, I see Carlson's role in Seattle becoming more important, especially after the loss of some receivers. If I were selecting a tight end for a fantasy football league, I would consider John Carlson a predominant player for the years to come.
2009 stats: 51 receptions, 574 yards receiving, 7 touchdowns
2010 projection: 56 receptions, 675 yards receiving, 9 touchdowns