Fantasy Football Top 20 Tight Ends for 2011

Eric StashinSenior Writer IAugust 7, 2011

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There wasn’t much movement surrounding tight ends this offseason, though Zach Miller’s move out of Oakland was definitely a significant one.  Let’s take a look at how the rankings stand now that the majority of the moves are done:

  1. Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers
  2. Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts
  3. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
  4. Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers
  5. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
  6. Owen Daniels – Houston Texans
  7. Chris Cooley – Washington Redskins
  8. Zach Miller – Seattle Seahawks
  9. Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons
  10. Kellen Winslow – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  11. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints
  12. Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions
  13. Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals
  14. Dustin Keller – New York Jets
  15. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
  16. Marcedes Lewis – Jacksonville Jaguars
  17. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
  18. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
  19. Visanthe Shiancoe – Minnesota Vikings
  20. Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles


  • Zach Miller surprised many people, bolting from the Oakland Raiders and signing with the Seattle Seahawks.  While Oakland may not have been an ideal spot for a receiving tight end, Seattle could be even worse.  Tarvaris Jackson, who will likely open the year as the team’s QB, struggled to find his TE in his two starts with the Vikings last season (Visanthe Shiancoe totaled three receptions for 24 yards).  Obviously, you don’t bring in Miller unless you plan to utilize him, but owners still have to be at least a little bit concerned about his value moving forward.  The fact that Miller has produced with other low-end QB does bring hope, but time will tell.  He falls a few spots, however, because unlike in Oakland the Seahawks have a pair of capable receivers in Sidney Rice and Mike Williams.
  • Mike Martz has never been a fan of tight ends, has he?  Instead of utilizing Greg Olsen as a big target, the Bears shipped him to Carolina where he should play ahead of Jeremy Shockey.  It’s a run-first offense, obviously, though he could be a great safety valve for rookie Cam Newton.
  • How frustrating is the Patriots’ tight end situation?  The fact that you don’t know who is going to be the main target in any given game makes neither a reliable option at this point.  I’m ranking Gronkowski for now (with Aaron Hernandez falling just outside the top 20), but that can easily change.
  • Remember when Brent Celek looked like the next great tight end option?  It’s amazing how quickly things can change.  A year after posting 76 receptions for 971 yards and eight touchdowns, Celek was nothing more than an after thought.  He managed just 42 receptions for 511 yards and four touchdowns in 2010.  Is it Michael Vick’s presence at QB?  Perhaps, but he still has the upside to make him worth considering as a mid-level TE2.

Make sure to check out all of the early rankings from Rotoprofessor: