The NFL season is almost here and you need to have an updated fantasy football rankings 2011 and an accurate list of fantasy football sleepers. NFL trade rumors are still swirling but we feel we have determined an accurate listing of this season’s fantasy football stars.
In our latest rankings there has been a bit of a shake up, but most names are where you wold expect. We have scoured the news wires and training camps, while creating accurate 2011 NFL predictions and have determined which running backs are poised to lead you to a fantasy football championship.
Not all of us are in position to draft Antonio Gates or Jason Witten, but now you can figure out who is worth reaching on and who isn’t.
1(1) Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Gates is going to put up huge numbers this season with Philip Rivers stepping up to the elite status. He could even benefit from the extra attention teams will have to put on Vincent Jackson this year, as well. The question is: will Gates stay healthy enough to do it all season? History says no, but Gates hasn’t missed a step so far this offseason.
2(3) Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Witten is a PPR killer at tight end, and could come close to 100 catches again this season. Despite always adding a great amount of yards and catches, the knock on Witten has been that he just doesn’t score enough touchdowns. With Jason Garrett in charge last year, the Cowboys turned to Witten in the red zone and it lead to Witten scoring the most touchdowns in his career. We’re thinking double-digit touchdowns are a very good possibility in 2011.
3(4) Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Davis has improved every year since entering the league and has displayed an immense improvement in his leadership. This year Davis has been just as sharp in practice and will be expected to play a bigger role in a tight end-friendly offense. Braylon Edwards is looking at a likely suspension and Michael Crabtree is ailing, expect Davis to be the focal point on the Niners offense.
4(2) Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts
Clark is back and healthy, but will have to play this season with a brace on his right wrist all season. Clark has very sure hands so we don’t expect it to be an issue, but we are worried about his production if Peyton Manning has a slow start. Don’t take Clark high because you assume he will bounce back to normal. Even if he does, there is enough depth at the position this year that you can wait.
5(5) Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers
Finley is a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. Although his season was cut short with a knee injury in 2010, Finley got off to a good start. In a PPR league Finley has the added value of playing in a pass-happy offense. There is the potential for Finley to reach 80 catches this year, but he has a lot competition for catches as well. Finley will likely be drafted in the Top 3 of fantasy tight ends, so we say wait for a better value.
6(10) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
We weren’t sure about Graham before the preseason, wondering if he would just be another Antonio Gates type that wouldn’t pan out. At the end of last season Graham really came along and became a bigger part of the offense. This preseason the team has looked to Graham frequently on third downs. It’s obvious the Saints have enough faith in Graham, and so should you.
7(6) Owen Daniels, Houston Texans
Daniels and quarterback Matt Schaub have a very good rapport, but haven’t been able to stay on the field together that often. Daniels is now a season removed from his torn ACL and should be back at his best in 2011. The last time we talked about Daniels breaking out was the year he did hurt that knee. Before that injury, Daniels was on pace for 80 catches, 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns.
8(26) Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
There are some that think Olsen could lead the team in receptions by year’s end, and we think they may be on to something. Olsen has looked like a new man in Carolina since being traded from the Bears. Olsen will be playing in a very, very, very TE-friendly offense (notice how we stressed that?). Olsen could finally break out and perform like the TE we all expected when he came out of The U in 2007.
9(12) Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lewis recently signed a lengthy extension to stay with the Jaguars. He is the team’s best receiving threat and is a massive target in the red zone. Lewis has improved every year since entering the league in 2006 and looks to be the main option in Jacksonville.
10(9) Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winslow has been held out of the preseason for precautionary reasons and should be fine for the season opener. Winslow isn’t going to score a ton of touchdowns and his catches dropped with the emergence of Mike Williams as a receiving threat. The Bucs love to employ two TE sets, however, so Winslow will get more than enough chances.
See the rest of the Tight End Rankings 2011 here.
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