Pro Football 101 Fantasy Rankings: AFC East Tight Ends in 2009

Josh SatlerAnalyst IJuly 10, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 23:  Keith Bulluck #53 of the Tennessee Titans leaps for the ball against Dustin Keller #81 of the New York Jets at LP Field on November 23, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

If you're looking for a top tier Tight End, you're not going to find one in the AFC East.  There are borderline number one starters though, and it all begins in New York with Dustin Keller.


1. Dustin Keller

After an impressive, albeit up and down rookie campaign, Keller tops a weak bunch of AFC East TEs in 2009,  even though he could be playing with a rookie QB in Mark Sanchez. In 2008, the athletic TE ended with 535 receiving yards and three TDs.

Regardless of who lines up behind center, the TE will receive a lot of looks in this offense, so expect Keller to put up more than 600 yards and increase his TDs to six.


2. Anthony Fasano

Fasano actually made a big splash in Miami last year as he hauled in over 400 receiving yards with seven TDs on only 34 catches.

Tony Sparano is from the Bill Parcells' school of coaching and the TE position has always played a key role dating back to Bavaro.

Look for Fasano to be a safety outlet for Pennington once again this year.  He could see his production decrease with the emergence of the younger receivers.  


3. Ben Watson

Watson might be the most talented TE in the division, but when you play alongside Randy Moss, Wes Welker and now Joey Galloway, there's just not enough balls to come your way. In 2008, he caught just 22 passes for 209 yards and two TDs.

Brady is back this year from is knee injury, but we still don't see much change coming. Look for another subpar 2009 fantasy season and between 200-300 yards and three scores as the team's fourth or fifth option.


4. Robert Royal

Royal is another TE who has the ability but is stuck in an offense that doesn't allow him to showcase it.   In 2008, he managed just over 300 yards and one TD.

TO is in town this year, so don't expect his looks to increase. Expect another quiet year although he could increase his TD total to two or three.


Draft Tip

Don't select any of the AFC East TEs before round ten and expect Keller to hear his name go first. Fasano turned out to be a nice fantasy sleeper last year and could be a late-round gem once again.

Neither Watson or Royal warrant a draft selection but keep an eye on their production early on as they might provide value on the waiver wire.