Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings: Tight Ends

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 10, 2009

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 15:  Tight end Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys runs a pass reception against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at Texas Stadium on September 15, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Finally the NFL football season is upon us. We are just one day away from the official start of the NFL season and more importantly the official start of the fantasy football season. Does anyone else find it interesting that the summer seems to fly bye, but the football season seems to take forever to get here? The good news though, is it’s finally here.

After countless hour of preparation for our fantasy football drafts, we have our teams on paper and we are ready to go. Well almost ready to go, your team may look good on paper, but as a good friend of mine likes to say “paper smaper”.

I don’t believe smaper is a real word, but it sounds good. The point is, your team can look good on paper, but if you don’t start the right players with the right match-ups each week all your hard work might be for nothing.

Preparing your weekly lineup can be as hard as preparing for your draft, lucky for you the Bruno Boys are here each week to break down each position, player-by-player. So with the quarterback, running backs and wide receiver rankings already available, it’s time to take a look at the tight ends.

Tight end is traditionally not a deep position, which makes starting the right tight end even that much more important. With that being said, please enjoy this week’s Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 1 Tight End Rankings.

1. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) @ Tampa Bay

With Terrell Owens taking his ball and heading to Buffalo, Jason Witten is quarterback Tony Romo’s clear-cut No. 1 receiving option. Traveling to Tampa Bay and playing the Buccaneers defense isn’t what it used to be.

There is a new coaching regime in Tampa and they have done away with the vaunted Tampa-2 defense. Witten should earn this week’s top spot with a double digit scoring effort.

Point Projection: 14 points

2. Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Jacksonville

After 14 seasons with the Colts, Marvin Harrison is no longer in Indianapolis, but Peyton Manning still has his most reliable red-zone target in Dallas Clark. When you add in the fact (as Bruno Boys Cory pointed out in the Week 1 Quarterback Rankings) the Jacksonville Jaguars’ pass defense was among the worst in the NFL during the preseason, you have the recipe for a big day from Clark.

Point Projection: 13 points

3. Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) @ Oakland

Antonio Gates missed the San Diego Chargers final preseason game, but there is no cause for alarm. Sure Gates has had his share of injuries over the past few seasons, but the Pro-Bowl tight end appears to be as healthy as he has been in a couple of years.

Look for a big game right out of the gate (sorry, pun intended) as the Chargers visit the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.

Point Projection: 12 points

4. Greg Olsen (Chicago Bears) @ Green Bay

Entering his third NFL season, look for Greg Olsen to improve on his 54 catches for 574 yards with five touchdowns in 2008; especially with the Bears upgrading their quarterback position by trading for Jay Cutler in the offseason.

Olsen could prove to be Cutler’s most reliable pass catcher this season and they will look to exploit a Packers’ defense that is improved against the run, but finished the preseason 31st against the pass.

Point Projection: 12 points

5. Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Miami

Tony Gonzalez finally got his wish of playing for a potential playoff contender when he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons after 12 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gonzalez will add a dimension to the offense the Falcons were missing last season, a pass catching tight end. Second year quarterback Matt Ryan should target his new weapon often in Week 1 as the Falcons host a Miami Dolphins team that played very well defensively in the preseason.

Point Projection: 11 points

6.  John Carlson (Seattle Seahawks) vs. St. Louis

As a rookie, tight end John Carlson was a lone bright spot for the Seattle Seahawks in 2008. With quarterback Matt Hasselbeck looking healthy from the injuries that plagued him last season and the addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh at wide receiver, teams will no longer be able to key on Carlson, as they were late last season.

Carlson should have no problem getting open in single coverage against a poor St. Louis Rams defense.

Point Projection: 10 points

7. Owen Daniels (Houston Texans) vs. New York Jets

In 2008 Owen Daniels had a breakout year when he had career highs in catches (70) and yards (862). If you are looking for a downside, he did only manage to find the end zone twice, something he should improve on in 2009.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub should look for his tight end often Week 1, as most of the Jets focus will likely be on trying to stop running back Steve Slaton and wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Point Projection: 9 points

8. Jeremy Shockey (New Orleans Saints) vs. Detroit

The jury may still be out on Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, who it seems hasn’t had a significant fantasy football performance in almost two years, but if there ever was a week to start him it would be this week.

The Saints have a home match-up with the Detroit Lions and quarterback Drew Brees will likely once again have a field day against Detroit’s defense. Four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown is not out of the question for Shockey, which is significant since the tight end didn’t cross the goal line once in 2008.

Point Projection: 9 points

9. Visanthe Shiancoe (Minnesota Vikings) @ Cleveland

Dating back to the days of Mark Chmura in Green Bay, Favre has always been fond of good pass catching tight ends. Without many people noticing in 2008, Visanthe Shiancoe had a pretty good statistical season with 42 receptions for 596 yards with seven touchdowns.

The addition of Favre to the Vikings may not help anyone more than Shiancoe statistically this season. He and Favre built a solid rapport in just a couple of preseason games and that should continue Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.

Point Projection: 8 points

10. Chris Cooley (Washington Redskins) @ New York Giants

Chris Cooley has had 28 touchdowns since 2004 (fourth among tight ends), but he only has one touchdown catch against the New York Giants over the last five contests.

Despite the tough match-up against the Giants and the lack of touchdown production, he is a must start fantasy tight end, as he had 83 receptions for 849 yards in 2008.

Point Projection: 8 points

11. Anthony Fasano (Miami Dolphins) @ Atlanta

Anthony Fasano came to the Dolphins last season along with head coach Tony Sparano from the Dallas Cowboys. He was expected to be mainly a run-blocker, but he proved to have some pretty decent hands, especially in the red zone.

Fasano finished the season with 34 catches for 454 yards with seven touchdowns. He is a nice outlet for quarterback Chad Pennington and the Dolphins offense will need him against an improving Atlanta Falcons defense.

Point Projection: 7 points

12. Kevin Boss (New York Giants) vs. Washington

After the Giants traded Jeremy Shockey during the offseason in 2008, Kevin Boss was thrust into the starting line-up in just his second NFL season. He looks to improve on his 33 catches for 384 yards this season.

Boss did prove to be a solid red zone option posting a team high six touchdowns last season. He could be used as a low-end TE1 if needed this week against the Washington Redskins.
Point Projection: 7 points

For the rest of the Week 1 Tight End Rankings, click HERE!



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