Remember on the High School football team that guy who was about 6’5″ and 260 pounds. He was an offensive tackle right? Not in the NFL. That guy is a Tight End in today’s game. The hybrid player who is (in theory) part offensive lineman and part receiver. Many fantasy football leagues have drifted away from having a dedicated starting TE position to a WR/TE position. But some of you out there have to start a tight end every week. Today is especially for you on Halftime Adjustments. So without further adieu (not Freddy Adu, wrong footbol), let’s get rolling.
Let’s face it, if you don’t have to start a tight end, Gates is probably the only TE that has a chance of making your top 10 receivers list. He had 71 receptions for 921 yards and 9 touchdowns in what many considered a down season for him last year. Look for him to top that this season with defenses paying added attention to LT this year (if that’s possible).
A. Crumpler, T. Gonzalez, T. Heap, J. Shockey, K. Winslow
I’m just excited that, finally there’s a Cleveland Brown than can be considered in the top 6 in the league at his position. If the Browns ever decide on a QB, look for Winslow to be a large part of that offense; he’s got the skills if he can keep his mouth shut long enough to show them on the field. In this group, look to Crumpler to be the standout. With the QB flux in Atlanta the TE will become a more valuable position. Heap, Gonzo and Shockey (if he’s healthy) will score you 5 to 7 TD’s this season with about 800 yards receiving.
Dallas Clark, C. Cooley, V. Davis, H. Miller, L.J. Smith
From here on out we are looking at players who will most likely only be drafted in leagues with a TE starter. Otherwise, unless one of them lights it up in the first couple of weeks, you probably won’t see these players on a roster. Taking nothing away from these guys; they are every bit the solid starters as the category suggests. You know that Dallas Clark will be seeing more opportunities with Stokley gone and Gonzalez breaking in his rookie shoes. You can look for 3-5 touchdowns and 500-700 yards receiving from this crew.
Look for Desmond Clark to be a key factor in the Bears offense again this season. With 6 TDs and 600+ receiving yards, he is definitely a power in the Bears offense. Someone needs to step up for Chicago to make the playoffs and succeed this season. If Muhammad goes down, or Lovie jumps off the Grossman ship to give Brian Griese or Kyle Orton some time, the TE becomes an even more valuable position.
D. Graham, B Watson, J. Witten
You can expect 2-5 TDs and 300-500 yards from these guys. They may be just what the doctor ordered to get your team over the top in that close game. All three are on teams that seem to find the TE in the clutch when the game is on the line.
Owen Daniels . . . What? He isn’t on the list you moron! There, now you don’t have to say it. Our definition of sleeper again is someone that will perform better than their expectations. Owen Daniels will do that this year. Matt Schaub found Alge Crumpler frequently when he had the chance to play for the Falcons. In fact, Crumpler caught Schaub’s only TD pass last year. I’ll go one further- Crumpler has caught one third of ALL Matt Schaub’s TD passes. There you go. Last season Daniels was a red zone option, this year with Schaub at QB he should get serious consideration if the Texans fins the goal line.
Well, there you go. The tight end breakdown in a nice neat little package. I hope we’ve given you some help for that draft board you’re scraping together at the last minute. If we help you win you’re league this year, you can name your next child after us . . . John Richard has a nice ring to it don’t you think?