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2006 Player Rankings: Tight Ends
Updated: September 5, 2006
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Tier 1
Antonio Gates - SDC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 1
TD Only: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction: 12%
2003 SDC 11 24 389 16.2 2      
2004 SDC 15 81 964 11.9 13      
2005 SDC 15 89 1101 12.4 10      
Avg   14 65 818 13.5 8 0 0 0
PROJ SDC   86 1080   10      

In just two seasons, Antonio Gates has taken over the top spot for tight ends with such a vengeance that he rates as a very good fantasy option even in leagues that groups the position along with all wide receivers. His ten receiving touchdowns last year ties him for third best in the league - including wideouts. His 89 catches were 6th best - including wideouts. Considering him against mere tight ends is becoming an unfair comparison as he led in virtually every important category for the position and typically by a large margin.

Gates will be the first tight end drafted in all drafts not held in a crack house, the only question is how early he goes and how long it takes for the second best to be selected (think "rounds"). Gates has been masterful in his two seasons but 2006 casts a shadow of at least slight doubt even if it ends up to be entirely unrealized. He has lost the only quarterback he has had success with when Drew Brees left for the Saints and Phillip Rivers' lone touchdown came in a 2004 game which was the only one in which Gates did not play.

There is some risk with Gates related to Rivers ability to get him the ball. That is just realistic. But what is more likely - that a star college quarterback noted for super accuracy can play well after spending two seasons learning the offense or that an undrafted tight end who did not play college level football could become the uber-tight end of all time? Even a down year by Gates could be better than any other tight end. It could be better than the vast majority of wide receivers.

Jeremy Shockey - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 2
TD Only: 2
Keeper: 3
Auction: 10%
2003 NYG 9 48 535 11.1 2      
2004 NYG 15 61 666 10.9 6      
2005 NYG 15 65 891 13.7 7      
Avg   13 58 697 11.9 5 0 0 0
PROJ FA   70 940   8      

Jeremy Shockey has been a very good tight end since entering the league in 2002 and coming off a career best season with 891 yards and seven touchdowns, he's officially a great tight end. With Eli Manning stepping up very well in his second season, the duo connected on 65 passes last year and the only player with more receiving yardage was Plaxico Burress. Even he only tied Shockey in touchdowns scored.

Shockey was tied for seventh for tight end receptions in the NFL last year but he was third in yardage behind only Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. And Gates was the only tight end with more touchdowns than Shockey had. There is no disputing that Antonio Gates has been clearly the best tight end in the league the last two seasons but that second spot is not necessarily a no-brainer to give to Gonzalez anymore. Shockey is just turning 26 years old and is in the prime of his career. Gonzalez is 30 years old now and is in an aging offense that has rushing as the main focus.

While Gonzalez remains a very safe pick, Shockey enters 2006 with even more upside as Eli Manning continues to gain more experience in the NFL. He always misses at least one game a year but plays injured whenever possible. Shockey won't likely catch Gates this year, but there is a chance that no one else catches Shockey.

Todd Heap - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 3
TD Only: 3
Keeper: 2
Auction: 8%
2003 BAL 16 57 693 12.2 3 3 21  
2004 BAL 6 27 303 11.2 3      
2005 BAL 16 75 855 11.4 7      
Avg   13 53 617 11.6 4 1 7 0
PROJ FA   78 900   8      

Todd Heap comes off his career best season when he caught 75 passes for 855 yards and seven touchdowns - personal bests in all categories. Bouncing back from an injury marred 2004; Heap turned in nine games with over 50 receiving yards and scored in five games which include two weeks with double touchdowns. The 2005 season had him rank 3rd in catches, 5th in yardage and tie for 2nd for touchdowns against all NFL tight ends. He did this with only Anthony Wright and Kyle Boller as the passers.

2006 looks very bright for the sixth year tight end that is only 26 years old. The Ravens acquiring Steve McNair will give Heap not only the best quarterback that he has ever played with, but also one that has spent a career in offensive systems that make heavy use of tight ends. With Boller last year, Heap scored five of his scores in the final six games which included 87 and110-yard games.

Heap already deserved a bump up the rankings this year even without McNair from his solid 2005 season and now he appears poised for yet another great year. Heap won't likely break into the Gates/Gonzalez/Shockey top 3 in your draft but by the end of 2006, he could well prove he belonged in that grouping. Heap makes an excellent value pick mid-draft and should be a strong consideration in any league requiring the use of a tight end.

Tier 2
Heath Miller - PIT YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 8
TD Only: 4
Keeper: 8
Auction: 3%
2003                  
2004                  
2005 PIT 15 39 459 11.8 6      
Avg   15 39 459 11.8 6 0 0 0
PROJ PIT   48 550   7      

(+Upside) The drafting of Heath Miller with the Steelers' 1.30 draft pick last year was a surprise given that HC Bill Cowher had never used the tight end position for much more than a blocker. Though he would have trick plays that allowed them to combine for up to five scores in a year, there was rarely any yardage associated. In 2004, Jerame Tuman was the lead tight end with a mere nine catches for 89 yards. Miller blew that away within the first month, ending his rookie season with 459 on 39 catches for six scores.

Miller continued to be a force in the playoffs with seven more catches including a touchdown against the Colts in a game that the Steelers only won by three and that gave them their berth in the Super Bowl.

Miller should be better this year of course now that he has some experience but there is a small chance he could be impacted by better play from Cedrick Wilson or even the rookie Santonio Holmes. But his sure hands and the confidence that Roethlisberger has in him should ensure at worst he turns in solid numbers for a tight end. With upside yet to explore, he could be even more in just his second season.

Bubba Franks - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 13
TD Only: 5
Keeper: 18
Auction: 1%
2003 GBP 14 30 241 8.0 4      
2004 GBP 15 34 361 10.6 7      
2005 GBP 9 25 207 8.3 1      
Avg   13 30 270 9.0 4 0 0 0
PROJ FA   35 360   7      

(+Upside) Bubba Franks was lucky enough to have signed a seven-year, $28 million contract with the Packers last August before the maelstrom of injuries hit the team. Franks was not immune, he suffered a hip injury and then a strained MCL and bruised left knee forced him to miss three games. After playing for five weeks, he suffered a concussion and badly sprained back that essentially took him out of action the following week. By week 16, he was placed on injured reserve.

While Franks has never been a major force in the passing game with career highs of 54 catches and only 442 yards, he has been a big factor near the goal line. In the four year period prior to last year, Franks totaled 27 touchdowns for an average of almost seven per season. Long a favorite of Favre, his absence last season was yet another reason why the passing game fell to pieces.

Expect a healthy Frank to return this season and make good on his big contract of 2005. Prior to last season, Franks had not missed a game at any time during his first five seasons so he is usually very durable when the Packer Curse is not in effect. Expect a solid season from Franks that could actually tip upwards with a lack of other reliable receivers for Favre.

Alge Crumpler - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 4
TD Only: 6
Keeper: 4
Auction: 6%
2003 ATL 16 44 552 12.5 3      
2004 ATL 14 48 774 16.1 6      
2005 ATL 16 65 877 13.5 5      
Avg   15 52 734 14.0 5 0 0 0
PROJ FA   69 920   6      

(+Upside) During his five seasons with the Falcons, Alge Crumpler has improved each year even if only incrementally. Starting at 25 catches for 330 yards as a rookie, he has added about 100 more yards each season and in 2005 ended with 877 yards on 65 catches. That was fourth best in yardage for all NFL tight ends last year and if he continues his progression, he will challenge the rare 1000 yard mark for tight ends. And - an increase would be no surprise.

Crumpler had 114 targets last season and that dwarfs any Falcon wideout. He is consistently the first place that Vick looks to throw and more often than not, he is the last read before the throw. Michael Vick has been challenged to throw any passes accurately to his wide receivers despite high draft picks and a near mandate to involve the wideouts more. But it always ends up back to the one player that Vick has managed success with every season - Crumpler.

The Falcons have a fairly brutal schedule this year that will likely depress rushing and passing numbers but that does not necessarily mean that Crumpler gets less. It could well mean he has more production from facing tough defenses that force Vick into a hurried scan of the field for his security blanket. Crumpler has never been big with touchdowns but his yardage has increased every season. With nothing else really changing on the offense, look for another incremental increase again this year.

L.J. Smith - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 6
TD Only: 7
Keeper: 6
Auction: 4%
2003 PHI 14 27 320 11.9 1      
2004 PHI 16 34 377 11.1 5      
2005 PHI 16 61 682 11.2 3      
Avg   15 41 460 11.4 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   71 760   6      

(+Upside) L.J. Smith was the third tight end drafted in 2003 when the Eagles used their 2.29 selection to find the successor to Chad Lewis. In just his rookie season, Smith closely outplayed Lewis, catching 27 passes for 321 yards and one score and together they produced 614 yards and two scores - in a final season B.O. (Before Owens). In his second season, Smith rose to 34 catches for 377 yards and five touchdowns while all tight ends combined for 689 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, Smith once again improved and ended with 61 catches for 682 yards and three scores.

No other tight end had more than seven catches in 2005 and that should repeat this season though the Eagles did acquire Matt Schobel from the Bengals. With Owens now out of the picture and the passing game to change, Smith has already shown to be a preferred target for McNabb and he was the #1 receiver for the Eagles in 2005 regardless of position.

Consider L.J. Smith as a definite sleeper type this year that has flown under the radar by not yet being in the top seven in any category for tight ends in previous seasons. That should change with Owens gone and the cast of Eagle receivers headed up by second-year player Reggie Brown. Smith should be a great choice if you waited on getting a tight end that will reward you well in excess of the price you paid.

Chris Cooley - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 9
TD Only: 8
Keeper: 9
Auction: 3%
2003                  
2004 WAS 16 37 314 8.5 6      
2005 WAS 16 71 774 10.9 7      
Avg   16 54 544 9.7 7 0 0 0
PROJ FA   54 560   6      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Chris Cooley has quickly developed into a nice fantasy tight end by scoring 13 touchdowns in his first two seasons and turning in 71 catches for 774 yards last year. That ranked Cooley 4th in catches among all NFL tight ends and 6th in receiving yards. His seven scores were bettered only by Antonio Gates though in reality, he had three against Dallas in week 15 to boost his numbers.

Cooley has been a rock solid choice for tight end that has so far outperformed his draft spot in the two years he has played. The reality here though suggests that Cooley is in line for a decrease in 2006.

The Redskins have brought in OC Al Saunders who certainly knows how to use a tight end, but they also acquired Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El. With only the speedy Santana Moss as a viable wideout in 2005, Cooley had much more work underneath than he'll likely get with two more wideouts to consider. Cooley also lost seven touchdown passes to Mike Sellers last year because defenses learned to cover him when the end zone drew near and left Sellers open for typically one catch and one touchdown in those games.

Cooley is still a solid tight end and again - Saunders knows how to use the position. But with many more options this season, the likelihood is that Cooley decreases in catches and yards.

Tony Gonzalez - ATL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 5
TD Only: 9
Keeper: 5
Auction: 6%
2003 KCC 16 71 915 12.9 10      
2004 KCC 16 102 1258 12.3 7 1 5  
2005 KCC 16 78 905 11.6 2      
Avg   16 84 1026 12.3 6 0 2 0
PROJ ATL   75 860   5      

(-Risk) Tony Gonzalez started last season with a very disappointing string of low yardage games (as any owner can attest) and he never scored until week eight of the season. By the time week 17 was over, Gonzalez had totaled 78 catches for 905 yards - his third best year for receptions and right at third best for yardage. What remained missing were touchdowns since he ended with just two for the first time since 1998.

Gonzalez also turned in the lowest "yards per catch" (11.6) in the last six years as well. Now with the change to HC Herman Edwards, there is less reason to expect a big up-tick in Gonzalez's numbers since he was a big favorite with ex-HC Dick Vermeil. Plus the running game looks very healthy this year which could depress numbers.

Figure Gonzalez to remain one of the safest choices for a fantasy tight end but not quite so glorious with a new offense (of sorts) and a great running game. Gonzalez also is 30 years old now so he could be slowing down at least in running speed. Taking Gonzalez after Antonio Gates is off the board is a safe and sound move, but there are less reasons than ever to expect Gonzalez to turn in a monster season.

Jason Witten - DAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 7
TD Only: 10
Keeper: 7
Auction: 4%
2003 DAL 15 35 347 9.9 1      
2004 DAL 16 87 980 11.3 6      
2005 DAL 16 66 757 11.5 6      
Avg   16 63 695 10.9 4 0 0 0
PROJ DAL   57 680   5      

After enjoying a breakout in his second season, Jason Whitten stepped back a bit last year when he ended with 66 catches for 757 yards - 21 catches less than 2004 and 233 fewer yards. He remained at the same six scores on the season, though four of those did not come until the final four games. Whitten had four games that exceeded 80 yards last year though he never topped 100 yards as he did twice in 2004. It was a very solid season for a tight end and those last season scores helped right during fantasy playoffs. It still was a downer for those expecting at least the same or better than 2004.

Drew Bledsoe was becoming more comfortable throwing to Whitten in the latter half of the season but even then he turned in three games with 15 yards or less. This season witnesses not only the acquisition of Terrell Owens, but also the Cowboys spending a valuable second round pick on Anthony Fasano out of Notre Dame. Fasano had 47 receptions there in his senior season and already has played in a scheme similar to the Cowboys. What gives here?

What Dallas is doing is setting up a two tight end system with just one back (no fullback). For this reason they acquired Fasano and also grabbed Ryan Hannam in free agency. They do not spell a reduction in Whitten's role in the passing game, at least not nearly so pronounced as Terrell Owens should prove to be. The tall Owens was not brought in to help free Jason Whitten. Expect Whitten to play a solid role again this year with even more reduction in his numbers from the presence of Owens and a second tight end always on the field. He still has nice fantasy value, but no longer top 5 and his name alone almost ensures he will be drafted too early this year.

Ben Watson - NOS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 10
TD Only: 11
Keeper: 10
Auction: 2%
2003                  
2004 NEP 1 2 16 8.0        
2005 NEP 14 29 441 15.2 4      
Avg   8 16 229 11.6 2 0 0 0
PROJ NOS   46 570   5      

(+Upside) Ben Watson is entering his third season with the Patriots and it could be another very nice increase to his stats. While he spent the first half of the 2005 season with nothing but one catch games, his progress improved significantly when he had averaged about three catches and 40 yards for the rest of the year. Double his second half numbers and he'd been over 600 yards and six scores. During the first week of the playoffs last year, Watson had five catches for 91 yards and one score.

Over the last three seasons, the tight end position has averaged 698 yards and eight touchdowns so the upside for Watson to grab more of the pie is definitely there and in his third season, he is ready to start grabbing. Christian Fauria will remain gone this time and Daniel Graham was only used once in the final eight weeks of 2005.

The Patriots have not had a star tight end under Belichick but they always are very productive and there is an opening for Watson to assume a much bigger role. This is the year to reward the Patriots for using their 1.32 draft pick in 2004 that saw Watson as the second tight end selected.

Tier 4
Ben Troupe - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 12
TD Only: 12
Keeper: 13
Auction: 2%
2003                  
2004 TEN 13 33 329 10.0 1      
2005 TEN 15 55 530 9.6 4      
Avg   14 44 430 9.8 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   47 490   5      

After two seasons, Ben Troupe has made a nice progression towards being a fantasy relevant tight end. With 55 catches and 530 yards last year, he just missed being the most productive tight end on the team though in reality, Erron Kinney missed all or most of five games with a knee injury to allow him to draw close, especially with two huge games at the end of the year.

The Titans have added LenDale White to help out the running game and David Givens was acquired to allow the wideouts to be more than Drew Bennett and a gaggle of inexperienced players. Those wideouts, principally Brandon Jones and Courtney Roby, are both more experienced this season as well. That all adds up to likely relying less on the tight ends overall though it may not greatly affect Troupe who is considered the "up and comer" in the group.

Troupe's numbers last year were greatly aided by those two big games to finish out the season and other wise he had little change from 2005. Consider Troupe mainly because he still has upside and with McNair likely to be the quarterback, he has a chance to at least maintain his production from last year. But there is a bit of risk from so many sub-par games last year and a possible decrease to tight ends.

08-29-06 Update: Troupe has clearly been the best receiver for the Titans in the preseason though David Givens has been out. He's becoming a solid choice at fantasy tight end now with some upside as well.

Vernon Davis - SFO YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 14
TD Only: 13
Keeper: 12
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PROJ SFO   44 460   5      

(+Upside) When a tight end becomes the 1.06 pick in the NFL draft, it raises more than a few eyebrows but those surprised looks were already there when Vernon Davis ran a 4.38/40 at the NFL combine. At 6'3" and 256 pounds, Davis went faster than all but one wideout in Indianapolis despite weighing 60 pounds more than most of them. He entered the draft billed as an elite player that is freakish in his athleticism. Great hands and an ability to wrest the ball from other defenders, Davis can outrun most any defensive back that he has not already ran over. If there is another Antonio Gates to be found, he now resides in the Bay area.

While Davis has spawned much excitement, some reality must be considered. Rookie tight ends rarely amount to much. Tony Gonzalez only had 368 yards and two scores playing with Rich Gannon and Elvis Grbac. Jeremy Shockey did have 894 yards but only two scores playing with the veteran Kerry Collins. Heap - 206 yards and one touchdown. Crumpler - 330 yards and three scores. None of them had a quarterback who had only thrown one score in the seven starts the previous year.

Davis is a definite prized choice in a keeper/dynasty league but in a redraft league, he'll likely be drafted too early because rookie tight ends take time and the offense he is in is a decent contender for worst in the league. It was last year. If you can access Davis as a back-up tight end, then it would be nice to see what tremendous potential and upside may do. But the risk and reality says his first season is not likely to produce a fantasy starter for your team.

Randy McMichael - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 11
TD Only: 14
Keeper: 11
Auction: 2%
2003 MIA 16 49 598 12.2 2      
2004 MIA 16 73 791 10.8 4      
2005 MIA 16 60 582 9.7 5      
Avg   16 61 657 10.9 4 0 0 0
PROJ FA   52 560   4      

Randy McMichael has been a valuable fantasy tight end since his rookie season in 2002 when he had 485 yards and four scores. His role in the Dolphin offense increased incrementally the following to seasons and the 73 catches for 791 yards and four scores were enough to consider McMichael as a borderline elite tight end as of 2004.

Not only did McMichael's catches and yards drop slightly, the way they fell spells even more concern this year. His five touchdowns ranked 7th among all tight ends last year but they too were not all that they seemed. For the first four games of 2005 as the new offense was being installed by Scott Linehan, McMichael became a major force in the passing game. He scored in each of those four match-ups and had 16 catches for 180 yards. He averaged over 11 yards per catch during that timeframe.

Unfortunately, the offensive scheme veered away from him as the rushing and passing games became more successful. McMichael only totaled 402 yards and one score over the final ten weeks of the season. His average catch fell to only 9.1 yards. His numbers of catches remained relatively healthy but nowhere near "borderline elite". This season the offensive coordinator has changed as well as the starting quarterback. That setback could make McMichael involved more once again but it is clear that the scheme intentionally only places him into the category of "good" tight end.

08-25-06 Update: McMichael looked good in the third preseason game and he is showing signs of working well with Culpepper. It's worth a one step up but there's still a lot left to prove for anything higher.

Dallas Clark - BAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 15
TD Only: 15
Keeper: 15
Auction: 1%
2003 IND 10 29 340 11.7 1      
2004 IND 13 25 423 16.9 5      
2005 IND 14 37 488 13.2 4      
Avg   12 30 417 13.9 3 0 0 0
PROJ BAL   43 500   4      

The stage was set in 2005 for a break-out year for Clark when Marcus Pollard left for Detroit and Peyton Manning was coming off a 49 touchdown season. He and Pollard had combined for 11 touchdowns in 2004, so all the ducks were in a row until the defense and Edgerrin James stomped on them. To the horror of the fantasy football world, the Colts started the season playing great defense and ran the ball more than ever. Clark's big year was not to be.

What compounded Clark's problems to some degree was the emergence of another tight end - rookie Bryan Fletcher. While Clark has a slight increase in yardage from 2004 (65 yards), he actually went backwards falling from five touchdowns to only four. Even Fletcher had three touchdowns even though he only had 18 catches on the year.

This season should see at least an incremental increase again for Clark, particularly with the departure of Edgerrin James who was a great pass-catching back. But the offense has changed thanks to a great defense and all the same weapons still exist for Manning from last year. Consider Clark as a solid back-up tight end but hoping for a breakout season may be optimistic. He will always have upside in that offense but Indianapolis is trying to avoid the pass-happy shoot-outs of the past and with that, less need to find a tight end downfield.

Jermaine Wiggins - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 16
TD Only: 16
Keeper: 22
Auction: 1%
2003 CAR 9 8 80 10.0 1      
2004 MIN 14 71 705 9.9 4      
2005 MIN 15 68 568 8.4 1      
Avg   13 49 451 9.4 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   48 460   3      

After spending a couple of years in both New England and Carolina, Wiggins has found a home in Minnesota and a place on the rosters of fantasy teams. He turned in 71 catches for 705 yards and four scores in 2004 which left him ranked around ninth in fantasy scoring in most leagues. He signed a five-year deal worth $7.3 million in the spring of 2005 but then failed to deliver last year along with much of the other Vikings players. He ended with a respectable 568 yards but only scored once. He also suffered from a sprained ankle during the second half of the season.

One knock on Wiggins is that he's on the short side for the position at only 6'2" but he has very good hands and had some chemistry with Brad Johnson last season. He actually ended up with the second highest receiving yardage on the team, a mere 36 yards short of Travis Taylor. Consider too that the Eagles primary tight end is L.J. Smith who is only one inch taller at the same weight.

The offense in Minnesota will be changing but the west coast scheme brought by HC Brad Childress does employ tight ends. Philadelphia has used the position for over 600 yards in each of the last three seasons and has had an average of around five scores every year. Look for Wiggins to establish his niche in the new offense that should maintain his standing as a decent back-up tight end but it is still too early to expect that Wiggins can return to his 2004 that happened with a different quarterback and scheme. Some upside here but just as much risk.

Kellen Winslow - NYJ YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 17
TD Only: 17
Keeper: 14
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004 CLE 2 5 50 10.0        
2005                  
Avg   2 5 50 10.0 0 0 0 0
PROJ NYJ   38 420   3      

(-Risk) (+Upside) Kellen Winslow - super-talented franchise saver (Take III).

After breaking his leg as a rookie, Winslow took the now infamous ride on his new motorcycle last year that tore the ACL in his right knee that required surgery. He missed all of his second season as well thanks to that and a staph infection just to make it even worse. In January he required more surgery to his knee to clear out some scar tissue but the prognosis was that it should not affect his goal of actually playing a down in the NFL this year.

Winslow somehow received a contract extension in October of last year that extended him through 2010 so the Browns are still firmly expecting a payback for moving up to the sixth over all pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He is likely to take it very easy in mini-camps if he practices at all and then training camp will be the first indication if Winslow is anywhere near expected form. The Browns still expect that he will be ready to play on opening week and that he will become a big part of the passing offense. Watch training camp for better signs that Winslow will not be hampered by his knee surgeries and that he can start what is effectively his rookie season.

His risk obviously precludes him from being considered a fantasy starter for you but his upside, supposedly, warrants him being one of the first back-up tight ends acquired this summer. Just keep your fingers crossed he is still on your roster by the end of the year.

Tony Scheffler - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 18
TD Only: 18
Keeper: 17
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PROJ FA   36 390   3      

(+Upside) Since the year that Shannon Sharpe left (1999), the Broncos have seen the tight end position decrease in use almost every season. 2005 was a low point when Jeb Putzier, Stephen Alexander and Wesley Duke combined for a mere two touchdowns and 510 yards. The drafting of Tony Schleffer out of Western Michigan with the Broncos second draft pick was made to stem the tide of falling statistics.

Scheffler has a big presence at 6'5" and 255 pounds. He is considered a good blocker and was versatile enough to play tight end, H-back and even some fullback in college. While Scheffler can block, his value as a receiver is what prompted the Broncos to use that second round pick. At Western Michigan, Scheffler only had 11 games on his schedule. He scored a total of ten touchdowns. In his final seven games, he scored every week except for one when he actually had two touchdowns. He averaged over five catches per game last season.

The transition from Western Michigan to the NFL is a big leap, but Scheffler is used to leaping - and coming down with the football as well. Rookie tight ends rarely make much splash in their first season but make Scheffler one to watch and in a dynasty/keeper league, even more attention should be paid.

Marcedes Lewis - JAC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 23
TD Only: 19
Keeper: 23
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PROJ JAC   30 280   3      

(+Upside) After three seasons of HC Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have never had more than 461 yards and three scores in a season from all tight ends combined. They just rarely use the position and the scores happened more from a surprise pass play than an aspect of the scheme. Starting this season, Del Rio intends on changing that when he drafted Marcedes Lewis out of UCLA using the 1.28 pick in the draft. Though Vernon Davis stole the spotlight with his early selection, Lewis was the second tight end taken in a year considered one of the best ever for the position. He also was the winner of the John Mackey Award, the collegiate tight end equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

Lewis is a very good blocker but he was not drafted for that purpose - Kyle Brady already handles those chores. Instead, the Jaguars want to use Lewis in a way that takes advantage of his 6'6" frame and solid receiving skills. He has outstanding hands and can make the difficult catch even if it happens to be well above the heads of shorter defensive backs. He is no speedster like Vernon Davis and only clocked a traditional 4.8/40 at the NFL combine but he has the size to tack on more yards after the catch even if it means going through people.

Brady will continue to play this season and Lewis will be brought along slowly. His impact this season will likely be too low for any fantasy consideration. For a dynasty/keeper league, his long-term value could be high.

Alex Smith - CIN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 19
TD Only: 20
Keeper: 16
Auction: 1%
Movement:
2003                  
2004                  
2005 TBB 15 41 367 9.0 2      
Avg   15 41 367 9.0 2 0 0 0
PROJ CIN   45 440   2      

(+Upside) The rookie Alex Smith scored twice in his first game which sent many fantasy owners scurrying to the waiver wire only to discover those would be his only touchdowns last year. Then again, he had one more score than did his namesake quarterback did in San Francisco.

Especially encouraging was how well Smith progressed during the season in playing with Chris Simms. Towards the end of the year, he was catching about three passes per game and even had eight catches for 75 in the week 16 match-up against the Falcons who he will meet twice a year from now on. The Buccaneers are not going to be a team that passes much this year with Cadillac Williams around and at best, Smith falls to third or worse in the pecking order for passing downs. Expect an improvement this year from the youngster and keep in mind that his 41 catches last year came as just a rookie.

Erron Kinney - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 20
TD Only: 21
Keeper: 19
Auction: 1%
2003 TEN 16 41 393 9.6 3      
2004 TEN 9 25 193 7.7 3      
2005 TEN 14 55 543 9.9 2      
Avg   13 40 376 9.1 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   44 440   2      

Erron Kinney enjoyed a career high last year when he had 55 catches for 543 yards in Norm Chow's new offense. He managed that even though he missed all or part of the final five weeks due to a knee injury that required arthroscopic knee surgery. Through his first 11 games, Kinney had 533 yards which would stretch to 775 yards had he maintained his pace. That would have been good enough to rank 6th best for NFL tight ends last year. He only had two scores but was a consistent contributor every week until injured.

This season will likely see a decrease in tight end production since 2005 had so many wideout injuries that the tight ends had to come up big. The crew returns healthy in 2006 and have acquired David Givens to complement Drew Bennett and all those rookie wideouts are one more year experienced now. Add in that LenDale White brings the promise of a better rushing game and the tight ends seem even less attractive.

Ben Troupe is growing into a bigger role at a steady yet slow pace but Kinney is not going to disappear any time soon if ever. With a minimal amount of scores and now a decreased outlook for tight ends, Kinney is less attractive this year but in deeper leagues, he still could fill in as a bye week replacement.

Chris Baker - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 21
TD Only: 22
Keeper: 27
Auction: 1%
Movement:
2003 NYJ 10 14 137 9.8        
2004 NYJ 12 18 182 10.1 4      
2005 NYJ 8 18 269 14.9 1      
Avg   10 17 196 11.6 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   40 430   2      

Chris Baker sent everyone running to the waiver wire last year when he opened the season with a 124 yard, one touchdown effort against the Chiefs. Only Antonio Gates, Jeremy Shockey and Dallas Clark had more yards in a game last year. However, that would prove to be his only score on the year and the only time he crested even 50 yards in a game. In week nine, Baker broke his fibula and was lost for the season.

Baker had four scores in 2004 though only 18 receptions, so his one big game was not a complete shock. What was surprising was that the Jets had traded away their first round pick to get Doug Jolley (which effectively meant getting Jolley instead of Heath Miller). But Baker outplayed Jolley initially to get the start.

Coming back from a broken fibula means that Baker is a huge risk this year, at least early on and Doug Jolley himself had a 102 yard game in week 15. Baker may not even remain with the team because of salary cap problems but even if he is released, there is a decent chance that the team re-signs him at a lower amount since a free agent healing a broken leg does not attract much attention. The Jets are installing a new offense as well so Bakers role is undecided even if they re-sign him and he regains his health.

08-31-06 Update: Baker moves up a bit with the trade of Jolley to the Buccaneers.

Leonard Pope - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 22
TD Only: 23
Keeper: 24
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PROJ FA   25 380   2      

(+Upside) The Cardinals have not used the tight end position much under Denny Green and the last two seasons there has seen all tight ends combined only account for two scores and less than 500 yards each season. This may change now. With their third pick in the draft, the Cardinals likely got a steal in Pope who did not go earlier because he was a Junior who declared late that he was entering the draft.

While the Cardinals have not employed the tight end as much as many teams, it is not from a lack of desire as Denny Green has had higher than realized expectations from the position each year. Pope is almost 6'8" and has a 37 ½" vertical leap. Better yet he runs a 4.6/40 which is faster than most tight ends. Pope has great hands and can make an impact in the passing game on third downs and more importantly down by the goal line where his height can become a major advantage.

He is still a rookie and a younger one at that having come out as a junior. And there are plenty of other targets in Arizona on every passing play. While Pope won't develop into the next Gates or Gonzalez, he has a chance to become an option on third down and in the endzone. He's worth keeping an eye on, particularly for 2007.

Mark Campbell - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 24
TD Only: 24
Keeper: 20
Auction: 1%
2003 BUF 15 34 339 10.0 1      
2004 BUF 10 17 203 11.9 5      
2005 BUF 12 19 139 7.3        
Avg   12 23 227 9.7 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   32 300   2      

(+Upside) Campbell came over during the offseason after playing in Buffalo and became the best tight end in the off-season. He's carried that into the preseason and now stands as the primary starting tight end in the new offense.

Jeb Putzier - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 25
TD Only: 25
Keeper: 26
Auction: 1%
2003 DEN 1 4 34 8.5        
2004 DEN 15 36 572 15.9 2      
2005 DEN 15 37 481 13.0        
Avg   10 26 362 12.5 1 0 0 0
PROJ FA   30 260   2      

While it may have seemed like a bad career move when Jeb Putzier ended up on the Texans this offseason, it may be much better than it first appears. The Texans have historically used the tight end position little since their inaugural year but Putzier comes over during a changing of the guard. Make that coaches, as in HC Gary Kubiak and OC Troy Calhoun - both from Denver and both familiar with Putzier.

There is no certainty that Putzier will amount to much fantasy value this season, but he is the only tight end with receiving experience and ability. If it does end up that the offense uses tight ends again, then Putzier is clearly the best bet to shine. It just may not happen regardless of the coaching changes.

Doug Jolley - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 26
TD Only: 26
Keeper: 25
Auction: 1%
Movement:
2003 OAK 12 31 258 8.3 1      
2004 OAK 16 27 313 11.6 2      
2005 NYJ 13 29 324 11.2 1      
Avg   14 29 298 10.4 1 0 0 0
PROJ FA   26 250   2      

Doug Jolley was acquired by the Jets in a trade with the Raiders that gave Oakland the first round pick in 2005. The Jets could have just kept their pick and drafted Heath Miller last year. Instead they brought in Jolley who was unable to unseat Chris Baker as the starting tight end. Once Baker left in week nine with a broken leg, Jolley finally took over.

In a season marked by a rash of quarterback injuries and a general swirling down the toilet, Jolley did manage to have games of 62 and 102 yards with one touchdown on the season. Since Baker is still recovering from his broken fibula, Jolley should be the primary tight end to at least start the season.

With a new offense being installed, chances are that the tight ends could get a little more action earlier in the season. That often happens until the passing game takes form. But there is major risk with any Jets player this year. Leave all the Jets tight ends on the board in your drafts but keep aware of them as the season starts to progress. There is some minor upside here.

08-31-06 Update: Jolley was traded to the Buccaneers for an undisclosed draft pick and he'll be just tight end depth along with Alex Smith.

Joe Klopfenstein - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 28
TD Only: 28
Keeper: 30
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PROJ FA   26 230   2      

(+Upside) The Rams under Mike Martz had almost completely ignored the tight ends in the passing game and last year there were only 22 catches made by the position. New HC Scott Linehan wants to change that and he started the process by allowing Brandon Manumaleuna to go to San Diego and drafting two tight tights with his 2.14 (Joe Klopfenstein) and 3.29 (Dominique Byrd) selections. Klopfenstein was the third tight end taken overall in the 2006 draft.

Klopfenstein is a reasonably fast tight end with a 4.7/40 and his 6'6" frame allows him to reach passes very well. He is noted for being a smart football player that has unusually good hands for a tight end. While he can be a reasonably good rush blocker, his main strength is as a receiver where he grades out noticeably high. The Rams will be using both he and Byrd this season but Klopfenstein has the better pedigree and came first in the draft.

The reality is that Marc Bulger has very little experience throwing to tight ends and the new scheme will throw a learning curve on the whole offense. Add on top of that the challenges of a rookie learning the ropes and keep your expectations lower for Klopfenstein this season. He could end up time-sharing the position with Byrd as well. Linehan has had great success with Jerome Wiggins in Minnesota and Randy McMichael in Miami but it will more likely be 2007 before significant advances are made by the Rams tight ends.

Bryan Fletcher - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 30
TD Only: 29
Keeper: 31
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004                  
2005 IND 11 18 202 11.2 3      
Avg   11 18 202 11.2 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   22 210   2      

Bryan Fletcher offered up a rookie surprise last season when he suddenly had three consecutive games with a touchdown but he did not do much else during the season other than depress the fantasy value of Dallas Clark. Entering into his second season, Fletcher should continue to assume a larger role since the Colts have long been fond of two tight end formations and the offense runs best when there is yet another option for Peyton Manning. Even with his mini-spree of touchdowns, Fletcher has no real fantasy value this year unless he really blossoms which is unlikely.

Keep Fletcher in mind should Clark ever miss time with injury but mostly he will play the same role frustrating Dallas Clark owners each time he scores.

Jerramy Stevens - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 31
TD Only: 31
Keeper: 21
Auction: 1%
2003 SEA 13 6 72 12.0        
2004 SEA 15 31 349 11.3 3      
2005 SEA 15 45 554 12.3 5      
Avg   14 27 325 11.9 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   20 200   2      

Jerramy Stevens comes off a career best season in 2005 when he had 45 catches for 554 yards and five touchdowns. As encouraging as that may seem, 2006 looks more like a step back for Stevens who is entering his fifth season.

Stevens was one of the players who stood out in the Super Bowl but only because he dropped four catchable passes - three of them deep in Steelers territory. He also had knee surgery in the offseason and is not expected to be back until the end of training camp. Lastly, his season last year was good in part because Itula Mili sat out virtually the entire 2005 season because of an intestinal blockage. He is back and has already looked good in mini-camps.

Ryan Hannam was sent to Dallas in the offseason and even if Mili looked good this spring, he still is a 33 year old tight end with just one score in the last two years. Check out Stevens health during training camp before taking him but his shining 2005 season may have to last him for a while.

08-18-08 Update: Stevens has torn his meniscus in the same knee that received surgery in April. He will be out for six weeks and given that his knee is a problem, you should skip him in your draft even though he may be back as early as week 4.

Steve Heiden - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 39
TD Only: 32
Keeper: 38
Auction: 1%
2003 CLE 8 18 134 7.4        
2004 CLE 12 28 287 10.3 5      
2005 CLE 15 43 401 9.3 3      
Avg   12 30 274 9.0 3 0 0 0
PROJ FA   10 90   2      

Steve Heiden has been the lead tight end for the Browns for the last three seasons but that has only totaled eight touchdowns and 822 yards over that time frame. Most notably, in the new offense installed by HC Romeo Crennel and OC Maurice Carthon, Heiden only had three scores last year though he did turn in 43 catches for 401 yards. All this rather unexpected since Kellen Winslow was supposed to take the starting role for the last two years but has remained the "wounded warrior" instead.

Heiden is a solid blocker and a decent enough receiver but the Browns do not use the tight end position for much more than a couple of completions per week in the last two years. Of course, Kellen Winslow is also expected to return again and with that an even deeper reduction in Heiden's numbers this year.

Of course it would not be unheard of for Winslow to be injured during this season, but until it happens, Heiden has no real fantasy value and only marginal in the event Winslow does another crash and burn.

Desmond Clark - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 32
TD Only: 33
Keeper: 32
Auction: 1%
2003 CHI 15 43 433 10.1 2      
2004 CHI 14 24 282 11.8 1      
2005 CHI 13 24 229 9.5 2      
Avg   14 30 315 10.5 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   26 250   1      

There's not a lot worth saying about Desmond Clark as long as he remains on the run-first Bears. Once upon a time in Denver (2001 actually), Clark had 51 catches for 566 yards and six touchdowns but his last two years under HC Lovie Smith in Chicago has produced near bookend seasons with 24 catches in each and only two scores last year. That was up from just one touchdown in 2004.

Despite being a full-time starter, Clark had five games without any catches last year and four back in 2004. There will be no fantasy value out of this position in Chicago even though his acquisition was initially as both a blocker and receiver. He's untouchable in any fantasy draft other than the very deepest of leagues.

Marcus Pollard - ATL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 33
TD Only: 34
Keeper: 33
Auction: 1%
2003 IND 13 40 541 13.5 3      
2004 IND 12 29 309 10.7 6      
2005 DET 16 47 516 11.0 3      
Avg   14 39 455 11.7 4 0 0 0
PROJ ATL   24 230   1      

The Lions acquired Marcus Pollard via free agency last year and the ex-Colt quickly became one of the preferred targets in the passing game, ending with 47 catches for 516 yards and three scores. That actually ranked second on the team only to Roy Williams. Pollard now enters his 12th NFL season and at the age of 34, he could really use a big season to close out a solid career. Too bad he won't get likely get that.

Consider that the new offense is being installed by Mike Martz and St. Louis is renowned for how much they ignore the tight end. The position in total rarely scored more than twice in St. Louis and that was more of a trick play. The yardage totals the last couple of years have been under 200 in St. Louis as well. Throw into the mix that neither Jon Kitna nor Josh McCown come from systems that employ much use of the tight end and it's very easy to let someone else draft Pollard this season.

David Martin - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 35
TD Only: 35
Keeper: 35
Auction: 1%
2003 GBP 8 13 79 6.1 2      
2004 GBP 8 5 88 17.6        
2005 GBP 11 27 224 8.3 3      
Avg   9 15 130 10.7 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   24 200   1      

While David Martin comes off a career high, he still only caught 27 passes for 224 yards and three scores last year during a season when Bubba Franks was playing injured or absent and Brett Favre was feverishly trying to find any open receiver (which often was actually a defensive back). Martin enters the season as the primary back-up to Bubba Franks and the tight end most used when Green Bay shifts into a any two tight end formations, but his numbers will suffer from last season since his situation, and need, will be less advantageous. He will also be sharing to some extent with Donald Lee.

Courtney Anderson - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 34
TD Only: 36
Keeper: 34
Auction: 1%
2003                  
2004 OAK 8 13 175 13.5 1      
2005 OAK 12 24 303 12.6 3      
Avg   10 19 239 13.1 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   21 220   1      

Courtney Anderson started the season strong when he had two touchdowns against the Patriots and he later had 100 yards against the Eagles in week three. However, outside those two games, Anderson only scored once more last year and had only one or two catches in most games. He was blanked three times during the season and just fell out of favor until he finally suffered a knee injury in week 15 and missed the final two games of the season.

Anderson is slated to start again this year but he's likely to get some competition from converted wideout Randal Williams. How new HC Art Shell utilizes the position remains to be seen, but for what it is worth he had tight ends with 400 or more yards when he last coached. Then again, it was so long ago that you may not recall Ethan Horton.

Anderson is a major risk to consider as anything but tight end depth this year and with Randal Williams gaining favor as a receiver, Anderson could lose playing time. Minor upside here but mostly just risk.

08-23-06 Update: Anderson tumbles a few spots with the improved play of Randall Williams.

Ernest Wilford - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 38
TD Only: 37
Keeper: 40
Auction: 2%
2003                  
2004 JAC 15 19 271 14.3 2      
2005 JAC 16 41 681 16.6 7      
Avg   16 30 476 15.5 5 0 0 0
PROJ FA   69 820   5      

(+Upside) The Jaguars snagged Reggie Williams in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft so their fourth round selection of Ernest Wilford made little splash in the sports pages. While Williams was given ample opportunity to play, Wilford was used only in a situational role that year even though his first two NFL catches went for game winning touchdowns. In eleven different games that first year, Wilford either had one or no catches in the game. When 2005 rolled around, the expectations had heightened for Reggie Williams but not for Wilford. Evidently, conventional wisdom had that one reversed.

Reggie Williams continued to struggle and eventually missed much of the last half of the year due to a concussion and a later benching to think about things. While Reggie watched, Wilford turned it up as the starting flanker and ended the season with 681 yards and seven touchdowns. He had two games over 100 yards and ended as the Jaguar's second best receiver. Described by HC Jack Del Rio as the slowest receiver on the roster, Wilford has shown what hard work and determination can accomplish. With Jimmy Smith retired, Wilford enters the season as the de facto primary receiver.

The coaching staff has not given up on Reggie Williams yet and there was a reason why he was drafted before Wilford. While that does not guarantee anything, it means the reliability of Wilford is much more risky from being replaced or at least losing time. Matt Jones also enters his second season and with a first round salary as well, he too will be given more opportunities as he earns them. It would be best to consider Wilford only as depth for your team and a possible bye week filler. Anything more than that carries far too much risk to be worth a lower pick in your draft.

Stephen Alexander - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 37
TD Only: 37
Keeper: 36
Auction: 1%
2003 SDC 2              
2004 DET 16 41 377 9.2 1      
2005 DEN 15 21 170 8.1 1      
Avg   11 21 182 5.8 1 0 0 0
PROJ FA   22 180   1      

(-Risk) After eight seasons in the NFL, Alexander is on his fourth team and comes off one of his worst seasons when he only had 21 catches for 170 yards and one score last season. A tight end that has long been considered promising and yet has never delivered, Alexander had his best season back in Washington in 2000 when he had 510 receiving yards and two scores. His personal best is only four scores and that came in his rookie season of 1998 with the Redskins (hence the "promising" moniker).

With the departure of Jeb Putzier this spring, Alexander takes the starting role by default as only second year player Wesley Duke and rookie Tony Scheffler round out the crew. Duke only had two catches as a rookie. Before determining Alexander as having any fantasy relevance this season, consider that the Broncos used their second round pick on Scheffler whose biggest strength is in receiving - particularly catching touchdowns.

Until the situation unfolds in camp and during the season, consider Alexander as no more valuable than last season which is to say "hands off" in a draft. If anything good happens by a Denver tight end, it will most likely come from the rookie Scheffler - if it happens at all.

Reginald Kelly - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 36
TD Only: 38
Keeper: 37
Auction: 1%
2003 CIN 11 13 81 6.2 1      
2004 CIN 12 15 85 5.7        
2005 CIN 9 15 90 6.0 1      
Avg   11 14 85 6.0 1 0 0 0
PROJ FA   20 180   1      

The Bengals lost their lead tight end from 2005 when Matt Schobel left in free agency but just because Reginald Kelly moves up does not mean he will have much fantasy relevance. Schobel only managed 193 total yards and one score last year and the Bengals as a team only had 309 yards and two scores using tight ends that included Schobel, Kelly and Tony Stewart.

Judging by Schobel's production, Kelly still will not be of interest in any fantasy draft though his numbers could skew upwards marginally without Schobel there and with Stewart being only a back-up. There are few tight ends that command much fantasy attention and none of them have ever come from Cincinnati.

Robert Royal - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 38
TD Only: 39
Keeper: 39
Auction: 1%
2003 WAS 4 5 48 9.6        
2004 WAS 9 8 70 8.8 4      
2005 WAS 13 18 131 7.3 1      
Avg   9 10 83 8.6 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   16 150   1      

The Bills acquired Robert Royal in free agency and released the previous starter Mark Campbell but that doesn't equate to that much of an opportunity. In 2005, all tight ends combined for the Bills only had 23 catches for 165 yards and while 2005 saw an attractive seven scores come from this position, the change in coaching staff and scheme this year is not likely to change last season's numbers much.

Consider Royal to be primarily a blocking tight end with only the occasional catch to provide any fantasy value. Royal will share whatever meager passes there are with Tim Euhus as well. He's better off left undrafted in your league.

Tony Stewart - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 40
TD Only: 40
Keeper: 40
Auction: 1%
2003 CIN 13 21 212 10.1        
2004 CIN 12 10 48 4.8 1      
2005 CIN 6 4 26 6.5        
Avg   10 12 95 7.1 0 0 0 0
PROJ FA   8 70   1      

No analysis available.

Kyle Brady - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 41
TD Only: 41
Keeper: 41
Auction: 1%
2003 JAC 16 29 281 9.7 1      
2004 JAC 10 14 103 7.4 1      
2005 JAC 14 18 157 8.7 1      
Avg   13 20 180 8.6 1 0 0 0
PROJ FA   8 60   1      

Kyle Brady is winding down a solid career after 11 seasons and now that he will turn 35 in January, he's not going to get any better. With Marcedes Lewis drafted in the first round this season, the writing is on the wall and will likely see this as Brady's final season in Jacksonville if not the NFL.

Brady has had almost no fantasy value since Jack Del Rio showed up three years ago and he has not scored more than once in any of those seasons. There's even less reason to consider him this year.

Anthony Becht - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Performance: 42
TD Only: 42
Keeper: 42
Auction: 1%
2003 NYJ 16 40 356 8.9 4      
2004 NYJ 13 13 100 7.7 1      
2005 TBB 12 16 112 7.0        
Avg   14 23 189 7.9 2 0 0 0
PROJ FA   15 110          

Anthony Becht came to the Buccaneers last season primarily to help in the rush blocking, not receiving. That was apparent when Becht turned in a paltry 112 yards on just 16 catches. He was held without a touchdown for the first time in his six year career. He topped out at a mere 28 yards as a game high and had six weeks without a single catch.

Becht is only 29 years old this year but his role was never much as a receiver with Alex Smith there. There is a chance that Becht doesn't make it to the season start and if he does, he will likely be out by next year. Forget about him in your fantasy draft unless you need to back up Alex Smith for some insane reason.

   
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