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2008 Player Rankings: Tight Ends
Updated: September 2, 2008
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Tier 4
Robert Royal - BUF YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 31
Keeper: 37
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 WAS 13 18 131 7.3 1      
2006 BUF 15 23 233 10.1 3 1 -9  
2007 BUF 16 25 248 9.9 3      
Avg   15 22 204 9.1 2 0 0 0
Proj BUF   22 220   2      

Royal remains the starting tight end but last year that only meant 25 catches for 248 yards and three scores. With the Bills moving to more spread formations, maintaining those minimal numbers will be a challenge and he could get challenged by Courtney Anderson which only throws more risk onto him. A marginal fantasy back-up only in a very deep league.

Alex Smith - TBB YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 32
Keeper: 31
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 TBB 15 41 367 9.0 2      
2006 TBB 14 35 250 7.1 3      
2007 TBB 14 32 385 12.0 3      
Avg   14 36 334 9.4 3 0 0 0
Proj TBB   21 210   2      

Smith has been solid in each of his three seasons with the Buccaneers but his receptions have slightly decreased each season from 41 as a rookie down to 32 last year. Considering he has missed a couple of games in each of the last two years, he’s basically done the exact same thing every season. Around 370 yards and three scores. While that is solid for an average tight end, the Buccaneers use theirs more than the average team and the team passed for nine scores to the tight ends in 2007. Smith only had three despite being on the field far more than any other tight end. The Bucs brought in Ben Troupe to challenge him for the primary receiving tight end and there’s no reason to believe that he won’t at least decrease Smith’s work if not take over for him. Until the situation is known during the season, don’t bother with Smith even as a back-up. He has shown no upside and will be available if you need him for one week.

Chris Baker - NYJ YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 33
Keeper: 36
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 NYJ 8 18 269 14.9 1      
2006 NYJ 16 31 300 9.7 4      
2007 NYJ 15 41 409 10.0 3      
Avg   13 30 326 11.5 3 0 0 0
Proj NYJ   21 200   2      

Baker requested a trade during the offseason but the Jets declined. Baker wants more money even though he has $6.6 million left on the two remaining years of his current contract but early in the spring he started grumbling and not showing up to anything voluntary. The Jets brought in Bubba Franks who will only provide depth and potentially a set of hands in the endzone on occasion and that alone wasn’t good news for Baker who only had 409 yards on 41 catches with three scores last year. That was a career high during his six years with the Jets and evidently good enough for him to feel worthy of a major upgrade in pay despite the two years remaining on his contract. He was, needless to say, more than disappointed to see his team then made trades to move back into the first round and snag the premier tight end in the draft in Dustin Keller.

So now Baker has not only lost his bargaining position but probably his starting job by next year. If he continues to hold out, as ill-advised as it would seem to be, then Bubba Franks could take over Baker’s spot. This situation has yet to be concluded but in any case it doesn’t have much impact on fantasy football. Keller’s addition just killed the chance that Baker could warrant being even a decent fantasy back-up.

Jeff King - CAR YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 34
Keeper: 32
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006 CAR 2 1 1 1.0 1      
2007 CAR 16 46 406 8.8 2      
Avg   9 24 204 4.9 2 0 0 0
Proj CAR   17 160   2      

King will likely remain the starter this year though Dante Rosario worked with the first team in minicamp. The bottom line is the Panthers should have more success rushing this year and the tight ends will be blocking more. Even last year when the situation was the most optimal to use a tight end, the position in total only has 316 yards and one score. Forget about King in your fantasy draft.

Bo Scaife - TEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 35
Keeper: 33
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 TEN 12 37 273 7.4 2      
2006 TEN 14 29 370 12.8 2 1 13 1
2007 TEN 16 46 421 9.2 1      
Avg   14 37 355 9.8 2 0 4 0
Proj TEN   26 220   1      

Three seasons with the Titans and Scaife had become the clear primary receiving tight end in an offense that likes to throw to the position. He set career marks in 2007 but that still only totaled 46 catches for 421 yards and just one score. He caught at least one pass in all but one game but never had more than 57 yards in any given week and usually around 30 yards. The addition of Alge Crumpler means that Scaife’s numbers are all but certain to decrease this year and even in the best case, he won’t do more than 2007. The Titans use plenty of two tight end sets, so he will remain on the field but leave him on the waiver wire unless Crumpler is injured and even then, he doesn’t rank more than a deep back-up.

Daniel Campbell - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 36
Keeper: 34
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 DAL 5 3 24 8.0 1      
2006 DET 15 21 308 14.7 4      
2007 DET 2 1 1 1.0        
Avg   7 8 111 7.9 2 0 0 0
Proj DET   20 210   1      

The tenth year player had a surprisingly good first season in Detroit when he caught a career high 21 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns but then injured his elbow which required surgery in 2007. He only played in one full game before injury. Campbell had the tendon from a cadaver used to reinforce his triceps and lost 25 pounds before starting to regain weight. He should be back to playing weight for training camp and there is still hope that he will be ready by August. If not, he’ll still be a minor factor for the Lions once he returns later on. He won’t have enough fantasy value to warrant drafting in any case.

Fred Davis - WAS YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 37
Keeper: 35
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj WAS   18 200   1      

With Cooley already one of the better tight ends in the league, it was a small surprise to see the Redskins use their 2.17 pick to grab Davis. At 6’3” and 253 pounds, Davis is a bit lighter than most and his stock in trade has been receiving while at USC – not just a blocker. And Cooley signed a six-year deal in 2007, so it’s not like he needs to be replaced any time soon.

What Davis brings is decent speed (4.75/40) and natural receiving skills that allowed him to become the #1 receiving option for the Trojans last year. He was All-Pac 10 First Team and won the Mackey Award as the best tight end in the country. He has excellent body control and was at his best in big games. He just has Cooley in the way of becoming a primary tight end in the offense. He has no redraft value this year and even questionable dynasty league value given the roster situation in Washington.

Martrez Milner - FA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 38
Keeper: 40
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007 ATL 8 9 50 5.6        
Avg   8 9 50 5.6 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   19 160   1      

The new offense of Mike Mularkey will no doubt treat tight ends much has he did as an offensive coordinator for the Steelers during 2001 to 2003 when the primary receiving tight never had more than one touchdown or more than 137 yards. Not exactly fodder for a fantasy starter. Milner is likely to be the receiving tight end for the Falcons but it is time to forget about what Alge Crumpler did there. Mularkey has never used tight ends in that fashion. Mularkey did preside over Randy McMichael in 2006 in Miami but even he only had 640 yards and three scores and Milner is not nearly as good. First year in a new offense, Milner will need to block more than receive.

Daniel Wilcox - BAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 39
Keeper: 41
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 BAL 9 20 154 7.7 1      
2006 BAL 12 20 166 8.3 3      
2007 BAL 5 6 18 3.0 1      
Avg   9 15 113 6.3 2 0 0 0
Proj BAL   20 160   1      

Quinn Sypniewski was a pleasant surprise last year but he suffered a torn ACL in the first minicamp of the season and will likely miss playing this year. That leaves Daniel Wilcox as the #2 tight end in this offense. After seven seasons, Wilcox has never had more than 219 yards or three scores and even that may be optimistic if Todd Heap is healthy after tearing his hamstring last year. Wilcox will catch a few passes here but primarily will just block and not provide no fantasy value.

Daniel Graham - DEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 40
Keeper: 39
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 NEP 8 16 235 14.7 3      
2006 NEP 11 21 235 11.2 2      
2007 DEN 15 24 246 10.3 2      
Avg   11 20 239 12.1 2 0 0 0
Proj DEN   20 160   1      

Graham continues to be the primary blocking tight end but still has the occasional decent receiving game. But with 24 catches for 246 yards and two scores from last season as his likely high side, he’s not worth a spot on your roster.

Michael Gaines - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 41
Keeper: 42
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CAR 7 12 155 12.9 2      
2006 CAR 15 15 146 9.7        
2007 DET 15 25 215 8.6 2      
Avg   12 17 172 10.4 1 0 0 0
Proj DET   17 150   1      

The Lions signed Gaines to a four-year, $10 million and the fifth-year player comes off a career best season of just 25 receptions for 215 yards in Buffalo. The Lions signed him primarily to be a blocker and could end up as an H-back or even a fullback on occasion. With Dan Campbell already supplying the receiving tight end, Gaines has no fantasy value. Even if Campbell is out because of his elbow injury from last year, the Lions new offense will not produce a tight end worth owning.

Martellus Bennett - DAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 42
Keeper: 38
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj DAL   14 140   1      

The Cowboys drafted Bennett with their 2.30 pick which was a slight surprise but reflected the need for tight end depth after Anthony Fason was traded away. Bennett is huge at 6’7” and 253 pounds and could make a great endzone target but with Witten around, his role will be minimal this year and possibly every year.

Brandon Manumaleuna - SDC YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 43
Keeper: 43
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 STL 12 13 129 9.9 1 1 2  
2006 SDC 9 14 91 6.5 3 1 1  
2007 SDC 16 10 86 8.6 1      
Avg   12 12 102 8.3 2 1 1 0
Proj SDC   15 130   1      

Manumaleuna has been with the Chargers for two years and still hasn’t broken 100 yards in a season. He would be a complete nonfactor as a tight end except Antonio Gates is recovery from foot surgery and may not be 100% at the start of the season. No matter, the Chargers will just resort to other receivers rather than making Manumaleuna become a temporary star.

Jermichael Finley - GBP YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 44
Keeper: 27
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007                  
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj GBP   8 90   1      

After losing David Martin and Bubba Franks the last two seasons, the Packers wisely looked to get some tight end depth beyond Tory Humphrey. The 6’5” Finley has natural receiving skills but has far to go to learning how to block at the NFL level. Expect Finley to produce low stats in his rookie season but could start to have fantasy value as early as 2009. He came out as a Junior and is only 21 years old – too early to set expectations for him. He ran a 4.83/40 at the combine but plays much faster.

David Martin - MIA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 45
Keeper: 44
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 GBP 11 27 224 8.3 3      
2006 GBP 10 21 198 9.4 2      
2007 MIA 15 34 303 8.9 2      
Avg   12 27 242 8.9 2 0 0 0
Proj MIA   10 90   1      

The Dolphins hired Cam Cameron last year who was noted for his success with tight ends and then got rid of Randy McMichael. They went into 2007 with Packer castoff David Martin and predictably not much happened. Martin only caught 34 passes for 303 yards and two scores. A career year but only marginally so and the only time as a starting tight end. The Miami Cowboys traded for Anthony Fasano and Martin’s stint as the primary tight end is over. He may not even make the final roster.

Dante Rosario - CAR YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 46
Keeper: 46
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007 CAR 16 6 108 18.0 2      
Avg   16 6 108 18.0 2 0 0 0
Proj CAR   10 80   1      

Rosario is likely to be at least the #2 tight end in Carolina for that only accounted for six catches last year though two went for scores thanks to the lack of a goal line back. No reason to expect much more this season.

Will Heller - SEA YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 47
Keeper: 47
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 MIA 2 1 1 1.0 1      
2006 SEA 3 4 32 8.0 1      
2007 SEA 16 13 82 6.3 3      
Avg   7 6 38 5.1 2 0 0 0
Proj SEA   7 50   1      

Heller will enter the season as the starting tight end but he may not remain so by December. After six year and three teams, Heller has never had more than the 13 catches he had last season though he did score three times. The Seahawks drafted Notre Dame’s John Carlson to regain the receiving tight end that has been missing since Jerramy Stevens was sent packing. No fantasy value here.

Reginald Kelly - CIN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 48
Keeper: 48
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CIN 9 15 90 6.0 1      
2006 CIN 14 21 254 12.1 1      
2007 CIN 15 20 211 10.6        
Avg   13 19 185 9.6 1 0 0 0
Proj CIN   10 80          

The 31-year old Kelly remains as little more than a blocking tight end. He has never had more than 21 catches in a season and only has five scores after nine years in the NFL. Not even worth taking in a big league and Ben Utecht should decrease his already anemic numbers.

Matt Schobel - PHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 49
Keeper: 49
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CIN 14 18 193 10.7 1      
2006 PHI 13 14 214 15.3 2      
2007 PHI 15 11 108 9.8 1      
Avg   14 14 172 11.9 1 0 0 0
Proj PHI   10 80          

Schobel just offers depth for the Eagles and does replace L.J. Smith if he misses games. But he has never had more than 27 catches in a season and has been declining since his rookie season in 2002. Last year was only 11 catches for 108 yards and one score. Brent Celek also contributes at the same level. No need to draft Schobel.

Steve Heiden - CLE YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 50
Keeper: 50
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CLE 15 43 401 9.3 3      
2006 CLE 16 36 249 6.9 2      
2007 CLE 16 12 104 8.7        
Avg   16 30 251 8.3 2 0 0 0
Proj CLE   8 60          

Heiden will start training camp as the #2 tight end and should be completely healed from the back surgery he needed in the offseason. But Heiden only had 12 catches last year after turning in 36 in 2006. He would have taken over for Winslow if the need arose but now the Browns have drafted Martin Rucker this year as the probable heir apparent for Winslow if he cannot play. That will take at least this year before Martin is experienced enough to be even the back-up to Winslow so Heiden should be safe this season. Just not very productive in fantasy terms.

   
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