Tiers, Not Fears: TEs

Feel Free To Catch VD This Draft Season
Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga

Tight end year in and year out makes or breaks more fantasy squads than any other position. It’s the “X” factor on your degenerately named team that you either address or you don’t. I look at them like dogs. Or as I so affectionately refer to them, bitches. If you have a loyal bitch, they will retrieve more balls than Belladonna in a gangbang. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to it.

More after the jump:

The Model Bitches
Model Bitches are high maintenance in the sense that they’re going to cost you a high pick. But they’re just so damn hot that you’re going to deal with them sending the food back and then not eating their meal altogether. Here are three model bitches that never eat so your team stays looking good.
1. Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham is the undisputed number one option in Drew Brees’ pass-happy offense. This means targets. And a lot of them. What’s more encouraging is the fact that, last year, with the plethora of options at Brees disposal, Jimmy Graham had more red zone targets than anyone on the team. With Robert Meachem gone, expect Graham’s targets to increase.

2. Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski likes to party. He also likes catching footballs. My bet is he’ll be doing plenty of both this season. I’d rank Gronk as my overall number one TE, but the Patriots went out and signed Brandon Lloyd, who should take looks away from Gronk. That said Tom Brady will still target Gronk early and often.

3. Antonio Gates
Most people would tell me that the model bitches list runs two deep. Starting with Graham and ending with Gronkowski. I’m here to tell the Sons of Roto nation, that’s just not the case. Antonio Gates hasn’t been healthy in years. Now he is. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that Vincent Jackson is gone. This leaves Gates as the primary target in a potent Chargers offense. As long as Phillip Rivers is playing quarterback for the Chargers, Antonio Gates will always be open and always getting thrown to.

The Actor Bitches
Actor bitches are attractive options. Only problem is they’ll give you your fair share of drama. Here are a few actor bitches that will look good on your shoulder but occasionally flake out.
4. Vernon Davis
Yes, I know what the 49ers did in the offseason as far as the wide receiver position is concerned. That doesn’t change the fact that Vernon Davis is three things. A matchup nightmare. A physical specimen. And Alex Smith’s favorite target. Vernon didn’t start to learn Jim Harbaugh’s playbook until the end of last year. When he finally did, it showed. With the playbook now memorized, expect Vernon to grab around nine to ten touchdowns.

5. Jermichael Finley
Jermichael is inconsistent from a production standpoint. No one’s arguing that. But when Jermichael produces he has games as big as anyone. Whether Aaron Rodgers will consistently feed him is anyone’s guess. But Jermichael can blow up at any point and that, when it comes from a fantasy perspective, cannot be overlooked.

6. Aaron Hernandez
It’s hard to imagine that there are enough balls in Foxboro to make New England’s second tight end the sixth best tight end out there. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret: there are, and Hernandez is.

7. Jason Witten
Jason Witten is the least sexy of the acting bitches and it’s not because he’s paler than a pastry. I had Witten as my fantasy tight end last year and while he was consistent, he never gave me that bang that I needed. Witten’s career may be on the decline but at least he’s more attractive than some of the other options out there.

The Country Club Bitches
Country Club Bitches are a curious case. They have high expectations for how life with you should be. Problem is, when you meet their expectations, marry them, and buy them that big house, some of them have the nerve to get fat.
8. Brandon Pettigrew
Brandon Pettigrew is less athletic than many of the bitches you’re likely to encounter on my tight end board. But at the end of the day he still has Matt Stafford throwing to him. Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards last year and it wasn’t without Pettigrew. Expect Pettigrew’s numbers to increase this year as Stafford and him develop more of a rapport.

9. Fred Davis
Chris Cooley just got cut from the Redskins. For Fred Davis owners, that’s like having your wife’s shitty sister move cross country overnight. While Fred Davis is a complete liability, he seems to be a country club bitch whose stock is on the rise.

10. Jermaine Gresham
What I like about Jermaine Gresham are the options surrounding him. Or should I say lack thereof. Outside of AJ Green, Andy Dalton doesn’t have much to throw to. This can only benefit Jermaine. Gresham seems to be the country club bitch that doesn’t seem to reach his potential year in and year out. Maybe this is the year he does.

11. Jared Cook
Jared Cook is one of the most versatile tight ends in the league. Problem is, most owners don’t know it. I like Cook for a lot of reasons. One of them being the fact that Jake Locker is his quarterback and young quarterbacks always rely on their tight ends. Cook was supposed to break out last year. He didn’t. Expect Cook to have his coming out party this year.

12. Brent Celek
While DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant figure to steal looks from Celek, he should still be a commodity worth grabbing if the price is right.

13. Tony Gonzalez
Gonzalez is entering his 16th season, his fourth with the Falcons. The Falcons have a new offensive coordinator this year in Dirk Koetter and figure to attack the field in a more vertical fashion. With Koetter’s new attack of play, Gonzalez should see a decline in numbers as his game is more consistent with short-to-intermediate routes. That said, maybe Gonzalez is worth a late-round pick.

The Good-Looking Under-Age Bitches
The question with any underage bitch almost indubitably is… will you go to jail for her? Putting that question aside… here are three tight ends that will and should get taken in the teens.
14. Jacob Tamme
Tamme is an interesting prospect. Everyone knows he has Peyton Manning throwing to him. What people don’t know is that Joel Dreessen, the Broncos other tight end, figures to steal some of Tamme’s targets. Dreessen was acquired from the Texans and has been getting targeted in the preseason. Either way, Tamme should figure to be the premier tight end featured in a Peyton Manning offense. And that should be enough.

15. Coby Fleener
Fleener is another target I like because of who’s throwing to him. Above I mentioned that young quarterbacks possess a certain proclivity for throwing to their tight ends. Well expect the same thing here.

16. Owen Daniels
Owen Daniels has two problems. He can’t seem to stay healthy for an entire season, and he doesn’t find the endzone enough. Aside from that, he’s a steady, reliable tight end who will get you a lot of catches and is someone you can get in the later rounds.

The Beer Goggle Bitches
Sometimes you get drunk and need to take something home. Hey, it happens. Here are some tight ends that you can take if you like to drink during your draft or if you just have a really long bench lacking in standards.
17. Greg Olsen
18. Kellen Winslow
19. Martellus Bennett
20. Dustin Keller

*Last updated 8/29/12.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.