[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2009 with 2008 stats||RECEPTIONS||RECEIVING YARDS||RECEIVING YDS. PER GAME||100-YD. GAMES||TOUCHDOWNS||BYE WEEK|
|1. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons||96||1,058||66.1||3||10||4|
|2. Antonio Gates, Chargers||60||704||44.0||0||8||5|
|3. Jason Witten, Cowboys||81||952||59.5||2||4||6|
|4. Chris Cooley, Redskins||83||849||53.1||1||1||8|
|5. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins||34||454||28.4||0||7||6|
|6. Dallas Clark, Colts||77||848||56.5||2||6||6|
|7. John Carlson, Seahawks||55||627||39.2||1||5||7|
|8. Kevin Boss, Giants||33||384||25.6||0||6||10|
|9. Greg Olsen, Bears||54||574||35.9||0||5||5|
|10. Kellen Winslow, Buccaneers||43||428||42.8||1||3||8|
|11. Owen Daniels, Texans||70||862||53.9||2||2||10|
|12. Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings||42||596||37.3||1||7||9|
|13. Brent Celek, Eagles||27||318||19.9||1||1||4|
|14. Vernon Davis, 49ers||31||358||22.4||0||2||6|
|15. Zach Miller, Raiders||56||778||48.6||0||1||9|
|16. Tony Scheffler, Broncos||40||645||49.6||0||3||7|
|17. Donald Lee, Packers||39||303||18.9||0||5||5|
|18. Heath Miller, Steelers||48||514||36.7||0||3||8|
|19. Bo Scaife, Titans||58||561||35.1||1||2||7|
|20. Dustin Keller, Jets||48||535||33.4||1||3||9|
|21. Desmond Clark, Bears||41||367||22.9||0||1||5|
|22. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars||41||489||30.6||0||2||7|
|23. L.J. Smith, Ravens||37||298||22.9||0||3||7|
|24. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions*||42||472||47.2||0||0||7|
|25. Billy Miller, Saints||45||579||38.6||0||1||5|
|26. Jeremy Shockey, Saints||50||483||40.3||0||0||5|
|27. Randy McMichael, Rams||11||139||34.8||0||0||9|
|28. David Martin, Dolphins||31||450||28.1||0||3||6|
|29. Robert Royal, Browns||33||351||23.4||0||1||9|
|30. Ben Watson, Patriots||22||209||14.9||0||2||8|
|31. Daniel Graham, Broncos||32||389||24.3||0||4||7|
|32. Todd Heap, Ravens||35||403||25.2||0||3||7|
August 9, 2009
• Tony Gonzalezis still the NFL's best receiving tight end. He may not duplicate last year'snumbers, but he'll still deliver more consistently than anyone else on theboard.
• The Cowboys aregoing to run more, and Jason Witten will see tougher coverage with TerrellOwens gone. That's why he's a clear third among the big three at thisposition.
ON THE RISE
• I love AnthonyFasano. Only Antonio Gates and Gonzalez had more TDs among tight ends lastyear, and I expect him to do even better this season. Though this is Fasano'sfourth year in the league, it's just his second season as Miami's primetarget.
• As a rookielast year John Carlson led Seattle receivers in catches, yards and TDs. Theclub's pass-catching unit will be stronger this season, but he's still anattractive option at a thin position.
• With theturnover in the Giants' receiving corps, Kevin Boss is a trusted hand at TE. Hedidn't have big reception numbers last year, but no tight end caught a higherpercentage of his passes inside the 20.
• Maybe KellenWinslow has disappointed in years past, but it's not a bad idea to grab a tightend on a team such as the Bucs, whose offense is in transition and whose QBwill be looking to his safety valve.
• Dustin Kellerlooked great as a rookie, but expect his production to drop this year. BrettFavre, who loves tight ends, is gone, and the Jets are going to run more.
• Jeremy Shockeyis a big name—to avoid. The former Pro Bowl player didn't catch a TD pass lastyear, in part because the Saints have so many better receivingoptions—including their other tight end, Billy Miller.