Tight Ends

August 09, 2009

[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

*Rookie (collegestatistics)

TalkingPoints

• 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.

ON THEDECLINE

• 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.

PHOTODAVID DECOTEAU/COURTESY OF MIAMI DOLPHINS (FASANO) PHOTOBOB ROSATO (SHOCKEY)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)