This is the year of the tight end. Or so we declared on NFL.com Fantasy Live on Thursday. Big production is expected to come from tight ends who will come later in your drafts, making that traditional run on tight ends both obsolete and rather foolish.
But I am making an exception for Antonio Gates this season. When you stake his numbers up against receivers, he is as valuable as a bottom-end No. 1 receiver, better than a No. 2.
Take a look at Gates' statistics over the last 16 games: He was targeted 103 times, had 77 receptions for 1,230 yards and 16 touchdowns. You need more numbers? Gates has 67 touchdowns over the last eight seasons (second most among active players) and has notched at least eight touchdowns in every season since 2004.
The only concern is injuries, as it seems that Gates is hurt every season. But when he missed six games in 2010, it marked the first time he missed a start since 2005. So even though there is risk, it is worth it.
If you gave me the choice of Gates or Reggie Wayne, I am leaning towards Gates right now.
Who has questions?
Read your Pick Six on guys you meet at your fantasy draft. How about "the Snake" -- the guy who always seems to pick right before you and "randomly" picks the players you covet? I hate that guy! ... unless that coveted pick blows an ACL week 2!! -- Matt Zeller (via Facebook)
That is a great one. There is always one guy who seems to be ahead of me in my fantasy draft, and I hate him so much.
I play in a fantasy league where I have Jamaal Charles and Ray Rice as my starting backs. Then Beanie Wells as my back up. My WR's are Megatron, Santonio Holmes, Julio Jones. Then Lee Evans, Devon Bess, and Marques Colston as my backups. I just don't know who to start at my flex position. Of all those backups, who do you think I should start as my flex? -- Charlie Sims
You don't have a question, Charlie, you are just bragging. I love having a running back in the flex spot, so Beanie Wells is going to be your best bet.
Hey, Adam, I have Vick as my starter and landed Stafford as a backup. Can you see any week where you'd advise me to start Stafford over Vick? -- Jeremy Martinez (via Facebook)
Hey, Adam, I am in a 12 team PPR league and I am wondering if I am freaking out too much about my QB. I have Matt Cassel. The rest of my team consists of V-jax, K-Britt and L-Moore with M-Thomas and L-Evans on my bench along with Foster, Forte and Ingram (flex) with McGahee and LT on my bench. My TE is Witten and D/ST is Pitt. ps i am also worried about my depth at RB so i picked up S-Ridley. Is he likely to see play time this season without an injury to BGE? -- Varun Chopra (via Facebook)
Who is your backup quarterback? You might want to make sure you have a quality backup just in case the Chiefs come crashing back down to Earth, which I believe that they will. Ridley is a nice pickup, but with Foster on your team, you should probably pick up Ben Tate to handcuff your top runner.
How come you hate Eli Manning even though you draft Nicks in the mock today haha? Even though it's a mock. -- Derek Asare (via Twitter)
Well, Eli's interceptions do not hurt Nicks' point total.
Who do u start as a flex Week 1? Tolbert, fred jackson or Sims-walker? -- Tylor Young
Bills coach Chan Gailey has not announced his Week 1 starters, but Jackson did not play in the final preseason game, which suggests that it will be him who starts for the Bills. In that case, Jackson is an outstanding flex option because he is underrated and should be a good start.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL.com Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL.com Fantasy has 15,000 followers, Fabiano has 25,000, me, I only have 1,200. So your odds are better that I will answer a question, just based on the numbers. So hit me up on both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.