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Team Player Analysis

Dallas Cowboys

1. Jason Witten
(Auction: $8)
Witten started last season on fire, hauling in 35 passes for 442 yards in the first five weeks. But his numbers were not consistent the rest of the year after a variety of injuries and the loss of QB Tony Romo for three games. Still, he finished second among TEs in points on NFL.com. With WR Terrell Owens out of the mix in Dallas, Witten is destined to be targeted more often. His numbers should look more like the ones he produced in his breakout 2007 campaign (96 catches, 1,145 yards, 7 TDs). He’s worth being the first TE selected in fantasy drafts. (Bye: Week 6)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
90
1,045
7
0


Team Player Analysis

San Diego Chargers

2. Antonio Gates
(Auction: $8)
Gates averaged 79 catches, 993 yards, and 10 TDs from 2004 to 2007, and he was the unquestioned No. 1 tight end in fantasy football. In fact, he was worthy of a third- or fourth-round draft pick. However, injuries caught up with him. He dealt with ankle and hip ailments during the 2008 season and required offseason foot surgery. Despite being at less than 100 percent in 2008, Gates still finished with respectable numbers. He's healthy now and remains the top option for QB Philip Rivers, so he will rebound. Look for him to be one of the first three TEs drafted. (Bye: Week 5)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
74
940
8
0


Team Player Analysis

Indianapolis Colts

3. Dallas Clark
(Auction: $7)
Clark was a good, but unspectacular, fantasy option for most of his first four NFL seasons, but a recent spike in production has made him a superstar tight end. In 2008, he finished with career bests in receptions (77) and yards (848) while also scoring 6 touchdowns. With Marvin Harrison out of the mix in Indianapolis, Clark should continue to see a healthy number of targets from quarterback Peyton Manning in what will remain one of the league's most prolific passing attacks. Look for Clark to come off the board in the middle rounds on Draft Day. (Bye: Week 6)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
71
865
8
0


Team Player Analysis

Atlanta Falcons

4. Tony Gonzalez
(Auction: $7)
After a mediocre start to the 2008 season, Gonzalez's production exploded with Tyler Thigpen at quarterback for Kansas City. In his final 11 games, the veteran TE caught 75 passes for 865 yards and 8 TDs. Those were better numbers than Antonio Gates had all year. It's hard to envision such an incredible stretch again this year in Atlanta, where Gonzalez now plays after an offseason trade. Still, he will be a popular target for young QB Matt Ryan and will remain a top fantasy option. He’ll be selected in the middle rounds in drafts. (Bye: Week 4)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
84
975
6
0


Team Player Analysis

Chicago Bears

5. Greg Olsen
(Auction: $6)
With Jay Cutler at quarterback for the new-look Bears, Olsen has breakout potential. He finished last season with career bests in receptions (54), yards (574), and TDs (5), and was particularly effective down the stretch. Now in line to join other high-profile former Miami tight ends such as Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, and Kellen Winslow, Olsen should make a significant impact with the strong-armed Cutler slinging him the football. In fact, owners should expect Olsen to develop into surefire fantasy starter. He'll be selected in the middle rounds in most drafts. (Bye: Week 5)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
68
770
7
1


Team Player Analysis

Washington Redskins

6. Chris Cooley
(Auction: $6)
Cooley, one of the more consistent fantasy tight ends over the last four seasons, posted career bests in catches (83) and yards (849) in 2008. However, the fact that he found the end zone just once – the worst single-season total of his career -- caused him to finish with just 79 fantasy points on NFL.com. That was his lowest total since his rookie season. Cooley had previously averaged close to seven touchdowns from 2004-2007, though, which makes last season’s low total seem like the exception rather than the rule. The fact that he was third in targets among tight ends is also a positive sign for his level of production in 2009, so fantasy leaguers should still see Cooley as a surefire No. 1 TE. (Bye: Week 8)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
76
810
6
1


Team Player Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Kellen Winslow
(Auction: $5)
Winslow was one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football among tight ends last season. Expectations were high after he broke out in 2007, but injuries and what became a tumultuous situation in Cleveland caused Winslow’s numbers to fall across the board. Now with the Buccaneers after an offseason trade, Winslow’s stock is back on the rise. He’ll be one of the more prominent options in the team’s passing game and see plenty of targets regardless of whether it’s Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich or Josh Freeman under center to open the season. While his proneness to injuries is a cause for some concern, Winslow should still be seen as a No. 1 fantasy TE. Look for his name to be called in the middle rounds. (Bye: Week 8)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
73
845
5
1


Team Player Analysis

Houston Texans

8. Owen Daniels
(Auction: $5)
Daniels finished last season with career bests in receptions (70), yards (862), and yards per catch (12.3). An excellent option in PPR leagues, he caught 4 or more passes in nine games and posted 100-plus yards twice in his final nine starts. Daniels loses some luster because of his lack of touchdown production, but there's no reason to believe that his total can't increase in an offense that figures to be much improved in 2009. If you don't land a top-five tight end, grabbing Daniels in the middle to late rounds is a good alternative. (Bye: Week 10)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
67
820
4
1


Team Player Analysis

Seattle Seahawks

9. John Carlson
(Auction: $5)
Carlson, who was owned in just 14 percent of NFL.com leagues in Week 1 in his rookie season in 2008, was one of the better tight ends in fantasy football by the end of the year. (He was owned in 72 percent of leagues in fantasy championship week.) He has good hands and will remain prominent in the Seahawks' offense, although the addition of WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the return of Nate Burleson could limit his targets. Still, new coordinator Greg Knapp has had success with tight ends in the past, so Carlson's stock remains high. He'll be drafted in the middle to late rounds. (Bye: Week 7)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
64
690
6
0


Team Player Analysis

Minnesota Vikings

10. Visanthe Shiancoe
(Auction: $3)
Shiancoe finished in the top five in fantasy points among tight ends on NFL.com last season, as he recorded career bests in receptions (42), yards (596) and touchdowns (7). There is some cause for concern in terms of his level of consistent production, though, as 52 percent of his points came in three games. Still, he'll be one of the more targeted receivers in the Vikings pass attack in 2009 and should become a nice option for Brett Favre, who loves throwing to his tight ends. Consider him in the late rounds as a low-end No. 1 or high-end No. 2 fantasy tight end. (Bye: Week 9)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
43
625
5
1


Team Player Analysis

New Orleans Saints

11. Jeremy Shockey
(Auction: $3)
Once a surefire No. 1 fantasy tight end, Shockey has seen his stock tumble after a disappointing 2008 season. He missed four games with injuries and posted career worsts across the board. Shockey even failed to score even one touchdown despte playing in the league's most explosive pass attack. He still has the tools to produce good stat lines at times, but his proneness to injuries makes Shockey a risk-reward option in drafts. He should now be seen as a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end and worth a late-round selection in drafts. (Bye: Week 5)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
58
605
5
1


Team Player Analysis

Oakland Raiders

12. Zach Miller
(Auction: $2)
A talented tight end with a boatload of statistical potential, Miller should be seen as a viable breakout candidate in 2009. Despite being part of an anemic Raiders offense, the Arizona State product still posted career bests in receptions (56) and yards (778). He also finished in the top 10 in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. With very few reliable options in the passing game, Miller actually led the Silver & Black in receptions by a wide margin and became the top option for JaMarcus Russell. If the strong-armed quarterback can develop at the NFL level, Miller would no doubt benefit in the stat sheets. He should be seen as a viable fantasy starter and a potential late-round bargain in drafts. (Bye: Week 9)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
64
800
4
0


Team Player Analysis

New York Jets

13. Dustin Keller
(Auction: $2)
Keller was widely seen as a fantasy reserve at the start of his rookie year in 2008, but an impressive midseason stretch made him a popular waiver-wire pickup. He caught 27 passes for 313 yards in four November games, during which time his ownership on NFL.com rose to 80 percent. However, he hit a rookie wall shortly thereafter, catching just 8 passes in the final four weeks. With WR Laveranues Coles out of the mix in New York and an inexperienced QB under center, Keller should be more prominent in the offense. He warrants a late-round pick and could develop into a fantasy starter. (Bye: Week 9)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
61
630
5
0


Team Player Analysis

New York Giants

14. Kevin Boss
(Auction: $2)
Boss showed flashes of potential in his first season as the top tight end on the Giants' depth chart. While he started the season slowly, he became a much more reliable pass catcher down the stretch. In fact, he scored 8 or more fantasy points on NFL.com in five of his final nine games, and finished with an impressive 6 touchdowns. Boss won't produce the same sort of numbers as Jeremy Shockey did while he was with the Giants, but the third-year player can still be a useful option. A borderline fantasy starter, Boss will come off the board in the late rounds on Draft Day. (Bye: Week 10)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
47
545
5
0


Team Player Analysis

Pittsburgh Steelers

15. Heath Miller
(Auction: $2)
Miller was a disappointment in fantasy circles last season, as he finished with fewer yards and TDs compared to his 2007 totals. In his defense, Miller was forced to miss two games due to injuries and was asked to block more often to assist a shaky offensive line. He also finished the season on a high note, producing 50-plus yards in five of his final eight games (including the postseason). Miller will have his share of weak stat lines, but he'll bounce back if the Steelers can resolve their offensive line issues. A borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy TE, he will come off the board in the late rounds in most drafts. (Bye: Week 8)

2009 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
55
545
4
1


Tight ends 16-24


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