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Note: Projections are from the 2010 NFL.com Fantasy Football Preview Guide and will be updated throughout the preseason.

 

Indianapolis Colts

1. Dallas Clark
(Auction: $12)
Clark has become an elite fantasy tight end. His total of receptions and yards has increased every year since 2006, culminating in a career-best 100 catches and 1,106 yards in 2009. One of the most consistent and reliable players at his position, he has started at least 15 games three years in a row and has finished no worse than sixth in fantasy points among tight ends in that time. A superstar in all scoring systems, look for Clark to be one of the first two tight ends taken in fantasy drafts. (Bye: Week 7)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
86
995
10
1


 

San Diego Chargers

2. Antonio Gates
(Auction: $10)
Since 2004, Gates has finished no worse than fourth in points at his position on NFL.com. In 2009, he posted 79 receptions and a career-best 1,157 yards, and he scored 8 TDs. He also was targeted 114 times, which was the sixth most among tight ends. A matchup nightmare for opposing defenses, he will continue to be a popular target for Philip Rivers in the short and intermediate pass attack. Although his FPA rating is the worst among tight ends, Gates will remain a statistical monster in 2010. (Bye: Week 10)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
72
1050
8
1


 

San Francisco 49ers

3. Vernon Davis
(Auction: $10)
Heading into 2009, Davis was considered a sleeper who hadn’t yet met expectations. Well, those expectations (and then some) were finally met, as he finished as the No. 1 tight end in fantasy football. Davis, who had an ADP (average draft position) of 149.1 on NFL.com, put up career bests across the board and led all tight ends with 13 TDs. While it’s hard to envision him duplicating such an incredible season, he is still one of the top options at his position and a surefire No. 1 tight end in all 2010 drafts. (Bye: Week 9)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
69
910
9
0


 

Philadelphia Eagles

4. Brent Celek
(Auction: $8)
A 2009 preseason super sleeper on NFL.com, Celek went on to have a breakout season with career bests in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He put up 90-plus yards four times, scored touchdowns in eight games, and finished fourth in fantasy points among tight ends. A reliable option in the Eagles’ passing attack, Celek has an attractive FPA rating for 2010, so expect him to prove that he’s no one-year wonder. Look for him to come off the draft board in the middle rounds. (Bye: Week 8)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
71
925
8
0


 

Dallas Cowboys

5. Jason Witten
(Auction: $7)
Witten posted 90-plus receptions and 1,000-plus yards for the second time in his career in 2009, but he found the end zone just twice and finished ninth in fantasy points among tight ends. It was the third time in the last four seasons that he’s recorded fewer than 5 touchdowns—the lone downfall when it comes to Witten’s fantasy value. Since 2007, he’s averaged an impressive 90 receptions for 1,042 yards. Numbers like that make him a serious star in PPR and bonus-based fantasy leagues. (Bye: Week 4)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
91
1000
5
0


 

Green Bay Packers

6. Jermichael Finley
(Auction: $7)
One of the best ways to determine a breakout candidate is to look back at the hotter players at the end of the previous season. Enter Finley, who made a significant impact down the stretch in 2009. In his final five games, only Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates (55) finished with more fantasy points among tight ends than Finley (54). A big target with good hands, he became a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers. Based on his potential and a FPA rating that’s one of the most attractive at his position, Finley should be considered a No. 1 fantasy tight end. (Bye: Week 10)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
67
805
8
1


 

Atlanta Falcons

7. Tony Gonzalez
(Auction: $7)
One of the top tight ends in NFL history, Gonzalez has averaged more yards (1,032) over the last three seasons than any other player at his position. Though his numbers fell a bit in his first year in Atlanta—after posting 95-plus receptions and 1,000-plus yards in his final two years with the Chiefs, he caught 83 passes for 867 yards in 2009—they were still good enough for him to finish in the top five in fantasy points among tight ends. There’s no reason to believe he can’t maintain such success moving forward. (Bye: Week 8)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
75
890
6
0


 

Minnesota Vikings

8. Visanthe Shiancoe
(Auction: $5)
An underrated tight end, Shiancoe is coming off his best season. He posted a career-high 56 receptions, and his 11 touchdowns ranked second among NFL tight ends in 2009. That performance can be attributed, in part, to quarterback Brett Favre, who’s always loved to throw to his tight ends. With Favre back again in 2010, Shiancoe again will have opportunities in the pass attack, especially in the red zone. Couple that with a favorable FPA, and Shiancoe should continue to produce strong numbers. He’s worth a late-round selection. (Bye: Week 4)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
51
585
9
0


 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9. Kellen Winslow
(Auction: $4)
In his first season with the Buccaneers, Winslow put up solid numbers across the board and tied his previous career high with 5 touchdowns. While he was inconsistent, his final totals were still good enough to finish seventh in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. Winslow was also fourth in targets among tight ends, and talented but inexperienced signal caller Josh Freeman often will use his tight end as his safety net. Winslow is not an elite option, but is a viable starter in all leagues and has additional value in PPR formats. (Bye: Week 4)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
83
840
5
0


 

Oakland Raiders

10. Zach Miller
(Auction: $4)
Miller recorded career bests in receptions and yards last season, but his lack of touchdown production has always hindered his fantasy value. That change should in 2010, as the Raiders added Jason Campbell. The veteran signal-caller has always looked to his tight ends, and Miller could be his most reliable option in the Raiders pass attack. That scenario makes Miller a nice sleeper at the position and a viable low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end. He’ll be well worth a late-round selection and could turn into a solid bargain on draft day. (Bye: Week 10)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
68
790
5
1


 

Washington Redskins

11. Chris Cooley
(Auction: $3)
Cooley has lost some of his fantasy luster heading into 2010. Last season, he missed nine games with an injured ankle. In his absence, Fred Davis emerged as a legitimate fantasy starter. If Cooley is forced to share even some playing time with Davis, it will damage his statistical outlook. On a positive note, Cooley is back at 100 percent to start the season and is playing in the tight-end friendly offense of new coach Mike Shanahan. Washington also has the best FPA rating for tight ends, so owners should consider Cooley a risk-reward starter in the middle to late rounds. (Bye: Week 9)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
68
755
6
0


 

Houston Texans

12. Owen Daniels
(Auction: $3)
For the first seven weeks of the 2009 season, Daniels led all tight ends in fantasy points on NFL.com. In fact, he was on pace to finish with 89 catches, 1,100-plus yards, and double-digit TDs before suffering a torn ACL in Week 8. While coming off such a serious surgical procedure makes Daniels a bit of a risk, he has returned from injury before to play at an elite level. He will open the season on a limited basis, though, so that hurts his value. Daniels is a potential No. 1 fantasy tight end, but don't draft him until the later rounds. (Bye: Week 7)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
74
885
5
1


 

Pittsburgh Steelers

13. Heath Miller
(Auction: $3)
In a 2009 season in which an increasing number of tight ends posted solid fantasy numbers, it was no shock that Miller had career highs in receptions, yards, and fantasy points. In fact, he scored 47 more points on NFL.com in 2009 than he did in ’08. Therein lies an odd trend with Miller, who has thrived in odd-numbered years and foundered in even-numbered years. While that doesn’t make him a bust candidate, it should make owners temper expectations. He should be considered a low-end fantasy starter in 2010. (Bye: Week 5)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
65
700
6
1


 

Seattle Seahawks

14. John Carlson
(Auction: $2)
In 2009, Carlson was unable to improve on his rookie numbers from 2008. He was used more often as a blocker in his second season to help what was a patchwork offensive line. His outlook for this season is bright, though, with new coach Pete Carroll at the helm. Tight ends such as Ben Coates and Johnny Mitchell were prominent options for Carroll’s offenses in his earlier NFL stints, and that bodes well for Carlson’s value. He also has a very favorable FPA rating, so he could turn into a great late-round bargain in fantasy drafts. (Bye: Week 5)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
58
665
6
0


 

Chicago Bears

15. Greg Olsen
(Auction: $2)
Olsen is coming off his best statistical season, but his 2009 numbers were deceptive. He was extremely inconsistent, and scored fewer than 5 fantasy points in 9 of 16 games. Olsen’s value also is on the decline with the addition of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who uses tight ends as blockers more often than pass catchers. In fact, no tight end ever has had 40 or more receptions in a Martz-led offense. That alone makes Olsen a virtual lock to experience a decrease in numbers. He won’t be more than a fantasy reserve. (Bye: Week 8)

2010 Projections
Rec
Yds
TDs
Fumbles lost
42
585
6
1


Tight ends 16-24


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