2012 fantasy football profiles and projections (TEs 13-24)

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports

  • Player
  • Analysis

The No. 34 overall selection in April's draft, Fleener has a chance to make an immediate impact as a rookie. Reunited with his collegiate quarterback, Andrew Luck, the Stanford product has a chance to instantly become one of the top options in the Colts' pass attack. Over the past two seasons, Luck and Fleener combined for more than 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns. And while he won't make the same sort of rookie impact as Rob Gronkowski did in 2009, he could finish in the top 10 in fantasy points among tight ends. Consider Fleener in the middle-to-late rounds as a borderline No. 1 fantasy option with real statistical potential across the board.

One season removed from disappearing off the fantasy radar, Celek made his way back into the spotlight in 2011. While he started off slow, the veteran finished with a combined 13 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns in his final three contests. Part of Celek's statistical rebirth was an improved rapport with Michael Vick, who targeted his tight end far more often than in the previous season. In fact, Celek received 18 more targets than he did in 2010. That's a positive sign in an offense that is based on the pass and should continue to allow Celek opportunities to produce both on the field and in fantasy circles. Consider him a low-end No. 1 fantasy option.

Cook has become the ultimate fantasy tease at the tight end position. In the last two seasons, he's been too inconsistent to use as a starter - until the final three weeks. If you combined his stats from the last three games of 2010 and 2011, Cook would be a No. 1 fantasy tight end. In fact, a whopping 46 percent of his combined receptions, 47 percent of his combined yards and 50 percent of his combined touchdowns in the last two years have come in the final three games. So while Cook has some definite sleeper value in drafts, he's no more than a high-end No. 2 option in most leagues until he starts to show signs of more statistical consistency.

Rudolph is one of the more talented young tight ends in the league, so owners should consider him a deep sleeper. His value would be even higher had the Vikings not added John Carlson, who is also a pass-catching option at the position and will no doubt steal some targets from his fellow former Golden Domer. With that said, Rudolph has a higher statistical ceiling and could turn into a reliable fantasy reserve or matchup-based starter with Christian Ponder under center. While he does have more value in dynasty leagues, Rudolph is still a player to target in the late rounds as a No. 2 fantasy tight end with some upside.

Daniels posted his best reception and yardage totals since 2008, but he was still considered a big disappointment for fantasy owners last season. He scored double-digit fantasy points just once after Week 4 and lost out on red-zone targets to Joel Dreessen, who finished with three more touchdowns than his veteran teammate. Daniels will no doubt remain a starter for the Texans, but his best fantasy days are now in the rearview mirror. Though a slight statistical uptick isn't out of the question with Dreessen out of the mix, Daniels' mediocre production over the past two seasons makes it tough to trust him as more than a No. 2 fantasy tight end.

Gresham is one of the more talented young tight ends in the league, so he holds some definite sleeper value in fantasy drafts. While his numbers from a year ago weren't exactly eye popping, he did post career bests across the board despite missing two games. Gresham also improved as a route runner and saw a decent increase in targets per game compared to his 2010 totals. With two years of NFL experience under his belt in an up-and-coming offensive attack led by Andy Dalton, Gresham should see a bump in receptions and yardage in 2012. Consider him a high-end No. 2 fantasy tight end with real upside in the late rounds.

Olsen experienced an increase in statistical success last season compared to his 2010 totals, but he still lacked the level of consistency needed to be considered a top fantasy option. In fact, he finished just 18th in points at his position and scored double-digits once in his final eight games. With five NFL seasons in the books, Olsen's ceiling appears to have already been reached - he's posted 600-plus yards just once and is good for five to six touchdowns a season. That makes him worth no more than a late-round pick as a No. 2 fantasy tight end and occasional matchup-based starter.

Dickson looked like a potential fantasy sleeper at the start of last season, but he never panned out as a regular starter. In fact, more than 38 percent of his total fantasy production came in two games. Dickson also started to lose targets to Dennis Pitta down the stretch - that led him to catch no more than three passes in each of the final six contests. Dickson is still young at 24, so there is still some upside and potential for the Oregon product. But he suffered a broken hand in camp and will miss the preseason, so until we see Dickson post more reliable stat lines week in and week out, he'll be no more than a late-round reserve.

Moeaki was considered a fantasy sleeper heading into last season - that was before he suffered a torn ACL in the preseason that forced him to miss the entire 2011 campaign. He is expected back in time for the start of training camp and should remain a starter, barring any setbacks with his knee. Players typically don't come back at full strength in their first year back from an ACL reconstruction, however, so it's tough to project any sort of statistical breakout. What's more, Moeaki will also have to contend with Kevin Boss in the pass attack. He's worth a flier in fantasy drafts, but don't reach for him before the late rounds.

Winslow is coming off his third straight season with 60-plus catches and 700-plus yards, but the veteran out of Miami has also seen his fantasy point production decline in each of those years. In fact, 2011 was his worst statistical season since he joined the Buccaneers - that's due in part to his lack of touchdown production. Though he did see 15 red-zone targets, Winslow found the end zone just twice all year. That's not going to get it done in standard fantasy leagues. While he does possess a bit more value in PPR leagues, his move to Seattle is not going to help his value. In fact, he's barely draftable and no better than a low-end option.

Miller was considered a No. 1 fantasy tight end earlier in his career, but both his production and value have declined in recent years. Since his breakout season in 2009, Miller has averaged just 46 receptions for 571 yards with a combined four touchdowns. With Todd Haley now calling the offensive shots, the Steelers pass attack will no doubt be more vertical, so any chance for Miller to recapture his past statistical success will be somewhat limited. The fact that he has failed to score more than three touchdowns in three of the last four years is another reason to avoid Miller, who is now no more than a late-round fantasy reserve.

A fifth-year veteran out of Texas A&M, Bennett signed with the Giants during the offseason and will have a great chance to post career numbers in 2012. As the projected starter in Week 1 and with Travis Beckum coming off ACL injury, he does have some deep sleeper value in fantasy land. While his numbers at the NFL level haven't been great, he no longer has to contend for targets with an All-Pro like Jason Witten. Considering how much Eli Manning likes to throw the ball to his tight ends, Bennett is well worth at least a mention as a potential flier in the late rounds.

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