Fantasy free agency primer: Top tight ends

Few fantasy positions have been as vexing as tight end in recent seasons. After The Year of the Tight End in 2011, the group has come back to reality. But that grounding has made it more crucial to track where some of the key names at the position will land in free agency.

That's why it's with a nod to our friends at Around The League that we're taking a look at some of the top tight end free agents.

First things first, we can take Jimmy Graham and Dennis Pitta off the board. While the former will battle to be labeled as a receiver instead of a tight end, it won't have any impact on his fantasy standing. As for the latter, his inclusion in Gary Kubiak's tight end-friendly offense should be a boon for a player who made an immediate impact in 2013 after missing much of the season with injury. The rest is a melange of potential and potentially unproductive.

No. 1 ... with a question

  1. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers

Finley has never wavered on his desire to play again after a frightening spinal injury last season. So far the reports on his rehab have been encouraging. It still seems unlikely that the Packers are going to take a chance on the veteran. So the question remains ... who will?

Before the injury, Finley was off to one of the best starts of his career and is an athletic option in the middle when healthy. However, there may not be many offers if NFL teams are truly concerned about his long-term well-being. Optimally, Finley would be a great fit in Kansas City. But the decision might not be up to him.

More questions than answers

The Texans are doing everything they can to lock up Graham before the free agency period opens. That would seem to indicate that Houston is ready to part ways with veteran Owen Daniels. Graham was Houston's third-leading receiver last season and could be a larger part of Bill O'Brien's new offense.

Chandler has been fantasy fool's gold over the past few seasons. Thanks to a couple of early-season double-digit performances, owners have jumped on board only to be disappointed by a string of lackluster outings. At this point, Chandler's not likely to be signed as anything more than a No. 2 tight end and occasional target.

Last season was supposed to be the year Brandon Myers made the leap. It wasn't. In his defense, Eli Manning's struggles didn't help. Yet the former Raider didn't do much to help his free agent value during his first season with the Giants. Another season with Big Blue could see some improvement. If not, perhaps a move to Arizona and a reunion with quarterback Carson Palmer could do Myers some good.

If Finley indeed leaves Green Bay, that could create an opening for Quarless with the Packers. His numbers last season weren't eye-popping, but he did have a couple of nice games near the end of the season. Even if he's the No. 1 tight end next season, he'll still find himself well down the pecking order of Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets.

Best of the rest

Brandon Pettigrew, Dallas Clark, Jeff Cumberland, Kellen Winslow, Clay Harbor, Ed Dickson, Jim Dray, Jake Ballard

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for You can follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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