The tight end position has become far more valuable in fantasy land in recent seasons, and the emergence of players like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham proves it. But throughout the history of the NFL, the position hasn't made a huge statistical impact in the Super Bowl. In fact, just one tight end has ever posted 100-plus yards in the big game. What's more, there's never been a tight end to win the Super Bowl MVP award. In the fourth and final part of our series that combines Super Bowl success and fantasy football, we'll look at the top 10 tight end performances in the NFL's championship game.
1. Dan Ross, Bengals (Super Bowl XVI): Ross, the lone tight end to post double-digit receptions and 100 or more yards in a Super Bowl, hauled in 11 balls for 104 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He found the end zone on passes of 4 and 3 yards from Ken Anderson and finished with 22.4 points. Had fantasy football been popular back in the early 1980s, Ross would have been a top tight end.
2. John Mackey, Colts (Super Bowl V): One of the greatest tight ends of all time, Mackey posted 80 yards and a touchdown in a 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Most of his statistical success came on one play, as Mackey scored on 75-yard connection with Johnny Unitas and recorded a total of 14 fantasy points. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, Mackey would have been an elite player at his position in all fantasy football leagues.
3. Jay Novacek, Cowboys (Super Bowl XXVII): One of Troy Aikman's favorite targets in the pass attack, Novacek led the Cowboys with seven receptions, posted 72 yards and a scored a touchdown in a 52-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. Novacek, who scored on a 23-yard pass from Aikman in the first quarter, finished the contest with 13.3 fantasy points. He ended his NFL career with 422 catches, 4,630 yards and 30 touchdown receptions.
4. Dave Casper, Raiders (Super Bowl XI): Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, Casper was one of the best tight ends of his generation. He put up a nice stat line against the Minnesota Vikings, posting four catches for 70 yards with one touchdown in a 32-14 win. Casper, who recorded 13 fantasy points in the contest, found the end zone on a 1-yard pass from Ken Stabler in the first quarter. He finished his career with 5,216 yards and 52 scores.
5. Ben Coates, Patriots (Super Bowl XXXI): Coates was one of the better tight ends in fantasy football during his time with the Patriots, and his performance in Super Bowl XXXI was one of the best ever at his position. The veteran recorded a game-high six receptions, posted 67 yards and found the end zone once on a 4-yard pass from Drew Bledsoe. Coates, who put up 12.7 fantasy points in the contest, retired after the 2000 season.
6. Marc Bavaro, Giants (Super Bowl XXI): In a game that was best remembered for the amazing performance of MVP Phil Simms, Bavaro tied for a team high with four catches, posted 51 yards, scored one touchdown and 11.1 fantasy points in a 39-20 win over the Denver Broncos. A fantasy stud in the first four years of his career, Bavaro would play a total of nine NFL seasons between the Giants, Browns and Eagles. He retired after 1994.
7. Jay Novacek, Cowboys (Super Bowl XXX): The lone tight end to have multiple top-10 fantasy performances in the NFL's ultimate contest, Novacek tied Michael Irvin with a team-high five catches, compiled 50 yards and scored one touchdown in a 27-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Novacek, who found the end zone on a 3-yard pass from Aikman in what was the first touchdown of the game, finished with a total of 11 fantasy points.
T-8. Larry Brown, Steelers (Super Bowl IX): Brown, who played 14 seasons for the Steelers, posted a team-high 49 yards and scored one touchdown for 10.9 fantasy points in a 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings. His score came in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw. Amazingly, that was the longest play from scrimmage in the contest. Brown finished his career with just 48 receptions, 636 yards and five touchdowns.
T-8. Stu Voight, Vikings (Super Bowl XI): An 11-year veteran as a member of the Vikings, Voight's numbers were never eye popping from a fantasy perspective. He did post a nice stat (compared to most tight ends in a Super Bowl) against the Raiders, catching four passes for 49 yards with one touchdown in a 32-14 loss. Voight, whose score tied Brown with 10.9 fantasy points, found the end zone on a 13-yard connection with Bob Lee in the fourth quarter.
10. Mark Chmura, Packers (Super Bowl XXXII): Chmura was a viable fantasy starter for part of his NFL career, posting 17 touchdowns over a four-year span from 1995-98. In Super Bowl XXXII, the Boston College product hauled in four passes for 43 yards and found the end zone once in a 31-24 loss to the Broncos. Chmura, who scored on a 6-yard pass from Brett Favre in the second quarter, retired after playing just two games in the 1999 season.