Fantasy week: Ranking the tight ends

June, 28, 2012
6/28/12
3:33
PM ET
We've looked at the quarterbacks, the running backs and the wide receivers at various times during fantasy week, so let's close out the offensive positions with a look at the way our fantasy experts have ranked the division's tight ends heading into this fantasy season:

5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

9. Fred Davis, Washington Redskins

14. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles

17. Martellus Bennett, Giants

38. Chris Cooley, Redskins

48. John Phillips, Cowboys

51. Clay Harbor, Eagles

54. Adrien Robinson, New York Giants

66. Travis Beckum, Giants
  • I believe Davis has the ability to overtake Witten and move into the top five of fantasy tight ends at some point this year. But it remains to be seen which receiving options will click with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, and Davis hasn't been a top fantasy option as long as Witten has, so Witten belongs as the No. 1 fantasy tight end in the NFC East. I personally think Witten will have a better fantasy year this year than he did last year, since I think he stands to add more red-zone opportunities with Laurent Robinson out of the picture. I know some of you feel those will go to Dez Bryant, but trust is trust, and Tony Romo has trusted Witten for a long time.
  • According to this list, Celek and Bennett do not rate as starting options in 12-team leagues. I think Celek has a chance to move into the top 10 based on the way Michael Vick has enjoyed him as a receiving option in the second halves of each of the past two seasons, but we have to wait and see how much blocking he's going to be asked to do early.
  • Bennett could be a nice weapon as Eli Manning's tight end, but he's going to have to be more reliable running routes and catching the ball than he was in Dallas, or else he'll be strictly a blocker and Manning will throw to his receivers and his backs. Beckum isn't likely to be healthy for the start of the season, and Robinson was drafted as a project. So I'd keep an eye on Bennett and Robinson as possible options that could emerge during the season, but at the start and in drafts I'd stay away from Giants tight ends.
  • We've talked a lot about whether Cooley even makes the Redskins, given his health and contract issues. Niles Paul looms as a potentially valuable fantasy option if he can replace Cooley and develop quickly in his new position. It sounds as though the Redskins' coaches are eager to use him as a receiving weapon. But Davis is the one and only Washington tight end to have in fantasy.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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