With fantasy football drafts just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the top 10 tight ends for the 2013 season. Right when it looks like the tight end position is getting deeper and easier to fill, a couple of big names now have huge question marks or are out of the league. This leaves Jimmy Graham as the only safe bet for the early rounds and the easy pick for the top spot in our tight end rankings.
1. Jimmy Graham
At this point of the preseason Jimmy Graham is the only safe early round pick at tight end. He stormed onto the scene a couple of years ago and he continues to the best fantasy tight end in the league. He is a defenses worst nightmare and when you combine his talent with Drew Brees and the Saints offense, then you have a deadly combo. I see no reason why he will not be the best tight end again in 2013 and I still think he is worthy of a draft pick in the second or third round.
2. Rob Gronkowski
As of now we have Gronkowski ranked as our second tight end, but that can change if he has any setbacks with his arm or back injuries. Once he is healthy Gronk is going to be looked at by Brady early and often and he could have a monster year. You will have to pay close attention to his injury status during the preseason and draft accordingly, but even if he does appear that he will be ready for Week 1 he might still slip a little bit in most drafts because of his injury question marks. This could make Gronk a nice value on draft day if he does in fact heal fast enough to be ready for the season.
3. Jason Witten
Witten continues to put up solid numbers year after year and he is coming off of one of his best years ever. While his touchdowns were down he had a career high 110 catches and he was over 1,000 receiving yards. Even though Witten is now 31 years old he has only missed one game during his career and there is no reason to think he can’t have another solid season. The Cowboys should have a solid year on the offensive side of the ball and I think Witten should be a big part of their success.
4. Tony Gonzalez
It’s scary to think about drafting a tight end that’s 37 years old, but Gonzalez has been unbelievably durable during his career. He has only missed a couple games since 1997 and this is probably his last year, so I think he will leave it all out there and try to go out on top. With Julio and Roddy getting all of the attention this leaves Gonzalez with a ton of single coverage and as long as the old man can stay healthy then he should have another good fantasy season.
5. Dennis Pitta
I am excited to see what Pitta is able to do this year because I think the Ravens are going to look his way a lot more in 2013. With Boldin out of the picture I think they are going to have to find more ways to get the ball into the hands of Pitta. I think this young tight end out of BYU has elite fantasy tight end potential and he should see career numbers across the board. Injury update – Dennis Pitta is expected to be out for the season with a hip injury.
6. Brandon Myers
Myers had a solid year with the Raiders in 2012 and I think he has the potential to do even better with the Giants. He hauled in 79 balls last year and now that he is on a better offense he should have more touchdown potential. Another thing to consider with Myers is if you are in a PPR league, because he could be top 3 this year with tight ends when it comes to receptions.
7. Greg Olsen
After so many years of Olsen just being an average fantasy tight end I was beginning to wonder if he would ever have a great fantasy season. His move to Carolina though has treated him well and last year he set career highs in catches and yards. He quickly became one of Newton’s favorite targets and I see no reason why he can’t at least match his numbers from a year ago.
8. Kyle Rudolph
With Percy Harvin gone the Vikings are going to have to look elsewhere when it comes to moving the ball through the air. Greg Jennings is now in a Viking uniform as well, but I don’t think he will get as many targets as Harvin did. This should leave some extra passes to go around and I think Rudolph will be the beneficiary. Rudolph continues to improve and I think it’s possible that he could even be a top 5 tight end this year since he is such a talented player. The only negative with Rudolph is that he doesn’t have that great of a quarterback, but I think Ponder will be better this year as well.
9. Vernon Davis
It’s easy to look at what Davis did in the playoffs and assume he will pick up right where he left off, but we think you should be very careful with him on draft day. The 49ers don’t use him consistently on their offense and if you need proof then take a look at what he did during the last 6 games of the regular season in 2012. It’s impossible to deny his talent, but until San Francisco is ready to make him a more consistent part of that offense I don’t think you can rank him any higher.
10. Owen Daniels
At this point in his career you shouldn’t expect much from Daniels, but he still has the potential for a solid fantasy season. The Texans added DeAndre Hopkins to their offensive weapons and on paper they have one of the better offenses in the league. Defenses are going to have a hard time covering everyone and this could mean a lot of single coverage for Daniels.