Overvalued TEsRead the introduction to this series if you haven't yet.
|Jason Witten - DAL ADP: 72 overall, TE 7||5 votes|
Jeff Haseley - The spleen injury is one thing - a big thing. Another shot to the ribs could make things worse in a hurry. The team says he doesn't need surgery, which is good, but there's always that risk of re-injury. Is he healthy enough to play effectively or healthy enough just to play? In addition to injury risk, Witten could find himself in more of a pass protection role, if the offensive line continues to struggle. It all points to a decrease in production. I'm staying away.
Ryan Hester - Witten is coming off his worst statistical season since 2006 after notching just 79 receptions, 942 yards, and five touchdowns. Typically, when a nine-year veteran begins decline, it's difficult to turn around. Witten only received an average of 5.8 targets per game in the second half of 2011 -- a sharp decline from his 8.9 targets per game average in the first half. Witten will also continue to share the field with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, who will be ideally be healthier than last season where they both missed games and played with some injuries. I'd rather roll the dice with later picks like Jermichael Finley (59) and Brandon Pettigrew (73).
Aaron Rudnicki - The tight end position is very deep this year so you can likely afford to wait and find a decent starter late on draft day. Witten is an elite player when healthy but the spleen injury is a huge concern and could potentially end his season. Best to avoid him and look at someone in the next tier or two.
Mark Wimer - Witten suffered a serious (though not emergency-surgery-is-immediately-required) spleen injury in the second preseason game. Estimates of his required rehabilitation time range from 6-8 weeks, with knowledgable people I respect saying eight weeks is the more realistic number. He'll miss at least a third of the fantasy season in that scenario, and then Witten will be out of game shape and having missed a ton of reps with Tony Romo. I'd rather draft John Phillips this season, to be honest. Phillips is definitely the better play for the month of September, at least.
|Jared Cook - TEN ADP: 137 overall, TE 15||3 votes|
Matt Waldman - Mikhael Ricks and Ben Troupe were promising prospects at one time and I think Cook falls into this spectrum of players with enough athletic talent to do good things, but lacking the consistency to make the jump from role player to star. Craig Stevens is arguably the best blocking tight end in football, so Cook won't be playing in single tight end sets in clear running situations. And unless Kenny Britt gets hurt, he'll be behind Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Chris Johnson, and perhaps Damien Williams in the pecking order as a player split away from the formation. He's Titan-sized fantasy tease.
Jason Wood - I generally profess patience with tight ends. As rookies, even the best tight ends in history often struggled. But fool me thrice, shame on me. Cook has improved in each of his three seasons, but I haven't seen a level of consistency and discipline that gives me confidence he'll ever become a top tier player. There are far too many alternatives on draft day. While other people draft Cook as their starter, I'll be grabbing my TE2 who, I'm betting, will outperform Cook on a weekly basis.
|Vernon Davis - SF ADP: 57 overall, TE 5||2 votes|
Marc Levin - The issue with drafting Davis at his current ADP is not whether he might be able to match his 2011 numbers. Instead, it is that there has been a "rising of the waters" at the position. He can be counted on for around 70 catches, a little less than 1,000 yards, and 7, maybe 8, touchdowns. However, that is not going to be enough to distinguish him from the tight ends drafted a rounds to two rounds later (Brandon Pettigrew at 79th overall, Fred Davis at 84th overall, and Tony Gonzales at 92nd overall). For those hoping to land Davis as their starting tight end, he will need to be selected at the top of that tight end tier. If you can get similar production from a tight end selected two rounds later, Davis becomes an overvalued player.
|Jermichael Finley - GB ADP: 63 overall, TE 6||2 votes|
Mark Wimer - Finley dropped a lot of passes late in the year for Green Bay, and he seemed to lose Aaron Rodgers' confidence/trust as a result of his poor hands during the run into the playoffs. The team gave him what amounts to a one-year, prove-it type of contract in the offseason - hardly a big vote of confidence. He's missed most of training camp due to a quad injury and a concussion issue - not exactly a situation in which he can rebuild rapport with Rodgers. I'm passing on Finley in my fantasy drafts this year.
|Brandon Pettigrew - DET ADP: 83 overall, TE 8||2 votes|
Jeff Pasquino - Detroit had next to no running game last year once Jahvid Best was sidelined, so they turned to a short passing game to their tight end as a replacement for a ground attack. Matthew Stafford targeted Pettigrew a whopping 125 times, second most for any tight end last year - yet he was barely in the Top 12 in fantasy. Why? Under 10 yards per reception and just five touchdowns. Pettigrew is overrated, especially if the Lions get a ground game going this year.
|Jacob Tamme - DEN ADP: 105 overall, TE 11||2 votes|
Jason Wood - Tamme has one notable season to his name. In 2010 he caught 67 receptions for 631 yards and four touchdowns in place of an injured Dallas Clark. In his other three seasons he's caught 25 receptions. Yet, because he followed Peyton Manning to Denver, people are proclaiming Tamme a value pick. I'm just not seeing it. I think he's an average talent that was in the perfect place at the perfect time. Meanwhile, the TE position has evolved to where 50 receptions for 600 yards and 4 TDs would make him no more than a low end fantasy starter.
|Fred Davis - WAS ADP: 92 overall, TE 10||1 vote|
|Antonio Gates - SD ADP: 43 overall, TE 3||1 vote|