TE Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
HT: 6-4, WT: 244, Born: 2-27-1976, College: California, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 13
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Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full ADP list]Overall: E Decker (54), P Garcon (55), Tony Gonzalez (56), D Amendola (57), M Wallace (58)
Position: A Hernandez (45-TE3), J Witten (52-TE4), Tony Gonzalez (56 - TE5), V Davis (72-TE6), D Pitta (83-TE7)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: M Ryan (53), E Decker (54), Tony Gonzalez (55), P Garcon (56), M Wallace (57)
Position: A Hernandez (40-TE3), J Witten (41-TE4), Tony Gonzalez (55 - TE5), V Davis (68-TE6), D Pitta (82-TE7)
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Tony Gonzalez had another fine season for the Falcons last year, with 131 targets for 93/930/8 receiving, finishing as the third-best fantasy tight end in the league. He is a lock to be the starter at tight end for the Falcons, who are in 'Win Now' mode. The Falcons, who advanced to the NFC championship last year, managed to convince Gonzalez to delay his retirement for one more year this past offseason - he'll once again be Matt Ryan's security blanket/outlet receiver during 2013. Gonzalez has been among the top-five fantasy tight ends during three of his four seasons in Atlanta, with an eighth-place finish during 2010, and he hasn't missed a game for the Falcons during his four years in town. Gonzalez is one of the most consistent fantasy tight ends in history, finishing out of the top-ten among fantasy recievers once in his entire 16-year career (during 1997, his rookie season), and has racked up 1,242 receptions for 14,268 yards receiving and 103 TDs to date. Gonzalez has missed two regular-season games during a span of 256 possible appearances (he's played in 254 regular-season games). He's a very reliable fantasy tight end with low risk.
Latest NewsFalcons | Tony Gonzalez allowed to skip minicamp (Fri Jun 14, 02:26 PM) - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith said TE Tony Gonzalez has been excused from participating in the team's mandatory minicamp next week. Our View: No concern here. The future Hall of Fame TE is a seasoned veteran and doesn't need every single rep in camp.
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|1||at New Orleans Saints|
|2||St. Louis Rams|
|3||at Miami Dolphins|
|4||New England Patriots|
|5||New York Jets|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|8||at Arizona Cardinals|
|9||at Carolina Panthers|
|11||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||New Orleans Saints|
|13||at Buffalo Bills|
|14||at Green Bay Packers|
|16||at San Francisco 49ers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - In what should be his last game at Arrowhead stadium, Tony Gonzalez still looked like an elite tight end, especially in the red zone. Gonzalez was very good at finding the spot just under the zone coverage and sitting down and waiting. He had trouble getting separation on routes down the field, including his touchdown catch which was just a perfect pass from Ryan.
Week 2 - Gonzalez played a major role during the first three quarters of the game before the Broncos' defense tightened up on him. Gonzalez showed off everything about his game that makes him a certain hall-of-fame tight end. The accuracy of his route running allowed him to repeatedly run away from defenders, while his intelligence let him consistently find soft spots over the middle of any zone coverage. What is often overlooked about Gonzalez however, is his athleticism that still makes him a matchup problem for defenders. None of the Broncos' linebackers or safeties could stick with him in the open field. Gonzalez's first reception came when he beat Mike Adams in single coverage with his speed over the middle. He then dropped an open slant pass because he was trying to avoid a hit from an incoming safety. A second drop immediately followed that one as he couldn't come up with a pass in traffic, but from then on he was perfect. Again beating Adams, Gonzalez found space between he and Joe Mays for another reception over the middle. Gonzalez repeatedly found pockets of space which forced the Broncos to alter their approach to defending him. Gonzalez simply couldn't be covered. It was especially difficult to cover him on his touchdown reception. The Falcons were on the one yard line. After the Broncos bought a play-action fake to Turner, Gonzalez was wide open at the back of the endzone. A routine play for a veteran who was playing with the exuberance and athleticism of a rookie.
Week 3 - The ageless tight end had another game for the ages. The stats might not pop off of the page, but when you consider that almost all of his damage was done in the first half it becomes that much more impressive. After continuing his streak with at least one reception to 182 consecutive games, he never let up and eventually added eight more. San Diego simply had no answers for him. His touchdown was a classic Gonzalez score, turning around for a quick stop near the end zone and snagging the ball from amongst a group of three defenders. After the catch, he quickly turned upfield and dove in for the score. In the second half, he made a great grab stretching out in traffic and displaying the hands that have made him the game’s best pass-catching tight end in history. It was especially noticeable on a day when his closest competition, San Diego’s Antonio Gates, had a very underwhelming performance that included a bad dropped pass.
Week 4 - Tony Gonzalez did not produce any dynamic plays like his best days, but he was a thorn in the side of the Panthers’ defense throughout. He and his quarterback showed great timing and rhythm throughout the game on hitch routes, out routes and anything over the middle of the field. Gonzalez seemed to make Panthers miss tackles on every catch. On what was a quieter game from Gonzalez, he still looked sprightly and every bit a top-10 tight end in this league.
Week 5 - Now in his sixteenth NFL season, the question should not be “When should Tony Gonzalez retire?” In fact, the question instead should be “Should Tony Gonzalez ever retire?” The greatest tight end in NFL history continued to pad his Hall of Fame resume against the exploitable Redskins secondary. Matt Ryan peppered Gonzalez with targets like he was a steak on the grill, and Gonzalez led all Falcons in receiving yardage with one hundred and twenty-three yards. One of his thirteen receptions went for a one-yard touchdown. Gonzalez camped out underneath the Redskins’ secondary all afternoon, taking short passes from Ryan and generating yards after the catch. Gonzalez’s basketball pedigree was on display against the Redskins, as he boxed out defenders like a center trying to grab a board. The Redskins secondary simply had no hope of stopping Gonzalez, who routinely shook multiple tackles and carried defenders with him for extra yards. At 36, the veteran tight end is arguably having the best season of his career through five weeks of play.
Week 6 - Tony Gonzalez had a quiet day by his standards, finishing with 4 catches for 42 yards. He had 8 targets on the day, and his numbers don't look atrocious simply because he was the main man on the Falcons' game winning drive, as he caught Ryan's final 2 passes for 23 total yards to set up the field goal. As with most weeks, Gonzalez didn't run many routes beyond roughly 10 yards downfield, since he tends to operate as Ryan's safety valve. Gonzalez also wasn't open as much as one would expect, so credit goes to the safeties and linebackers covering him on the day.
Week 8 - Like Roddy White – and all Falcons not named Julio Jones – Gonzalez had a quiet day on the road against the Eagles. The future Hall of Famer caught three passes for twenty-nine yards, providing quarterback Matt Ryan with a sure-handed option on short and intermediate pass plays. Gonzalez will have better days in the air-conditioned comfort of the Georgia Dome or in situations where the Falcons are playing from behind, although those seem to be increasingly rare as the season progresses.
Week 9 - Gonzalez primarily ran short curls to the left and slants across the middle of the field against the Cowboys. While his final statline was paltry (4 receptions for 36 yards) his presence in the middle of the field kept the Dallas linebackers from crowding the line of scrimmage when the Falcons chose to run the ball. Gonzalez was also a devastating blocker in the running game, helping contain Demarcus Ware on rushes to the outside and on screen passes to Jacquizz Rodgers. With the Falcons having so much success on downfield throws to the outside, Gonzalez was used primarily as an outlet receiver or a a quick option when Matt Ryan was under duress. His best catch came on a 12 yard reception to the middle of the field. Despite drawing a contact penalty against Brandon Carr, Gonzalzs was able to haul in the pass for a first down to put the Falcons in position to kick a field goal right before halftime.
Week 10 - Tony Gonzalez’s talk of retirement seems categorically silly. The sixteen-year veteran continues to play at an All Pro-level, and absolutely demolished the Saints secondary in Week 10. Leading all Falcons in receptions with eleven, receiving yards with one hundred and twenty-two, and targets, with fifteen, Gonzalez camped underneath the pillow-soft zone coverage of an already-exploitable New Orleans defense. The tight end is without a doubt Matt Ryan’s most trusted receiver, as Ryan looked Gonzalez’s way on multiple end zone passes, connecting twice – once from two yards out, and once from six yards out. Gonzalez’s second touchdown of the day, and one hundred and first of his career, came in the face of double press coverage – yet Gonzalez was able to control the ball for a touchdown. Scoring plays aside, the veteran tight end was thoroughly impressive in helping the Falcons moved the chains, as he always seemed to be open on short and intermediate routes for quarterback Matt Ryan. Gonzalez, did, however, drop a critical fourth-and-one out route pass from Ryan with under thirty seconds to go, sealing the win for the Saints.
Week 11 - Tony Gonzalez came up only a few times in the stat sheet on Sunday as the Cardinals did an excellent job of limiting the Falcons offense. Gonzalez still got his targets but Arizona forced many Atlanta turnovers which greatly reduced the offense production for the entire Falcon passing game. Gonzalez caught a quick out pattern and got open on a deep curl route on third down which proved to be a big conversion for his team. Gonzalez made a terrific grab as he leapt high for the ball in the redzone and was very unlucky not to score as he was tackled just 1 yard short of the goal line. Gonzalez’s fantasy day would have been very respectable had he scored but the fewer completions and red zone attempts due to turnovers left the Falcons too few opportunities for every player to be productive on Sunday. Gonzalez has shown all year long he hasn’t missed much in terms of speed and dominance over the middle of the field but Ryan frequently gets locked into his WR’s on the outside and can sometimes forget about Gonzalez over the middle.
Week 12 - Gonzalez' first reception was a quick curl route over the middle as he caught the ball infront of a defender before evading him to gain eight yards. An excellent pump fake from Matt Ryan opened up space for Gonzalez over the middle for a 20 yard gain. Gonzalez was wide open after multiple defenders bought on the fake to Rodgers in the flat. A few plays later, Gonzalez beat Ronde Barber across the middle for another 15 yards and a first down. Gonzalez didn't catch another pass until the fourth quarter, when he bailed out the offense on a third and seven with an easy reception over the middle. Gonzalez' final reception went for four yards on third and 18 with just a minute left in the game.
Week 13 - Gonzalez' first reception only went for eight yards, but his work back to the football was outstanding to get ahead of Malcolm Jenkins who was about to intercept the pass. Gonzalez made another amazing reception with a defender in great coverage for the Falcons' second touchdown. Gonzalez highpointed the football and caught it directly over Curtis Lofton's head. After making an outstanding reception in the endzone, Gonzalez couldn't catch a slightly high pass from Ryan open underneath on second and eight. Not until the third quarter did Gonzalez catch another pass, as he found a vast wasteland of space in the middle of the Saints secondary in front of the safeties. The tight end's fourth reception of the day came against a busted coverage wide open in the flat for 10 yards.
Week 14 - With limited opportunity due to Carolina’s dominance in time of possession, Gonzalez caught only one pass in the first half. Atlanta was forced into two-minute mode for most of the second half as well, as they trailed for the entire game. Gonzalez still showed off his excellent route-running ability on many occasions, including a lightning-quick break out of his seam route to fool rookie Luke Kuechly. Most of Gonzalez’ catches were short and within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, but he proved a reliable target for Matt Ryan as usual. The game script was simply not there for him to produce more.
Week 15 - Tony Gonzalez played his part well on Sunday and looked as fresh/physical as ever against the Giants. Gonzalez was used in the typical role, working the middle of the field and being an excellent chain mover for QB Ryan. Gonzalez was given option routes, ran physical after the catch and was aware of the first down marker in order to ensure the Falcons stayed on the field. Gonzalez’ touchdown came on a post route in the endzone. Gonzalez got a soft release into his route, beat his man inside and leapt up high to grab a perfectly placed pass from QB Ryan for the score. Gonzalez showed a little power as he stiff armed a defender on his over the first down line to move the chains on a curl route. Gonzalez can’t burn defenders with his speed but he showed he has enough quickness and a physicality to rival anyone that tries to cover him, despite his age.
Week 16 - Detroit blanketed Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who is having best season as a Falcon, was unable to find any open space. However, Gonzalez’s lone reception resulted in a critical, third quarter first down. On a 3rd-and-6 play from Detroit’s 23-yard line, Gonzalez leaked out into the flat, caught the pass, and accelerated up field for nine yards. Gonzalez’s third down conversion led to Michael Palmer’s one-yard touchdown catch.
Week 17 - Gonzalez has been one of the biggest surprises at the tight end position all season. Approaching 40 years old and in likely his final season, Gonzalez finishes with a ho-hum 41-yard performance against one of the best passing matchups in Tampa Bay. Gonzalez was once-again Matt Ryan’s safety blanket in passing game. While the pair connected against tight coverage and against the blitz early in the game, that chemistry did not continue in the second half. Ryan airmailed a red zone pass in Gonzalez’ direction against tight coverage, marking the tight end’s best chance for a touchdown. Atlanta’s last gasp came on a fourth down target to Gonzalez down the seam with two minutes to play. The defensive back closed on the pass quickly, giving Gonzalez little chance to make what would have been his best catch of the game.
Week 19 - The NFL’s greatest tight end turned in another solid line, catching six passes for fifty-one yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks’ defense had no solution for the Hall of Fame tight end, who caught six of his seven targets, often in heavy traffic with defenders on top of his back or attempting to wrest the ball from his hands. Gonzalez had two of Atlanta’s most crucial receptions against Seattle, one a one-yard touchdown on a crossing route in the back of the end zone – a reception in which he made sure to keep his feet in-bounds to complete the catch – and the other a nineteen-yard reception on a seam route that set up Matt Bryant’s game-winning field goal. Gonzalez was also the intended target on a first quarter interception by Matt Ryan, on a pass Ryan threw due to pressure from the Seattle pass rush. Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner easily picked off the floated pass, which was far closer to Wagner than it was to Gonzalez. The tears Gonzalez shed after his first playoff victory were heartwarming, but it is not over for him yet, as he has chance to shine against a 49ers defense that is not impervious to the tight end position, when the Falcons host San Francisco at home next week.
Week 20 - In what could have been Gonzalez’s final NFL game, he did not want to go quietly. With his signature savvy route running and elite hands, he owned the short area of the field versus the San Francisco linebackers and safeties. One of his highlight plays came to finish off the two-minute drill in the first half. Gonzalez faked a block on a linebacker as if it were a receiver screen, only to loop past him and find the end zone for the touchdown. The timing and execution between Gonzalez and Matt Ryan was absolutely perfect to take the 24-14 lead into the half. As the 49ers controlled the clock in the second half, Gonzalez’s impact on the game waned. As the camera focused on Tony Gonzalez as the time ran out on Atlanta’s Super Bowl hopes, one had to wonder if that was indeed his final game. His 2012 season was arguably his best in Atlanta and they were just a handful of yards away from a potential game-winning score late in the game.