Graham is the consensus # 1 tight end among fantasy footballers. I'm with the consensus.
I thought the addition of Gavin Escobar would eat into his targets but he has been a huge disappointment so far. Witten put up ridiculous receiving numbers last year (110 receptions for 1039 yards) but only got in the end zone 3 times. He should do better than that this year as teams continue to focus on Dez Bryant.
3. Vernon Davis - San Francisco Forty Niners
Davis had a nice year in 2012 with 41 receptions for 548 yards and 5 touchdowns. His numbers should be even better this year as he and Kaepernick continue to create chemistry together.
4. Tony Gonzalez - Atlanta Falcons
You could move Gonzalez up a spot or two and I wouldn't complain. I don't care how old he is the guy still has it. In 2012 he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The injury situation is concerning but he is back on the field with his rehab work so that's a good sign. Despite the injury concern, in only 11 games last year Gronk put up good numbers with 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Sure I will put Finley here at #6 but I will also never forget the years he broke my fantasy football heart. The last two years Finley proved to be a decent fantasy option though 2012 was a bit of a disappointment with 61 receptions for 667 yards but only 2 touchdowns. In 2011 he had 55 receptions for 767 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Rudolph caught 53 passes for 493 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2012 and looks to be Christian Ponder's safety valve again. I think you can safely bank on him putting up equal or possibly even better numbers in that all so important third year.
The Panthers offense is a mess right but they still have time to right the ship. The running game is still a concern but Olsen caught 69 passes for 843 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2012 and was Cam Newton's favorite target.
Daniels has had a solid preseason after posting 62 receptions for 716 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2012. No reason to believe he will deviate from those numbers in 2013.
From all appearances Bennett has had a good offseason since joining the Bears yet through 2 preseason games hasn't had a single target. Last year with the Giants, and his only year there, he caught 55 passes for 626 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cutler loves to throw to tight ends especially in the end zone so he should see plenty of attention when the season starts.
11. Jared Cook - St. Louis Rams
The word out of St. Louis is all positive for Jared Cook so maybe he will finally get past that hump that was so hard for him with the Titans. Cook caught 44 passes for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns in his contract year for the Titans.
I like Cameron and agree with everyone who thinks he could be an up and coming young player. I simply don't want to be in the position of having to root for the Browns offense to be great.
He is as deserving of this spot as anyone but I wouldn't touch a Chargers skill player with a ten foot pole. In 2012, Gates caught 49 passes for 538 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Davis appears to be recovered from his Achilles injury that cut his 2012 season short. Before going down, Davis looked good and was a favorite target of RG3. He is once again on track to be his favorite target in 2013.
15. Brandon Myers - New York Giants
In his last year with the Raiders, Myers caught 79 passes for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns. Now with the Giants, he and Eli Manning are still working on making a connection but once they get comfortable Myers could easily match the numbers he put up with the Raiders.
I projected Delanie's numbers to be about equal to Jared Cook's in his last year with the Titans and certainly they could be better as he will be an every down tight end unlike his predecessor. Walker is ready to play in the final preseason game but the Titans may hold him out. He should be on the field to start the season against Pittsburgh.
17. Ed Dickson - Baltimore Ravens
Some may think I have Myers too high but with the loss of Anquan Boldin to San Francisco and the loss of Dennis PItta to injury. Dickson has been out with a slight tear in his right hammy but is expected to be ready for the start of the season. Expect him to be targeted a lot in 2013. In 2011, before Dennis Pitta broke out, he had 54 receptions for 528 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Gresham could lose playing time to rookie tight end Tyler Eifert who lands on 22 on this list but could still be a decent fantasy option. Gresham is sure to begin the season as the starter but Eifert is clearly going to be in the mix as well and may have more upside. A contract year could help his numbers as he has been inconsistent in the past. In 2012 he caught 64 passes for 737 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Coby Fleener has been a media darling but is untrustworthy in my opinion. Allen has been sidelined with an ankle but appears he will be ready to start the season. Fleener is coming off a concussion and an ankle sprain and an inconsistent offseason where he dropped some passes. In his rookie season, Allen caught 45 passes for 521 yards and 3 touchdowns.
20. Mercedes Lewis - Jacksonville Jaguars
Blaine Gabbert is going to be the starter which is a bit of a concern but Lewis caught 52 passes for 540 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2012. A mismatch when he is used properly, Lewis could fill the void left with the 4 game suspension for Justin Blackmon.
21. Zach Miller - Seattle Seahawks
In 2012, Miller caught 38 passes for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is projected to exceed that production though not by much. He should be able to catch another touchdown pass or two.
Rookie tight end Travis Kelce has battled a minor injury and inconsistencies during the offseason and now the Chiefs lost Tony Moeaki for the season with a fractured shoulder. Expect Fasano to be on the field the most and likely get the majority of the redzone targets. Fasano had 41 receptions for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns last year in his final year in Miami.
23. Tyler Eifert - Cincinnati Bengals
Rookie Tyler Eifert is already creating a bit of a buzz without even playing a snap in the regular season. It's hard to see him being a good option early on but he should be a guy you keep an eye on depending on how your tight end situation pans out. He could come on strong toward the end of the year.
24. Coby Fleener - Indianapolis Colts
As I already mentioned, Fleener gets a lot of love but I really don't trust him yet. He is slowed at them moment with a concussion and a knee sprain and has dropped a few balls. Buyer beware on the Colts second year tight end who finished 2012 with 26 receptions for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns.
25. Zach Sudfield - New England Patriots
Sudfield is another guy who is getting a lot of attention right now I'm just not sure he is going to be as valuable for the Patriots as we would like to think. The Gronk is already practicing albeit on his own right now but the progress is unmistakable. While Gronk has some injury concerns, so does Sudfield though his size and measurables are impressive. The question is whether he will be a consistent fantasy contributor throughout the year and I have my doubts. Could be okay on a short term loaner basis at the start of the season.