It is time for the Wednesday Top-10 … this week The Hazean takes a look at the tight end position.
To catch up, check out last week’s WTT.
WTT for July 11, 2007: Tight ends
Haze owners Marc Budyach and Blaine Clancy contributed to this week’s WTT. And here it is:
- Antonio Gates, Chargers — Budyach: Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind who the number one tight end in the league is? Even with LaDainian Tomlinson blowing up, Gates still manages 71 receptions for 924 yards and nine touchdowns last season. L.T.’s reception production is due to fall and Gates should reap the rewards.
- Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs — Clancy: Trent Green is out, Brodie Croyle is in, and Tony G is smiling all the way to the bank. Expect Gonzalez to rack up the receptions as Croyle looks for an easy dump pass throughout the season. However, at 31-years-old, Gonzo is a relic in the NFL. Even so, he should have another consistent year which is exactly what you need at the tight end position.
- Todd Heap, Ravens — McNeil: Heap is a quality tight end who is due to move up to the No. 2 spot in these rankings once Tony G’s time comes to an end. With Steve McNair at quarterback, Heap gets his fair share of opportunities to catch passes. He is oft-injured but reliable, choosing to play despite spending most of his time on injury reports last season.
- Jeremy Shockey, Giants — Budyach: Shockey is a tight end that can do it all. He can go over the middle, create a big play for himself or deliver a great block to spring a teammate. If he straighted out his head he could be up there with Gates as the best tight end in the league. As it stands now he is last of the elite tight ends.
- Kellen Winslow Jr., Browns — Clancy: You either hate him, or you love him, but there in no denying the talent. After being injured during his 2004 and 2005 seasons, Winslow has only had one full season (2006) as a pro so far. And how did he do? Well for starters, he was in the top three in receiving yards and he had the most receptions by a tight end in the entire NFL (89). Did I mention that the second most receptions for a tight end was 73? His only downside is that he doesn’t have the touchdowns to go with his other stats. But make no mistake, this guy gets open, and he gets open often. It will only be a matter of time before he starts finding the endzone. This year, Kellen is going to make daddy proud.
- Alge Crumpler, Falcons — McNeil: Crump has been Michael Vick’s favorite target for years and this is not likely to change this year. He is the only receiver on Atlanta’s roster who catches the ball consistently. A healthy Joe Horn at receiver could benefit Crumpler by taking some of the pressure off him in the passing game. If Vick plays this year (see: dog fighting), it should be another successful campaign for Crumpler.
- Jason Witten, Cowboys — Budyach: Witten’s production was down from previous years, but he still is a great
tight end with tremedous upside. Toward the end of the season, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was looking for his
big tight end more. Witten should develop more chemistry with Romo this year. Look for him to bounce back with more clutch catches and more touchdowns.
- Vernon Davis, 49ers — Clancy: Davis was injured early on in his rookie season, but looks to bounce back in 2007. At 6-foot-3 with blazing speed (4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash), Davis has all the tools to put him amongst the elite in the fantasy world. With a top-5 runningback in Frank Gore and an improving quarterback in Alex Smith, this San Fran offense could score often this season. Davis should be a direct beneficiary.
- Chris Cooley, Redskins — McNeil: Cooley started slow last season and did not breakout as many fantasy experts projected. But he is developing chemistry with young quarterback Jason Campbell and both players should improve this season. Cooley is an above-average pass catcher and should see a lot of opportunities this season. If he starts the season strong, this could be his breakout campaign.
- LJ Smith, Eagles — Budyach: Smith is a solid choice for a late-round tight end. He is sure to get you around 600 yards receiving and five touchdowns. With McNabb coming back from injury he will have to rely on his tight end a little more, increasing Smith’s numbers.