All this week the Washington Post will be rolling out its fantasy football rankings by position, including the top 30 tight ends. Here are the best and worst TE values for the upcoming season.
Miller made 33 catches during the regular season for 387 yards and five touchdowns. While not impressive when compared with other options at the position, he was targeted 10 times in the red zone last season by Russell Wilson and caught six of those. Five were touchdowns.
Miller is also facing the fourth-softest schedule of fantasy points allowed to tight ends, so there is some upside.
Allen, who played just one game (32 snaps) last season before suffering a season-ending hip injury, is another tight end who benefits from a soft fantasy football schedule (ninth-most projected points against). That will allow him to build on a 2012 campaign in which he caught 45 passes for 521 yards and three touchdowns. He was also the second highest rated tight end according to Pro Football Focus that year, showing that a projection of 530 yards and five touchdowns may not be far off the mark.
Green caught 17 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns playing behind Antonio Gates last year, with a majority of that production coming in the final seven games of the season. Plus, playing in a pass-happy offense (Philip Rivers has 500 or more passing attempts in each of the past four seasons) means there will be plenty of opportunities to make plays.
The 6-foot-4 rookie out of California appears to have the inside track at the starting position for the Green Bay Packers, but will face competition from Brandon Bostick. But first, Rodgers’s blocking skills will need to catch up with his receiving skills. Until then, his 107-yard, one touchdown projection isn’t enough to crack any starting roster.
Fauria had seven touchdowns and averaged 11.5 yards per catch last season, his first, but that didn’t stop the Lions from using a first-round pick on Eric Ebron this year.
“He’s a difference maker,” Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew said of Ebron. “I think you’ll see that when he starts playing. I mean, this guy is a play-maker. He’s a matchup nightmare as a tight end. He gives us something down the field. He’s a route runner.”
That’s where Fauria fell short last season. He averaged just 1.2 yards per route run, 38th among the 46 tight ends with at least as many targets as he had (30).
Fleener caught 52 passes for 608 yards and four scores last season, but a healthy Dwayne Allen (see above) will likely regulate him to blocking duty.
Pagano says Fleener/Allen will interchange at TE. Will ask Fleener to block more: “We’re going to ask him to do some of the heavy lifting”
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 25, 2014
Unless Allen suffers another setback, Fleener doesn’t appear to offer much impact.