1. Antonio Gates, SD | Age: 28.3 | Value Score: 98
When healthy, he's been a tier unto himself among tight ends. Chargers offense could have a tough time working out the cobwebs early with so many key components returning from injury.
2. Jason Witten, DAL | Age: 26.4 | Value Score: 97
A great bet to stay heavily involved in the offense, if not quite as impressively as in '07.
3. Kellen Winslow II, CLE | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 95
Similar to Frank Gore in that many believe he will age quickly due to the seriousness of past leg injuries, but that's mere speculation for now and he's producing like a stud.
4. Chris Cooley, WAS | Age: 26.2 | Value Score: 85
How will he produce in the West Coast offense with a new head coach? He's a terrific red zone weapon, and a consistent bet for 65-70 receptions and 750 yards.
5. Tony Scheffler, DEN | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 82
Young, athletic Heap clone as a receiver benefits from an obvious rapport with Cutler and stands to build on outstanding second half numbers.
6. Tony Gonzalez, KC | Age: 32.5 | Value Score: 79
Hasn't slowed down yet, but turns 33 during the season and has major QB issues.
7. #Jeremy Shockey, NO | Age: 28.1 | Value Score: 77
There's a definite injury factor here, but it's going to be interesting to see him in a high-powered Saints offense.
8. Todd Heap, BAL | Age: 28.5 | Value Score: 76
One of the best buy-lows of the off-season at any position; even with putrid QB play, Heap has been a difference maker when healthy.
9. #Dallas Clark, IND | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 69
Long-term contract offers very good dynasty value in Colts offense; will he be used as heavily as he was last season, or was that a one-year aberration?
10. Greg Olsen, CHI | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 67
Showed promise on that 1st round talent, but he worked much better with Griese and Desmond Clark re-signed to bleed value from Olsen.
11. Zach Miller, OAK | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 66
One of the few bright spots in the Raiders offense, he had rookie teammate JaMarcus Russell's attention when the two of them played together in Weeks 16 & 17.
12. Vernon Davis, SF | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 65
Kept up statistically with guys like Heath Miller & Jeremy Shockey over the second half of '07 and offers much more upside. Huge risk, huge reward in Martz's offense. Wouldn't surprise if he's elite by season's end, nor would it surprise if he's firmly enconced in the doghouse.
13. Heath Miller, PIT | Age: 25.9 | Value Score: 65
Great red zone option and very good in the open field, but he just doesn't see consistent enough targets to move to the next level.
14. Owen Daniels, HOU | Age: 25.8 | Value Score: 65
A major component of the Texans passing attack, but he needs to be more involved in the red zone game plan.
15. Dustin Keller, NYJ | Age: 23.9 | Value Score: 55
When the local writers are already calling a player "generally unstoppable" early in his first training camp, then it's time to target that player.
16. #Ben Watson, NE | Age: 27.7 | Value Score: 50
Running out of time to make good on that tremendous promise. Very good big-play ability, and a nice red zone target, but his poor hands often leave him without the trust of his QB.
17. John Carlson, SEA | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 44
18. Anthony Fasano, MIA | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 43
Finally a shot to start in Miami, but how good is he really? And will the Dolphins offense put up any points this season?
19. Donald Lee, GB | Age: 28.0 | Value Score: 38
2007 is flashing "career year" in bright neon lights, especially with Rodgers taking over for Favre.
20. Randy McMichael, STL | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 35
New OC Al Saunders vows to put the ball in McMichael's hands.
21. L.J. Smith, PHI | Age: 28.4 | Value Score: 35
Could bounce back in '08, but not much security here if he doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Eagles.
22. Alge Crumpler, ATL | Age: 30.7 | Value Score: 26
Becomes the safety valve for another subpar passer, but he was always able to take that and make it valuable with Vick.
23. Marcedes Lewis, JAX | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 26
Not heavily involved in the Jags offense, but expecting steady, continued improvement isn't unreasonable; came on strong down the stretch and in the playoffs.
24. Dante Rosario, CAR | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 25
25. Ben Utecht, CIN | Age: 27.2 | Value Score: 23
TE2 possibility as easily the best receiving tight end of the Carson Palmer/Marvin Lewis era Bengals. Some are expecting him to be used as Palmer's version of Dallas Clark, but he's not that talented and the Bengals don't use their tight ends as much as the Colts do.
26. Kevin Boss, NYG | Age: 24.7 | Value Score: 18
Impressed as a receiver in the Giants' playoff run, and now he should have the starting gig to himself with Shockey finally dealt.
27. Martellus Bennett, DAL | Age: 21.5 | Value Score: 15
28. Fred Davis, WAS | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 15
29. Jacob Tamme, IND | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 15
30. Dave Thomas, NE | Age: 25.2 | Value Score: 10
Nice sleeper stash if Watson's hands continue to leave doubts about hs game.
31. Ben Patrick, ARI | Age: 24.1 | Value Score: 10
32. Alex Smith, TB | Age: 26.3 | Value Score: 9
Talented but always left his NFL team and his fantasy owners wanting more; now in a dogfight with Troupe for his job.
33. Delanie Walker, SF | Age: 24.1 | Value Score: 8
34. Desmond Clark, CHI | Age: 31.4 | Value Score: 7
Still putting up interesting numbers, but he's already 31-years-old with Olsen hot on his heels for the starting job while siphoning production in the meantime.
35. Leonard Pope, ARI | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 7
36. Jerramy Stevens, TB | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 6
37. Chris Baker, NYJ | Age: 28.8 | Value Score: 6
38. Jeff King, CAR | Age: 24.5 | Value Score: 6
You just saw his career year as the Panthers move to an offense requiring a more physical tight end.
39. #Martin Rucker, CLE | Age: 23.3 | Value Score: 6
40. Brad Cottam, KC | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 4
41. Jermichael Finley, GB | Age: 21.5 | Value Score: 3
42. Brent Celek, PHI | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 3
43. Gary Barnidge, CAR | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 3
44. #Derek Schouman, BUF | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 2
45. Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN | Age: 28.3 | Value Score: 2
46. #Derek Fine, BUF | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 2
47. Joe Klopfenstein, STL | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 2
48. Ben Troupe, OAK | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 2
Thursday, September 25, 2008