There were three inherent dangers that came with making these rankings. First, the obvious reader disagreement with my rankings and the subsequent cries of “You’re a moron” and “This child is yours” that come with it. Second, the distraction of the themes and the argument that I’ve neglected this girl or that. With that, I feel true regret for some omissions, but I’m not Bill Simmons and I can’t assign a different female to every player listed, nor can I fellate myself. And third, I’ve exposed myself to my own
neighbors leagues and now my fellow fantasy owners know my draft strategies and the players that I’m targeting. Oh well, it’s their funeral, because I’m wrong 9 times out of 8.
But the show must go on, and today we are examining the endangered species of the worthwhile tight end. Through no obvious relation or even basic reasoning other than my newfound adoration of the WWE’s Maryse Ouellet, and with the help of Senor Stroud, I’ve chosen to compare tight ends to the ladies of professional wrestling. Perhaps in another season I’ll even go as far as to use the Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. Until then, the standard tight end rules apply:
– Don’t draft one too early.
– Don’t draft one too late.
– Don’t get sucked into the “run.”
– Don’t draft Jeremy Shockey. When will you learn?
Now let’s start the controversy.
The Maryse Ouellets
I should point out that when it comes to drafting tight ends, I hate the idea of drafting one in the third round. I’m not fond of drafting one in the fourth either. The only scenario that I could envision doing so is if I pull a top tier QB, RB and WR coup and want to solidify my core with a top TE. But that means that every domino has to fall just right. Regardless, someone always takes a tight end early, so these are the hottest of the bunch.
1) Antonio Gates – Through all of the years and all of the teams I’ve drafted, I’ve had Gates on my roster once. It was his breakout season and I grabbed him off waivers. I have never seen the point in drafting him in the late second or third round like everyone does when there are other WRs and RBs still available.
2) Jason Witten – Mr. Dependable, I guess. My league awards .5 points per reception so Witten is usually solid, even when he peels off a run of 7-catch, 61-yard game. But he’s also getting older and he has Martellus Bennett and John Phillips looking scrappy behind him.
3) Jermichael Finley – If he stayed healthy last season, Finley would have probably had a better season than most wide receivers. He’s talking some big game now that he’s healthy, and if he hadn’t been injured he would be my No. 1.
4) Dallas Clark – Before last season, Clark had never been a concern for injury. Two years ago he had a phenomenal season, too, but he’s also 32 now. Can he get back to an elite level this season or will last season’s wrist injury and surgery affect him enough that you’ll pass over him and take Jacob Tamme later on as a backup… *whispers* foreshadowing.
The Trish Stratuses
Don’t get me wrong, I would drive a Trish Stratus *rim shot, bicycle horn*. She was always great eye candy, and boy could she wrestle (and pillow fight), but she was always the overrated second fiddle to Torrie Wilson (and some could even argue Stacy Keibler, but I would turn up my nose at such a notion). These guys certainly have (and in one case had) the potential, but they’re just not at the top level.
5) Jimmy Graham – Big reach, right? I don’t care. I want to put Graham at No. 1 since he helped me win my lone fantasy title last season. He wasn’t a yard monster, but he had 4 TDs in his last 3 games, so he looks like he might have become a big end zone target for Drew Brees. If your TE gets you 6 or 7 points per week, then he’s doing his job.
6) Vernon Davis – Even with Braylon Edwards in town, Davis is still the best receiving option in San Francisco, but Alex Smith is terrible and Colin Kaepernick can’t be trusted. This is typically the guy that you’ll be forced to take if you get sucked into the TE run.
7) Tony Gonzalez – I still love T-Gon, but Atlanta has so many options on offense now that his TDs will be limited. His reception total last season was his lowest since 1998, and his YPG was under 10 for the first time in his career. Swan song draft pick.
8) Zach Miller – For two years I’ve drafted Zach Miller while thinking, “This guy could be so good” and for two years I’ve ended the season thinking, “Get this guy on another team ASAP.” Well, he’s on another team now and my thoughts won’t change.
The Kelly Kellys
I’m not too familiar with the modern WWE Divas, so I’m going to use Brandon’s perfectly stated analysis for this case: “Not great or even good, but popular so they get drafted all the time.” That heinie looks mighty popular.
9) Kellen Winslow – I don’t want to hear about two seasons ago. I took this turkey last season and suffered the whole way with 1 and 2 point performances. I got more success out of scouring the waiver wire each week, at least until late in the season when he came alive a little. Of course I say that now, but I’ll check back in after I take him in the 6th round.
10) Owen Daniels – Daniels looked really good during the last 4 games of last season, despite missing 5 games with an injury and sucking for the first 6 games of the season. I’m just not ready to believe that the guy who has missed 13 games over the last 2 seasons is not going to give me menstrual cramps this year.