Tight end rankings for 2009

Here are my tight end rankings for this season. You can check out the other cheat sheets here.

  1. Jason Witten, DAL – With T.O. distractions out of the way, the Romo-to-Witten connection should be better than ever.
  2. Antonio Gates, SD – Looking for Gates to rebound from a season where he was hampered by injuries throughout and regain his spot near the top of this list.
  3. Tony Gonzalez, ATL – It’s hard to tell how Gonzo will do in Hot-lanta, but he gives Ryan a great new target and I can only see things going at least as well as they did in Kansas City for the veteran.
  4. Dallas Clark, IND – With Marvin Harrison leaving town, expect Peyton Manning to look Clark’s way a lot this season.
  5. Greg Olsen, CHI – Jay Cutler likes throwing to the tight end and he might have already found a new best friend in Olsen, especially given the weakness at the wide receiver position in Chicago.
  6. Chris Cooley, WAS – Hopefully they look to him in the end zone a bit more than they did last year when he only had ONE touchdown!
  7. Kellen Winslow, TB – He’s a “soldier” when he IS playing, but he’s got a new team with quarterback questions and there are always injury concerns. I’m optimistic though that the Bucs will make good use of him.
  8. Kevin Boss, NYG – With no Plaxico Burress in the picture, hopefully Eli can make better use out of Boss this year. He did have six touchdowns in only his second season, so that’s promising.
  9. Owen Daniels, HOU – Only two touchdowns last year, but racks up solid yardage.
  10. Zach Miller, OAK – Needs to become more of a red-zone factor.
  11. John Carlson, SEA
  12. Jeremy Shockey, NO – He’s got talent, but due to injuries and other issues, it just hasn’t equated to great numbers recently.
  13. Anthony Fasano, MIA
  14. Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN – He’s a big target in the end zone (seven touchdowns last year), but who knows how the change at quarterback will affect his production.
  15. Tony Scheffler, DEN – New quarterback in town who doesn’t appreciate the tight end position quite as much as Cutler did…but maybe Kyle Orton will change his ways.
  16. Dustin Keller, NYJ
  17. Heath Miller, PIT – Recovering from hernia surgery, but he should be ready to go when the season starts.
  18. Brent Celek, PHI – He’s back to practice after a brief shoulder injury, draft as you normally would.
  19. Vernon Davis, SF – New coach trying to use Davis’ athleticism more this year…hopefully he can remove Davis’ “bust” label
  20. Bo Scaife, TEN
  21. Brandon Pettigrew, DET
  22. Marcedes Lewis, JAX
  23. Todd Heap, BAL – With the return of Derrick Mason, Heap could see less passes his way than he might have been expected.
  24. Chris Baker, NE – Lots of tight ends fighting for Tom Brady’s attention at this point, but Baker had two touchdowns in the first preseason game, which is promising.
  25. Martellus Bennett, DAL – He has a lot of upside, especially if Witten goes down. Keep an eye on Bennett throughout the season if he’s not drafted in your league.
  26. Donald Lee, GB
  27. Desmond Clark, CHI – As he ages, he’s going to give up more and more looks to Greg Olsen, but they did upgrade at quarterback in Chicago, so his numbers could improve a bit.
  28. Randy McMichael, STL
  29. L.J. Smith, BAL
  30. Dante Rosario, CAR
  31. Steve Heiden, CLE – Fighting with Robert Royal to fill the void that the departed Kellen Winslow has left…neither will be as productive.
  32. Ben Watson, NE – Watson always seems dangerous when he has the ball in the open field…it’s just getting the ball into his hands that seems to be the issue for the Patriots. With all the receivers competing for Brady’s passes, Watson will have to fight for every reception he gets.
  33. David Martin, MIA – DOWNGRADE! Injured and then waived by the Dolphins. Do NOT draft.
  34. Billy Miller, NO – DOWNGRADE! Out for season with an Achilles tendon injury. Do NOT draft!