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This is not a Super Bowl that features elite fantasy tight ends. Heath Miller is one of the best all-around tight ends in the league. He is one of the elite blocking tight ends, and he is very athletic with good hands.
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On the year he had just 42 catches for 512 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s been fairly active in the Steelers two playoff games catching five passes for 39 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens and two passes for 38 yards against the Jets.
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Andrew Quarless had just 21 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown replacing Jermichael Finley. He caught four passes in the Packers first two playoff games for 41 yards. He was held without a catch against the Bears.
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If you have the choice between the two, I would strongly recommend Heath Miller.
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pro-bowl

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I know it’s ridiculous to do Pro Bowl rankings, but what the heck. I’m having my son Heath (6) help me with them.
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Quarterbacks
1.  Philip Rivers
2.  Michael Vick
3.  Peyton Manning
4.  Matt Ryan
5.  Drew Brees
6.  Matt Cassel
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Running Backs
1.  Adrian Peterson
2.  Jamaal Charles
3.  Michael Turner
4.  Arian Foster
5.  Chris Johnson
6.  Steven Jackson continue reading »


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We are not exactly left with the who’s who of NFL tight ends, but this is an example of how deep the position has become. Dustin Keller, Heath Miller, and Greg Olsen are three of the more athletic tight ends in the league. All three are solid plays this week. That said, let’s take a look at the tight end rankings for the Conference Championship games.
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1.  Dustin Keller, New York Jets:  Keller caught just three passes for 15 yards against the Patriots, but had three catches for 42 yards in the win over Indy. He also caught three passes for 19 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 15. I just feel he’ll be the most active of the remaining tight ends.
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2.  Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers:  Miller scored last week as he caught five passes for 39 yards. He has 14 catches in his past three games for 167 yards and two touchdowns. I’m just afraid he’ll be used more in pass protection, which will limit his targets.
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3.  Greg Olsen,  Chicago Bears:  Olsen was a stud last week catching three passes for 113 yards, including a 58 yard touchdown to start things off for the Bears. He has ten catches for 93 yards and a score in the two meetings with the Packers. His inconsistency during the season keeps him out of the top two spots.
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4.  Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers:  He has four catches for 41 yards in the Packers two playoff games. He is a bigger risk than the first three, who are basically 1A, 1B, and 1C this week. Of course the way the playoffs have gone for tight ends, perhaps the most unlikely of the bunch will have the best game.
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From John Carlson’s two touchdown performance to Todd Heap’s ten catch day, the unlikely TEs did the damage. Let’s take a look a the tight end rankings for the divisional round.
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1.  Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots:  Came on strong down the stretch averaging 56 yards and a score in the last four games.
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2.  Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens:  Coming off an monster game (ten catches, 108 yards). Should see a lot of check downs against the Steelers.
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3.  Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots:  Ripped the Jets for 152 yards and a score on nine catches.
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4.  Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons:  Disappointed most of the year, but caught six passes for 51 yards and a score in Week 12 against the Packers.
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5.  Dustin Keller, New York Jets:  Mixed results against the Pats this year. Led Jets with nine targets against the Colts. Should be active once again.
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6.  Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears:  Mr. Inconsistent. Didn’t catch a pass in the first meeting with the Seahawks.
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7.  Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers:  Only had three catches for 43 yards in the two meetings with Baltimore.
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8.  John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks:  Scored two touchdowns last week, but still managed just 17 yards. He’s not a strong bet to have another big game based on his season totals.
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9.  Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers:  Rodgers does spread the ball around so he has a chance to produce. That also makes it harder to rely on him.
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Here are my fantasy football tight end rankings for the Wild Card Round.
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1.  Jacob Tamme:  Darrell Revis will work on Reggie Wayne, which should mean additional targets for Tamme.
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2.  Jimmy Graham:  He’s banged up, but has really started to gel with Drew Brees. He’s particularly effective in the red zone where he can use his 6’6″ height.
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3.  Brent Celek:  Celek started slow, but he finished fairly strong. Look for him to play an important role against the Packers, especially if DeSean Jackson isn’t creating separation.
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4.  Dustin Keller:  Came up big in last year’s playoff run, including six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. He may not play as large of a role with Santonio Holmes on board, but he’s a decent threat to post a solid fantasy number.
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5.  Todd Heap:  He’s a little banged up, but had some nice moments this year.
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6.  Tony Moeaki:  Had a solid rookie season and could be Cassel’s safety net against the Ravens.
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7.  John Carlson:  Disappointing season. You could do better.
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8.  Andrew Quarless:  Not much of a factor this year, but his three best games came on the road.

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Before you start to break down the rankings for the playoffs, you need to decide who you think will be in the Super Bowl. I’m predicting a Patriots-Saints Super Bowl. As I pave their path to the big game, I will know how many games I expect each playoff team to play in.
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Here’s the breakdown.
Saints (4)
Eagles (3)
Patriots (3)
Colts (2)
Ravens (2)
Steelers (2)
Bears (1)
Chiefs (1)
Falcons (1)
Jets (1)
Packers (1)
Seahawks (1)
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Here are my top tight ends based on my above playoff projections.
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1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Jimmy Graham
3. Brent Celek
4. Jacob Tamme
5. Heath Miller
6. Aaron Hernandez
7. Todd Heap
8. Tony Gonzalez
9.  Dustin Keller
10. Greg Olsen
11. Tony Moeaki
12. John Carlson
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Here’s my Week 17 tight end rankings.

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1. Jason Witten @ Philadelphia
2. Jacob Tamme vs. Tennessee
3. Vernon Davis  vs. Arizona
4. Kellen Winslow @ New Orleans
5. Brent Celek vs. Dallas
6. Kevin Boss @ Washington
7. Marcedes Lewis @ Houston
8. Chris Cooley vs. New York Giants
9. Rob Gronkowski vs. Miami
10. Owen Daniels vs. Jacksonville
11. Zach Miller @ Kansas City
12. Brandon Pettigrew vs. Minnesota
13. Dustin Keller vs. Buffalo
14. Benjamin Watson vs. Pittsburgh
15. Heath Miller @ Cleveland
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Inside the numbers:

  • I’m going to keep riding Witten’s hot hand. He’s averaging 74.0 yards with five touchdowns (including two against Philly in Week 14) in his past four games.
  • Kellen Winslow is averaging 65.3 yards and a touchdown in his past three games.
  • Owen Daniels has 17 catches for 209  yards in his past three games (69.7 per game).
  • Benjamin Watson caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced the Steelers.
  • Dustin Keller scored two touchdowns in the first meeting with the Bills this year.

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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Here’s my Week 16 tight end rankings.

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1. Jason Witten @ Arizona (Saturday)
2. Chris Cooley @ Jacksonville
3. Jacob Tamme @ Oakland
4. Vernon Davis @ St. Louis
5. Brent Celek vs. Minnesota
6. Kevin Boss @ Green Bay
7. Marcedes Lewis vs. Washington
8. Greg Olsen vs. New York Jets
9. Benjamin Watson vs. Baltimore
10. Rob Gronkowski vs. Buffalo
11. Kellen Winslow vs. Seattle
12. Owen Daniels @ Denver
13. Jimmy Graham @ Atlanta (Monday)
14. Aaron Hernandez vs. Buffalo
15. Zach Miller vs. Indianapolis
16. Tony Gonzalez vs. New Orleans (Monday)
17. Dustin Keller @ Chicago
18. Ed Dickson @ Cleveland
19. Brandon Pettigrew @ Miami
20. Heath Miller vs. Carolina (Thursday)
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Inside the numbers:

  • Jason Witten did not let me down last week, and I’m going back to him as my top option again this week. Everybody else has question marks.
  • Vernon Davis was a letdown, but I expect him to bounce back this week.
  • Brent Celek is averaging 59 yards in his past three games with a pair of touchdowns.
  • Kevin Boss has scored in back-to-back games, and three of his past four.
  • Benjamin Watson had five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced Baltimore.
  • It’s totally a gut thing, but I think this week’s it Rob Gronkowski’s turn to be Brady’s favorite tight end.
  • I’ll have to see Antonio Gates practice before I rank him.

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Here’s my Week 16 wide receiver rankings.
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1. Vincent Jackson @ Cincinnati
2. Marques Colston @ Atlanta (Monday)
3. DeSean Jackson vs. Minnesota
4. Hakeem Nicks @ Green Bay
5. Roddy White vs. New Orleans (Monday)
6. Brandon Marshall vs. Detroit
7. Reggie Wayne @ Oakland
8. Miles Austin @ Arizona (Saturday)
9. Anquan Boldin @ Cleveland
10. Calvin Johnson @ Miami
11. Greg Jennings vs. New York Giants
12. Jeremy Maclin vs. Minnesota
13. Kenny Britt @ Kansas City
14. Mike Wallace vs. Carolina (Thursday)
15. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Dallas (Saturday)
16. Mike Williams (TB) vs. Seattle
17. Dwayne Bowe vs. Tennessee
18. Pierre Garcon @ Oakland
19. Santana Moss @ Jacksonville
20. Brandon Lloyd vs.  Houston
21. Deion Branch @ Buffalo
22. Wes Welker @ Buffalo
23. Santonio Holmes @ Chicago
24. Stevie Johnson vs. New England
25. Hines Ward vs. Carolina (Thursday)
26. Sidney Rice @ Philadelphia
27. Braylon Edwards @ Chicago
28. Mario Manningham @ Green Bay
29. Big Mike Williams (SEA) @ Tampa Bay
30. Kevin Walter @ Denver
31. Steve Breaston vs. Dallas (Saturday)
32. Lance Moore @ Atlanta (Monday)
33. Malcom Floyd @ Cincinnati
34. Davone Bess vs. Detroit
35. Mike Thomas vs. Washington
36. Percy Harvin vs. Philadelphia
37. Derrick Mason @ Cleveland
38. Josh Morgan @ St. Louis
39. Jacoby Ford vs. Indianapolis
40. Earl Bennett vs. New York Jets
41. David Nelson @ New England
42. James Jones vs. New York Giants
43. Anthony Armstrong @ Jacksonville
44. Andre Caldwell vs. San Diego
45. Blair White @ Oakland
46. Chad Ochocinco vs. San Diego
47. Michael Crabtree @ St. Louis
48. Jabar Gaffney vs.  Houston
49. Danny Amendola vs. San Francisco
50. Jacoby Jones
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Inside the numbers:

  • One game was enough to convert me on Vincent Jackson. He’s a beast. Rivers is money. The Bengals are awful. Perfect recipe for another monster game.
  • Andre Johnson gets a slight downgrade this week because of Champ Bailey, but he’s still a top flight WR1 option this week.
  • I’m expecting Aaron Rodgers to play this week, which makes Greg Jennings a WR1 again.
  • Despite their woes on offense, Larry Fitzgerald has become very active. He gets a bump in PPR leagues, but is a high-end WR2 this week against Dallas.
  • I doubt Rex and Santana Moss repeat last week’s performance, but Moss looks like a must start this week.
  • Stevie Johnson got his mojo back, and should have a strong performance against the Patriots.
  • I don’t expect the Patriots to go full tilt on offense, which is why I’m downgrading Welker and Branch.
  • With Austin Collie likely out, Blair White should be a fantasy option once again.
  • I’ve really soured on Ochocinco and Michael Crabtree. Play them at your own peril.
  • ***Update*** Mike Sims-Walker will be limited if he plays at all. He’s too risky of a play.
  • ***Update*** Andre Johnson is likely to miss this week. Kevin Walter gets bumped up a few notches and Jacoby Jones makes a sleeper play.

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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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Here’s my Week 15 tight end rankings.

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1. Jason Witten vs. Washington
2. Vernon Davis @ San Diego (Thursday)
3. Jacob Tamme vs. Jacksonville
4. Chris Cooley @ Dallas
5. Kellen Winslow vs. Detroit
6. Greg Olsen @ Minnesota (Monday)
7. Kevin Boss @ Philadelphia
8. Tony Gonzalez @ Seattle
9. Rob Gronkowski vs. Green Bay
10. Owen Daniels @ Tennessee
11. Brent Celek vs. New York Giants
12. Benjamin Watson @ Cincinnati
13. Marcedes Lewis @ Indianapolis
14. Aaron Hernandez vs. Green Bay
15. Dustin Keller @ Pittsburgh
16. Brandon Pettigrew @ Tampa Bay
17. Heath Miller vs. New York Jets
18. Ed Dickson vs. New Orleans
19. Jermaine Gresham vs. Cleveland
20. Jeremy Shockey @ Baltimore
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Inside the numbers:

  • Jason Witten is averaging 70 yards and a touchdown in his past three games.
  • Vernon Davis is really 1A. He’s been a beast the past two weeks, and plays well when Alex Smith is starting, but the Chargers are the number one pass defense.
  • Greg Olsen has scored a touchdown the past two times he’s faced the Vikings.
  • Hakeem Nicks returned, but Steve Smith (hamstring) and Mario Manningham (hip) got banged up on Monday. Boss should remain a ky option in the passing game.
  • Antonio Gates is so frustrating. If he can go, he’ll likely have a big game, but he’s a gamble. They do play on Thursday so you should get a feel whether or not he can play. If it looks promising, I’ll add him to the rankings.

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