Fantasy Football Profile: Backup Tight Ends

Aug 21, 2009
Tony Scheffler is a decent TE option as Kyle Orton has a tendency to throw to Tight Ends. He is, however, playing in an offense that typically doesn’t utilize TEs with great frequency. That said, as long as he’s healthy the Broncos will look for ways to get him the ball.  I wouldn’t look to draft Scheffler until the 15th round or so. I’m expecting 35 catches for 500 yards and 4 TDs.
Kevin Boss has the ability to be a solid fantasy TE, it’s just a matter of opportunity.  It appears as if Travis Beckum will take away some of Boss’ chances.  Still, Boss is a big, athletic target who Eli will utilize in the red zone.  Don’t expect a major step forward for Boss.  I’m expecting him to catch 35 passes for 450 yards and 5 TDs.
Jeremy Shockey could just as easily be one of the top ten fantasy this year as he could be a bust.  If he doesn’t let his big mouth and massive ego get in the way, he will be a bargain, going somewhere in the 12th round or so in fantasy drafts.  He also needs to stay healthy something that isn’t a given either.  I’m expecting 60 catches for 700 yards and 3 TDs. Though I expect more from him, his risk factor has him lower in my rankings.
Brent Celek was a force in the Eagles’ playoff run last year catching 19 passes for 151 yards and 3 TDs.  He finished with 27 catches for 318 yards and 1 TD in the regular season, but it’s the postseason heroics that have fantasy owners grabbing Celek as their TE2.  The Eagles have a ton of weapons, but Celek should continue to progress.  Most of the Eagle WRs are smallish, so Celek should be a go-to-guy in the red zone.  He’s going around the 13th round of fantasy drafts.  I’m expecting 40 catches for 480 yards and 5 TDs.
Will Vernon Davis ever live up to the hype?  I’m afraid it’s now or never for Davis.  I just don’t know if he will ever have the discipline it requires to be a reliable TE.  Obviously Mike Singletary has had some issues with Davis, and if the team struggles like it’s projected to, there could be more issues.  Davis may have one of the best physiques, but it takes much more than that.  He’ll probably go anywhere between 13th and 15th round in fantasy drafts, but I’d let someone else have that headache.  I’m putting him at 38 catches for 420 yards and 3 TDs.

Anthony Fasano was very up and down last year with just four games with 40+ yards, but he delivered the goods with 7 TDs.  I wouldn’t expect him to come near that number, but he should be an adequate TE2.  He’s been going around the 13th round in fantasy drafts, but I would wait a couple rounds more provided there were comparable TEs still available.  I’m predicting 35 catches for 395 yards and 4 TDs.

Brandon Pettigrew has been slowed by a thigh injury this camp and his fantasy value is fading fast.  The more time he misses, the harder it will be for Pettigrew to catch up.  I wouldn’t even bother drafting him unless you are in a deep dynasty league.  Just keep an eye on him and watch how he progresses during the year.  If he shows signs of catching on, feel free to snatch him up.  At this point my expectations are very low.  20 catches for 320 yards and 2 TDs.
Bo Scaife had a great year with 58 catches for 561 yards and 2 TDs, but I expect him to take a major step back with the emergence of Rookie Jared Cook.  The Titans also brought in Nate Washington and Kenny Britt so look for them to rely on Scaife much.  He’s worth a roster spot until he proves otherwise, but I would wait until the very end of the draft to grab him.  I’m predicting 30 catches for 380 yards and 2 TDs.
Marcedes Lewis had a decent 2008 season with 41 catches for 489 yards and 2 TDs.  His 2007 numbers were fairly similar with 37-391-2.  He dropped a ton of passes last year though, and if that trend continues he could find himself on the bench.  He’s a decent bye week replacement.  I probably wouldn’t draft him, but would consider him when my starter went on bye.  My prediction is 38 catches for 420 yards and 2 TDs.
Todd Heap is no longer the player he once was.  Plus, the Ravens brought in TE L.J. Smith, which will cut down on Heap’s looks.  You can use him as a bye week replacement, but I wouldn’t do so against a team with a good pass rush.  Heap will be in blocking mode during those weeks.  I’m expecting 30 catches for 325 yards and 2 TDs.

Donald Lee regressed last year from 48-575-6 in 2007 to 39-303-5 last year.  The emergence of Jermichael Finley should continue to take a toll on Lee’s production.  Lee could be utilized more as a blocker with Finley getting the looks in passing situations.  It’s certainly something to monitor before you draft Lee.  I’d probably hold off on a backup until my bye week rather than roll with Lee.  I’m expecting 25 catches for 285 yard and 4 TDs.

Chase Coffman will eventually be an asset in the passing game for the Bengals, but he will have to make an adjustment to playing Tight End at the pro level.  That means learning how to block, something he wasn’t asked to do a lot of at Missouri.  Once he catches on, look for Coffman to be a decent TE2 option.  Again, I wouldn’t draft him unless you are in a deep dynasty league.  My prediction is 20 catches for 280 yards and 3 TDs.
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