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With the 2014 NFL Draft finally approaching, here’s an early look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Graham has averaged 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Last year Graham racked up an amazing 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns. With Darren Sproles being dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles, Graham will take on even more meaning for the potent Saints’ offense. Graham will likely negotiate a long-term deal before training camp.
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2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Gronk has 42 touchdowns in 50 career games, but he has managed to play just 18 games over the past two seasons. When he’s healthy he’s as good as anybody in the league. He’s coming off a knee injury that will likely limit his preseason involvement. There are healthy doses of risks and rewards associated with Gronk.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Orange Julius exploded on the scene with 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. With Eric Decker moving on to the New York Jets, Thomas figures to be more of a focal point in the offense. Having Peyton Manning’s confidence, particularly in the red zone, puts him a notch ahead of Vernon Davis in my book.
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4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Davis finished with 850 yards and 13 touchdowns in his most impressive season since 2009. Michael Crabtree, who was limited to five games because of an Achilles injury figures to eat into some of Davis’ production. Still, Davis has a combination of size and speed that is difficult to match. He’s too fast for most linebackers and too strong for most defensive backs.
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5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Witten reached 850 receiving yards for the seventh straight season. He’s topped 750 yards for 10 straight years. Witten is as consistent as they come. He had his fewest receptions (73) since 2006, but he finished with eight touchdowns.
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6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen finished with 816 yards, giving him an average of 829.5 yards over the past two seasons. Olsen caught six touchdowns, which was his sixth straight season with at least five scores. With a shortage of reliable options for Cam Newton in the passing game, Olsen should play a huge role for Carolina in 2014.
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7. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Pitta appeared poised for a breakout season before a hip injury limited him to four game last year. Despite being sapped of his explosiveness, Pitta caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a score. In 2012 Pitta caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven scores. Don’t let the Owen Daniels’ signing scare you off. Pitta is primed to deliver.
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8. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Cameron also emerged last year with 917 yards and seven touchdowns after catching 26 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown in his first two seasons. No longer in Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner’s system, Cameron will likely regress. Still, he’s too good of a talent not to peg him in the top half of the fantasy tight end landscape.
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9. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph (foot) was limited to eight games last year and subjected to five games with Christian Ponder at the helm. With Matt Cassel at quarterback and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner in the mix, look for much better things from Rudolph.
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10. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz caught 36 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns last year as a rookie. All four of his touchdowns came in the second half of the season. Look for a step forward in Ertz’s second year, particularly with DeSean Jackson’s 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns up for grabs.
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 76.3 yards and a touchdown per game. He had 10 catches for 179 yards and a score in the first meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is not piling up the yards like Graham, but he’s been just as prolific scoring touchdowns. Davis had 180 yards and two touchdowns in his first meeting against the Arizona Cardinals.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas is averaging 57.8 yards and 0.9 touchdowns. He had 37 yards and a touchdown in the first game against the Oakland Raiders.
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4. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 47.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He has four touchdowns in the past five games. He should finish strong against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 285.2 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez could be closing out his Hall of Fame career against the Carolina Panthers. He had 81 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
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6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 51.6 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He had 66 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Atlanta Falcons.
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7. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett has averaged 78 yards the past two game. He closes the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 248.8 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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8. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 56.1 yards and 0.2 touchdowns per game. He finishes the year with a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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9. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Marcedes Lewis has scored in four straight games. The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have many other options in the passing game, particularly in the red zone. Lewis is a risky option against the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s on fire right now.
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10. Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Brandon Myers is averaging 43.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his past five games. He should finish strong against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 249.3 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game, including 61 yards and a score by Myers in their first meeting.
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With another exciting week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 16 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 76.5 yards and a touchdown per game. He had 58 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting with the Carolina Panthers.
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2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is averaging 61.9 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. He has scored in five straight games. He’ll look to continue that streak against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed 254.9 yards and two touchdowns per game.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas is averaging 56.2 yards and 0.9 touchdowns. He faces the Houston Texans. The Texans have allowed 1.8 touchdown passes per game
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4. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Dennis Pitta is averaging 36 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in his two games this year. He draws the New England Patriots in Week 16. Pitta has scored in all three meetings with the Pats in his career. New England has allowed four tight end scores in the past five games.
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5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 50.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns. He has scored in consecutive weeks and has four touchdowns in the past four games. Witten faces the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 251.9 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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6. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is averaging 52.9 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. He has scored in three straight games. Gonzo will look to extend the streak against the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have allowed a tight end touchdown the past two games.
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7. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 52.8 yards and 0.4 touchdowns. He caught eight passes last game against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have allowed four tight end scores in the past five games.
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8. Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tim Wright has scored the past two games and is averaging 48.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in his past four games. He faces the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have allowed 257.5 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game.
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9. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett is averaging 47.1 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. He faces the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 291.6 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game.
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10. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Delanie Walker is averaging 39 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He has a nice matchup against Jacksonville. The Jags have struggled with opposing tight ends this year.
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With another exciting week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 15 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 80.5 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game. Now that Rob Gronkowski (knee) is done for the year, there’s not debate as to who the top tight end is each week. The St. Louis Rams will try to contend with him.
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2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis has 11 touchdowns on the year and has scored in four straight games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have allowed 24 passing scores this year, making the odds that Davis scores in this one pretty high.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas returned to action with another touchdown. He has 11 scores in 11 games. He had 96 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the San Diego Chargers.
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4. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Jordan Cameron returned to form catching all nine of his targets for 121 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots. He should keep rolling against the Chicago Bears.
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5. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 59.7 yards and 0.2 touchdowns per game. He had 62 yards in the first meeting with the Denver Broncos.
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6. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Dennis Pitta saw 11 targets, catching six for 48 yards and a score. Keep in mind that the Baltimore Ravens were playing the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have really struggled against tight ends. That said, Pitta should see plenty of looks against the Detroit Lions. The Lions have allowed 255.8 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game.
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7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten continues to get a ton of looks from Tony Romo. He should have a strong performance against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 246.8 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
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8. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is averaging 52.2 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. Gonzo has scored in his past two games. He’s a good bet to continue that trend against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 256.7 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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9. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 44.6 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his past seven games. He’s facing the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed 254.9 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
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10. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener is averaging 60.8 yards and 0.3 touchdowns in his past four games. He had 64 yards in the first matchup with the Houston Texans.
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Also check out:

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With another exciting week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 14 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski has scored a touchdown in four start games, averaging 104.8 yards per game during the stretch. Look for him to roll on against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are allowing 1.8 passing touchdowns per game.
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2. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is as productive as any player in the league regardless of position. Even with a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers, it’s impossible to think of Graham in anything but the top two spots.
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3. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 51.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He’s facing the Chicago Bears. The Bears have allowed 232.4 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game.
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4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is averaging 64.1 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game and has scored in three straight games. He has a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, but he’s still a strong play.
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5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is averaging 54.4 yard and 0.4 touchdowns per game. He is facing the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 250.5 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
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6. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas has missed the past few games with a knee injury. Monitor his availability. If he goes against the Tennessee Titans, Thomas should remain a nice red zone threat for Peyton Manning. Five of the eight passing touchdowns the Titans have allowed this year went to tight ends.
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7. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 50.9 yards and has four touchdowns in his past six games. Olsen if facing the New Orleans Saints.
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8. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Jordan Cameron is averaging 58.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. He faces the New England Patriots. The Pats have allowed a tight end touchdown in two of the past three games.
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9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates has been relatively quiet in his past seven games, but he’s still a favorite target of Philip Rivers. Ladarius Green has been eating into Gates’ production, but Antonio is still a decent TE1 as the San Diego Chargers face the New York Giants.
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10. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener is averaging 61.8 yards in his past five games. He’s facing the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have allowed six tight end touchdowns, two in the past three games and four in the past seven.
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With another exciting week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 13 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 86 yards and a touchdown per game. He has a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, but I don’t think anyone can contain him.
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2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski is averaging 86.6 yards per game and has scored a touchdown in his past three games. He’s facing the Houston Texans. As long as he’s healthy, nobody can contain him either.
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3. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis continues to deliver. He’s a solid bet to score a touchdown when he’s healthy. He’s facing the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have allowed 247 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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4. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas is averaging 59 yards and a touchdown per game. He scored in his last meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Peyton Manning likes him near the goal line. As long as his knee checks out, he should be solid in this one.
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5. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett is averaging 48.3 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. He should smoke the Minnesota Vikings. He scored a pair of touchdowns against them in their last meeting. The Vikes have allowed 281.7 yards and 2.2 touchdowns per game.
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6. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 51.7 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He’s facing the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have allowed 258.1 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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7. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is averaging 55.5 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. He should have a solid showing against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have allowed 229 yards and two touchdowns per game.
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8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 47.8 yards with four touchdowns in the past five games. He’s facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He could see more looks with Steve Smith being covered by Darrelle Revis.
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9. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Jordan Reed has been a favorite target for Robert Griffin III. He’s facing the New York Giants. He should be solid option as long as he passes his concussion protocol.
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10. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 62.3 yards and 0.3 touchdowns. He’s a low-end TE1 this week as he’s facing a tough Cincinnati Bengals defense. Plus, Ladarius Green has been eating into Gates’ production.
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Also check out:

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With another exciting week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 12 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 84.6  yards and a touchdown per game. He hasn’t scored a touchdown in his past two games so he’s due. Graham has six touchdowns in seven career games against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed 249.2 yards and 2.1 touchdowns.
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2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski will be a difficult cover for the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have allowed 279.1 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
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3. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is averaging 61.4 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. He’s facing the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 274.9 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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4. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 66.4 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He has a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Gates could see more looks with Keenan Allen hurting.
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5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 53.2 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. He had 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting with the New York Giants. The G-Men have allowed 238.1 yards and 1.4 touchdowns.
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6. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is averaging 55.6 yards and 0.4 touchdowns. He should see plenty of looks as the Atlanta Falcons try to keep pace with the New Orleans Saints.
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7. Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
Garrett Graham had seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last week against the Oakland Raiders. He is a strong play again this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have allowed 252.5 yards and two touchdowns per game.
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8. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener is averaging 43.9 yards and 0.3 touchdowns. In the past three games without Reggie Wayne he’s averaged 68 yards per game. Fleener faces the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards have allowed 243.5 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
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9. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Delanie Walker has scored a touchdown in three of the past four games. On the year he’s averaging 40.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. He’s facing the Oakland Raiders. They just got torched by Garrett Graham. The Raiders have allowed 252.7 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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10. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen continues to offer low-end TE1 value. He should have a solid game against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.
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