2013 Sleeper Predictions: Tight End
8. Ed Dickson (ESPN 15th Rank)
With Dennis Pita out for the season, Dickson takes over as the No.1 TE. With a lethal running game and Torrey Smith stretching the field, Dickson should get a lot of one-on-one opportunities. In 2011, Dickson had 54 receptions, but the concern is the hamstring issue Dickson has been dealing with through the pre season
7. Dwayne Allen (ESPN 20th Rank)
There is a tight-end tandem out of Indianapolis that will give good looks to second-year QB Andrew Luck. We like Allen over Fleener.
6. Martellus Bennett (ESPN 13th, FD 21st Rank)
In his first starter role in five years, playing the four previous with Dallas, had career highs with 55 receptions, 626 receiving yards, and 5 TDs in 2012. OVER/UNDER: 55 receptions, 5 TDs 6’6” Mammoth Athlete, 3rd fastest TE
5. Kellen Winslow (ESPN 36th Rank, FD N/A)
The Jets don’t have a legit No.1 or No.2 receiver. Mark Sanchez will need to get rid of the ball quickly and had moments with previous TE Dustin Keller where there were moments of clarity developed between the two. Keller is a great athlete, but the reason FantasyDaddy doesn’t even have him ranked is because there is a 30 percent chance of Winslow finishing the season after only playing in one game last year with the Patriots.
4. Jake Ballard (ESPN 21st Rank, FD N/A)
Out goes Aaron Hernandez in comes Jake Ballard. Yes, Hernandez was more talented but Ballard did average 16 yards per reception in the Giants Super Bowl winning year. Ballard has had multiple surgeries preceding the ACL injury occurred in the Super Bowl and didn’t play a snap last year while on the Pats roster.
3. Fred Davis (ESPN 17th, FD 6th Rank)
Davis has the athleticism to keep up with RG III scrambling outside the pocket. The lack of depth at the receiving core will open up options as Davis should have more plays designed his way. Shannahan wants to have RG III get rid of the ball quickly, and the play-action should leave the middle of the field open after having the best rushing attack in the NFL last year averaging 169 yards per game.
2. Jared Cook (ESPN 11th, FD 8th Rank)
Jared Cook is one of the NFL’s best kept tight end secrets. There is good reason why, his career-high numbers look like this: 49 receptions, 759 rec. yards, and 4 touchdowns. This year he eclipses all three of those categories. A new offense with a lack of depth at receivers, no goal-line back, and a better QB in Sam Bradford should get the second fastest tight end in the league clicking on all cylinders.
1. Antonio Gates (ESPN 9th, FD 14th Rank)
In 16 games played during 2009, Gates had 79 receptions on 114 targets for a career high 1,157 receiving yards. In 2012, Gates had 36 less targets (78) and 30 less receptions (49). In 10 seasons, Antonio Gates has averaged 64 catches, 832 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns per season. He has only reached that mark in receptions and receiving yards twice in the last five years, but the consistency comes in the form of touchdowns never having caught less than seven in his last nine seasons.