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If you know anything about fantasy football, it's that there are four or five tight ends viewed as the best of the best. But these days, the second tier of pass-catching receivers built like linemen is getting a lot larger!
Remember when the top three tight ends in the league were a hot commodity in your fantasy draft, because there was a huge drop-off between the first and second tier at the position? Well, there's still quite a drop off, but the second tier of tight ends is becoming a much larger group every week.
Sure, you probably had Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis at the top of your list in group one, but how about a guy like Owen Daniels re-joining the upper echelon with three touchdowns so far this season after having four all of last year? And how about a seasoned veteran like Heath Miller being tied for the league lead in touchdowns among tight ends after not even being drafted in my 16-team league filled with self-proclaimed experts and even a Canadian Football League linebacker?
OK, fine, so I threw in that last line just to casually mention the fact I'm in a fantasy league with a guy who actually plays football for a living. But in all seriousness, if even us experts and athletes to the north made a huge mistake taking other guys over Miller, the good news is we're close enough to the border to watch Scott Chandler become one of Ryan Fitzpatrick's favorite red-zone targets in Buffalo. And that's not even mentioning fellow young up-and-comer Kyle Rudolph in Minnesota doing his thing, either.
The best thing about tight ends is that they normally act as safety valves for quarterbacks when they get in a jam and can't find anyone to throw to. High school was kind of like that for me, except the only reason I got to be the safety valve in any games during gym class is because my classmates got tired of catching all those touchdowns.
In point per reception leagues (like mine), you can always count on a tight end to get a ton of targets and hence a healthy dose of receptions. But with the second-tier guys, there will be misses for every time that you hit. I can't think of a better example of this than Baltimore Ravens safety valve Dennis Pitta. The third-year tight end out of Brigham Young has just three catches for 22 yards in the last two weeks combined, after averaging six catches and 62 yards per game in his first three contests. You win some, you lose some, I guess.
By the way, if you're like me and you've realized that both your tight ends (namely Pitta and Daniels) have the same bye week (Week 8), have no fear. There is always a young gun coming up the ranks. Right now, it's the Colts' Coby Fleener who I plan to pick up, especially since that Andrew Luck guy is going to throw...A TON!
With all these guys doing what they do, tight ends who can throw down are a dime a dozen...until next time!
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