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FANTASY FOOTBALL: CONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT TEs

Bob Lung Staff Writer February 23, 2012 5:45PM EDT
It’s one thing to be consistent during one season in Fantasy football. However, it’s those players who are consistently consistent that make up the real Fantasy studs. These players are the ones that should be drafted in the early rounds of most drafts. A consistently consistent player also shows that that player has remained consistently healthy as well, which is just as important as their consistent performance.

This week we will look at the consistently consistent tight ends. The top 20 most consistent tight ends and the number of Quality Games Earned each year are listed below.

I’m going to break these Top 20 into four tiers, analyze each tier and provide some insight on the players within each tier.

Rank Player Name
2009
2010
2011
Total
1 Jason Witten
13
11
11
35
2 Tony Gonzalez
12
8
12
32
3 Antonio Gates
13
8
10
31
4 Vernon Davis
12
11
8
31
5 Brent Celek
13
6
8
27
6 Kellen Winslow
10
8
8
26
7 Brandon Pettigrew
3
10
10
23
8 Dallas Clark
13
5
4
22
9 Jimmy Graham
0
6
15
21
10 Jermichael Finley
9
3
9
21
11 Rob Gronkowski
0
7
13
20
12 Dustin Keller
5
7
8
20
13 Heath Miller
9
4
6
19
14 Greg Olsen
8
5
6
19
15 Aaron Hernandez
0
7
10
17
16 Fred Davis
6
3
8
17
17 Owen Daniels
5
4
7
16
18 Ben Watson
4
9
3
16
19 Marcedes Lewis
4
10
2
16
20 Chris Cooley
4
12
0
16

Tier One – The Elite (Ranks 1 – 4)

The Triple Double group is a group of one, Jason Witten. However, be that as it may, I saw Witten ranked as the ninth tight end on a preseason ranking. Really? Folks, if you’re in a PPR league and you see Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez fly off the board in the first through third rounds, please let them go and grab Jason Witten in the fourth or fifth round and just smile.

Yes, I believe Tony Gonzalez can continue to be consistent in 2012. While three out of the four games that he missed a Quality Game were in the last three weeks, it was no fault of Tony’s. You can probably grab Gonzalez even later than Witten and have an extremely consistent tight end for the entire season.

Don’t get me wrong, Antonio Gates is still a stud, but injuries have continued to haunt him over the past two seasons. When he’s healthy, he still one of the consistent best.

Vernon Davis playoff performance will vault his Fantasy value when owners look to draft him this August. You need to remember that Davis had a 50 percent Quality Success Rate (QSR) during the season and then pass on him in the early rounds for someone else to grab.


Tier Two – The Above Average (Ranks 5 – 10)

If someone would have bet you that Brent Celek was the fifth most consistent tight end over the past three seasons, would you have taken the bet?  His consistency has dropped off and last season he only had a 50 percent QSR. Stay away from him on draft day.

Brandon Pettigrew is one of my man-crushes for consistency. Pettigrew and Witten are the only two tight ends with double digit Quality Games over the past two seasons. Once again, Pettigrew is a consistent tight end worth waiting for in the draft while you’re building your core team.

Yes, Jimmy Graham is a stud. He was my number one tight end sleeper last year and he led me to multiple Fantasy championships. However, I’m not sure I can draft a tight end in the second round, let alone the first. Yes, I realize that Graham would have ranked third in Fantasy points for receivers, but it’s still tough to believe that he can repeat that performance.

Jermichael Finley should have been compensated by the Hair Club for Men for his 2011 season, as many owners pulled their hair out during his horribly inconsistent season. He certainly has the talent and high-powered offense in his favor for a better 2012. So, he could be greatly undervalued on draft day.

 

Tier Three – The Average (Ranks 11 – 16)

Rob Gronkowksi has been promoted as a possible first round Fantasy pick in 2012. If you can guarantee me that he’s not a one-year wonder and that he’ll score 330 Fantasy points as a tight end, I’m in. But since there are only three tight ends in the entire NFL who have earned back-to-back double-digit Quality Games over the past three years, then why should I believe in this happening again?

Aaron Hernandez is also in this tier and is a solid pick at tight end. I would wait to see his ADP value during the early August drafts before I determine that he’s over or under valued. My thought is that he’ll be overvalued.

Fred Davis could be a great sleeper pick in 2012 as Davis had a solid 67 percent QSR until his season-ending injury. However, the possible return of Chris Cooley could cause problems.

 

Tier Four – The Others (Ranks 17 – 20)

The two interesting names here are Marcedes Lewis and Chris Cooley. Two years ago, these two were consistent studs. Injuries and poor performance allowed both to fall off the Fantasy map in 2011. Can either return to glory in 2012? Probably not, but they’re both worth keeping an eye on.

There are your most consistent tight ends over the past three seasons. Keep this information handy as you prepare for your drafts this season. Consistency is good but consistently consistent is great!

 

If you have any questions about the Quality Game Scores, you can email me at blung@rotoexperts.com. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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