2012 Fantasy Rookie Rankings: Tight Ends
Tight ends don’t normally dominate right away out of the gates as rookies. However, you’ll sometimes find a gem tight end that is very active in the red-zone, or has the speed to change his offense because linebackers can’t match up with him.
There aren’t a ton of rookie tight ends worth drafting in fantasy football this year, but there are still a few names you could be talking about come mid-season in 2012. Here are our 2012 rookie tight end rankings with analysis:
1. Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts)
Andrew Luck’s pal from Stanford should be the team’s top tight end from day one. He has elite size and speed for the position, and is active in the red-zone. He’s a mismatch for most linebackers, and is a fantasy owner’s dream.
2. Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis Colts)
Allen is a thick pass-catcher who doesn’t look athletic, but can actually get yards after the catch and make catches some receivers can’t. He’ll play second fiddle to Fleener in Indy, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be useless.
3. Orson Charles (Cincinnati Bengals)
Charles is a great athlete at the position and has loads of potential. Unfortunately, Jermaine Gresham is pretty good, too, and he’s starting ahead of him. I’m assuming the Bengals drafted Charles to use him, but they’ll have to get creative if he’s going to make an impact in 2012.
4. Michael Egnew (Miami Dolphins)
Anthony Fasano isn’t bad, but he’s not explosive and can be upgraded upon. Egnew isn’t a burner, but he’s big and athletic and catches the ball well. He could vie for a lot of targets early.
5. Taylor Thompson (Tennessee Titans)
The Titans have an explosive option in Jared Cook right now, but he’s taking a while to get adjusted to being a go-to option. If he struggles to do so again in 2012, the athletic and rangy Thompson could see a big role.
6. Adrien Robinson (New York Giants)
The Giants don’t really have much certainty at tight end for the second year in a row. Both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum are likely lost with knee injuries, and Martellus Bennett is unproven. Robinson will push Bennett, and could end up being the guy when it’s all said and done.
7. Ladarius Green (San Diego Chargers)
Green is a stud in waiting. Antonio Gates is still a top-five fantasy tight end, and even Randy McMichael will likely play ahead of the raw Green initially. That could quickly change if Gates goes down with an injury, though.
8. Evan Rodriguez (Chicago Bears)
The Bears haven’t tried to do much at the tight end position in recent years, but perhaps that will change with the addition of the versatile and athletic Rodriguez.
9. Drake Dunsmore (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Dunsmore isn’t big enough to get on the field to block, and he’s not quite fast enough to play receiver. He’s a classic ‘tweener, but he has the size, speed, and hands to be a dangerous weapon. I don’t know if he has enough value to take a chance on with both Kellen Winslow and Luke Stocker slated ahead of him, on the depth chart, though.
10. James Hanna (Dallas Cowboys)
The Cowboys will allow their tight ends to compete for the top backup job behind Jason Witten. Hanna will likely be in the mix, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get many opportunities. Just ask Martellus Bennett how that role is.