Top 5 Fantasy Breakout Tight Ends
Who is this year’s Brandon Pettigrew, Mercedes Lewis, or Rob Gronkowski? We’ve compiled our list of solid breakout candidates at the tight end position that could put up big numbers in 2011.
Whether they’re entering their first season or have been held back due to injury or their role, 2011 could be a big year for these five guys:
1. Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers)
Finley remains an injury risk, but there’s no denying his talent. His elite athletic ability in the Packers’ potent passing offense is definitely worthy of a top-five pick at his position. However, he’ll need to stay healthy to pay-off in the end.
2. Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans)
Cook came on strong at the end of 2010, catching 15 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee’s final three games. With Bo Scaife gone, he’ll have a starting gig and Matt Hasselbeck will be throwing him passes. Considering his athleticism and role, the sky is really the limit.
3. Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
Anytime you’re a freak athlete in an explosive offensive system, you get noticed. While I’m not as high on Graham as most experts, I still can see a guy with sick potential when it’s staring me in the face. Graham is a big, athletic target that came on strong near the tail-end of 2010, and the potential is there for him to be a stud tight end.
4. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers)
Olsen has great size and speed for the tight end position, but until now has been heavily under-utilized. Now he’ll be in Carolina, where head coach Ron Rivera knows something about productive, athletic tight ends, after spending years on a team that boasted Antonio Gates. Olsen can’t match Gates, but he’ll be a reliable target for Cam Newton in 2011, and has the potential to have his biggest year yet.
5. Ed Dickson (Baltimore Ravens)
Todd Heap is gone and it appears the athletic Dickson is in the driver’s seat for Baltimore’s top tight end job. He’ll still have to fend off Dennis Pitta, but Dickson has some nice potential as one of Joe Flacco’s top targets over the middle in 2011.