“It’s better to BLOCK, than RECEIVE”…..NAH!

Atlanta Falcons Tight End Tony Gonzalez, who will probably go down as the greatest tight end in NFL history, has gone on record in giving his criteria for a “true tight end”. According to Gonzalez’s Bible for a great tight end, ACTS 20:35 reads “IT IS BETTER TO BLOCK, THAN RECEIVE.” He believes that this new class of strictly RECEIVING tight ends has tainted the position in a way.

If you are a Fantasy Football fan, you completely disagree with Gonzalez’s assessment. There is nothing more fulfilling than scoring 15+ points from that spot in your lineup where you generally see 7-9 points. 2010 brought about a new wave and look to the position. While there have always been TE’s in the league with great receiving ability, there was almost like a new structure to the position. The 2010 Draft hosted the likes of Rob Gronkowski (Patriots), Jimmy Graham (Saints), Aaron Hernandez (Patriots), Tony Moeaki (Chiefs), Ed Dickson (Ravens), Jermaine Gresham (Bengals), and Dennis Pitta (Ravens), all who pose a serious threat to an opposing team’s defense. My rebuttal to the block versus receiving argument is that a tight end in formation can still preoccupy the defense, and draw defenders away from their QB.

In Fantasy Football, you aren’t looking for the guy who does the best job blocking. You need a guy with the ability to slip through the defense and get open. If you agree with Gonzalez, then choose him above any of the others. If you want guys who can give you big points, here are my picks.

10. BRANDON PETTIGREW – Detroit Lions

The Lions are a team that is heavy on the passing game, and very well should be. If you had a great young QB, and the best receiver in the game, you would be too. So Pettigrew will always have the ability to give you big points. But he does lack the consistency. Eliminate the dropped passes and the appearance that he takes some plays off, and he moves up in my rankings.

9. FRED DAVIS – Washington Redskins

Davis was a big target in some games for Washington last year. As a matter of fact, at times he seemed to be the only target. The problem was with his health. The addition of a QB who is a dual threat himself (RGIII), along with added talent in the receiving core (Pierre Garcon), should all make Davis’ life a lot easier this season.

8. TONY GONZALEZ – Atlanta Falcons

Somebody needs to remind Gonzalez that the reason why he is considered the best is due to his talents on the receiving end. Either way, he has a good young QB, and great receivers around him. He will have another solid season, especially in Red Zone situations.

7. JASON WITTEN – Dallas Cowboys

Witten has the luxury of being probably the most trusted option for Tony Romo. Through the Miles Austin hype, and now, Dez Bryant, (both well deserved) Witten has been that consistent rock on offense that has always been there. I know that, you know that, and even though opposing defenses know that….they still can’t stop him.

6. AARON HERNANDEZ – New England Patriots

If he was on any other offense, he would easily be in my Top 3. His skills are eclipsed only by the fact that he shares catches with the best tight end in the league. (hint, hint)

5. JERMICHAEL FINLEY – Green Bay Packers

Finley has the luxury of playing with the best quarterback in the league, who is also an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY kind of guy. He has great talent around him, but none of them are enough of a go-to-guy to be the sole target on offense. Finley had games last year where he was targeted more than any of his other co-workers in scoring positions.

4. VERNON DAVIS – San Francisco 49ers

Davis showed the type of weapon he can be last year, after getting a Coach who showed faith in him. Capped off by a brilliant playoff performance against the Saints. The Niners still have work to do, and are another team that added talent on offense. Look for him to run free in the offense, and be a big target for QB Alex Smith.

3. ANTONIO GATES – San Diego Chargers

“STEADY” is the word. Before the emergence of the 2010 class of tight ends, Gates would be the first taken off the board at this position. His decent in ranking is not due to age, injury, or lack of production. There have just been younger, more productive players entering the league at the position. He is still a ray of consistency and trust for his quarterback. While they have lost a big talent in Vincent Jackson, the addition of Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal could loosen up the defense around him.

2. JIMMY GRAHAM – New Orleans Saints

Graham is another TE who has the luxury of playing with a great, equal opportunity QB, a good O-line, good receivers, and a powerful set of skills. Questions loom at the team’s ability to perform with the drama placed around this young 2012 season, but I’m still counting on him having a strong season. Some players just don’t need anyone to tell them what to do on the football field. Some guys just get out there and do their thing.

1. ROB GRONKOWSKI – New England Patriots

Comparing the “Gronk” to the other tight ends in the league is borderline disrespectful. He didn’t just lead TE’s in touchdowns last year…he lead ALL receivers. Do I really need to elaborate on his value? Do you really think the Patriots are going to go away from what was highly successful in 2011? He may not be 17 TD’s good this season, but he will be “better-than-the-others” good this season.

Also, check out my Top 10 Fantasy Picks at the QB, RB, and WR positions by clicking on the highlighted positions.


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