Fantasy - Fri 03/09/2010 - 09:07 EDT

Top 3 Tight Ends – Fantasy Football 2010 Sleeper Picks

The recent emergence of the tight end position has sent huge waves crashing onto the shores of the fantasy football landscape.

Once regarded along with kickers and defenses the TE position is finally getting the respect it deserves.

With surges at any given position you are bound to have sleeper candidates and that has been the case over the last few years in the NFL.

Fantasy Tight Ends Evolve – Move Over Iron Mike

“Iron” Mike Ditka and John Mackey started the tight end evolution that has now come  full circle. From humble beginnings as bulky pass protectors and run blockers (a sixth offensive lineman) the TE position has evolved into the lean, mean scoring machine it is today.

What Ditka and Mackey started, then players like Kellen Winslow (the one in the Hall Of Fame) and Tony Gonzalez took to the next level, has now been nearly perfected by the likes of Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark.

In 2009 there were six tight ends that scored more than 200 FP. In 2008 there were two that topped 200 FP after four turned the trick during the 2007 season. Eight or more could be the magic number during the 2010 season. Picking the ones that will get to that level means doing your homework.

2010 Top 3 Fantasy Football Tight Ends  – Sleeper Picks

Jermichael Finely – Packers: We are going out on a limb here to predict that Jermichael Finely will challenge for the title of top scoring fantasy tight end during the 2010 NFL season. We love this guy and he was a sleeper for us last year. Ranking him as high as we are makes him a sleeper again this season. The Packers may score at will this season and Finley is going to get in on the party in a big way.

Zach Miller – Raiders: Another Raider whose fantasy life depends on Jason Campbell makes our sleeper list in the bruising Miller. We haven’t checked but Miller may have caught every pass that the departed JaMarcus Russell ever completed in his career. Last year Miller caught 66 passes and Russell had 120 completions in 12 games. The Raiders completed just 255 passes as a team. Sorry we couldn’t resist looking it up. A fairly decent TE named Chris Cooley had a couple of good years with Campbell and we think its “Miller Time” in Oakland.

Jermaine Gresham – Bengals: Last year we called for Bengal rookie TE Chase Coffman to be a bust in Cincinnati and he was worse than that with zero fantasy points. The Bengals reloaded and took Gresham with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. They may have got it right the second time a round as Gresham is strictly a pass catching tight end. QB Carson Palmer has never had a pass catching TE and will be looking at Gresham with short passes because of his failing arm strength. That is a very nice fit for both players.

You will need to select Finley high (5th round) if you hope to land him. Miller may go in the wave that follows but Gresham should last into the 12th round or so and may end up as one of the value picks of the year.

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