Friday, July 23, 2010

Tight Ends in Review by Bob Lung

The following article was written by Bob Lung who has written for Fanball.com and now runs his own site called www.bigguyfantasysports.com. He is a fantasy football veteran who has developed a unique system that eliminates much of the luck factor in fantasy football. This site will be featuring periodic guest posts by Bob. They are well worth your time. - Jon


Quality Game Scores – Tight Ends in Review


The tight ends are normally a pretty inconsistent crowd, but in 2009 there was certainly some depth noted at this position. So, let’s take a look at those players who were consistently good, just good and consistently bad. We’re also going to look at this position for the expected and unexpected tight ends in 2009, plus which tight ends could be a “sleeper” going into next year’s draft.


So, let’s start with the top 21 tight ends ranked by total Quality Games earned. Why not the Top 20? Well, because Dustin Keller was so close to Ben Watson that I could leave him off.

Player Name

Total Points

Overall Pts Rank

Total QG

Total GP

QG Success Rate

Dallas Clark

170.60

2

14

16

88%

Antonio Gates

163.70

3

14

16

88%

Brent Celek

145.10

4

13

16

81%

Vernon Davis

174.50

1

12

16

75%

Jermichael Finley

96.60

13

9

13

69%

Tony Gonzalez

122.70

5

11

16

69%

Visanthe Shiancoe

122.60

6

10

16

63%

Kellen Winslow

118.40

7

10

16

63%

Owen Daniels

81.90

17

5

8

63%

Chris Cooley

45.20

26

4

7

57%

Zach Miller

98.50

12

8

15

53%

Jason Witten

115.00

8

8

16

50%

Heath Miller

114.90

9

8

16

50%

Greg Olsen

109.20

10

7

16

44%

John Carlson

99.40

11

7

16

44%

Kevin Boss

86.70

16

6

15

40%

Todd Heap

95.30

14

6

16

38%

Marcedes Lewis

63.80

21

5

15

33%

Fred Davis

86.90

15

5

16

31%

Ben Watson

70.40

19

5

16

31%

Dustin Keller

63.90

20

5

16

31%

THE EXPECTED

Antonio Gates tied for first place in total Quality Games is no surprise. The fact that Gates is tied for third in overall points is more surprising.


I’ll put Dallas Clark up here for one reason, he is certainly a stud tight end. However, to be second in overall points and tied for first in Quality Games at a 88% QGSR (Quality Game Success Rate) is not what anyone expected from Clark this season. I’m going to point to Anthony Gonzalez’s injury and Peyton Manning’s need for a second receiver to step up to take pressure off of Reggie Wayne, especially with two rookies having to learn the system. Clark did just that and more. I would not be surprise to Clark’s numbers drop significantly next season when Anthony Gonzalez comes back 100% healthy.


I did expect Tony Gonzalez to struggle a tad in Atlanta, but still put decent numbers. He did that. In fact if anything, he exceeded my expectations by ending up fifth overall and a QGSR of 69%. The QGSR is a little low for Tony. He’s usually a little more consistent then that. However, due to the change in teams, I think he did just fine. I would continue to count on his consistency next season.


I guess I have to admit as much as hate him personally, Kellen Winslow did meet my expectations this season. I had him ranked sixth overall and he ended up seventh. However, like most non-stud tight ends, he was fairly inconsistent as his QGSR was only 63%.


THE UNEXPECTED

No surprise there’s a pretty big list of tight ends who did not meet expectations, good and bad. Let’s start with a tight end that ended the year being ranked fourth overall and earned 13 Quality games for an 81% QGSR. Jason Witten? Nope. Owens Daniel? Nope. Oh yeah, this tight end was a rookie! That’s right, rookie tight end; Brent Celek made everyone a believer in his abilities, but especially Donovan McNabb. He should be a top pick at tight end again next year. It’s truly a question of how high he’ll go.


Next up is Vernon Davis. He’s been the perennial “great talent, bad fantasy numbers” since he came into the league. However, this year, Coach Singletary turned him into the stud that everyone knew he could be. Davis ended the season as the No. 1 tight end in overall points and had a 75% QGSR. He should also be a top pick for next season.


Jermichael Finley came out of nowhere this season and became a top starter each week. He missed three games and still ended the year ranked 13th overall and had a 69% QGSR. In a pass happy offense like the Packers, he will be another solid pick in 2010.


Visanthe Shiancoe completely surprised me in 2009. I had him ranked around 12th – 15th. However, Brett Favre found favor with him and the rest is history. He ended the season ranked sixth overall and had a solid 63% QGSR. We’ll assume that Brett doesn’t hang around in Minnesota; however, I don’t think that will hurt Shiancoe’s numbers next season. He should be a good middle-round pick.


Two players who played at expected levels and then were lost to the season due to injuries were Owen DanielsChris Cooley. I would expect a healthy Daniels to be right back up in the top eight tight ends in 2010. Chris Cooley, however, could have problems since after Fred Davis took over; he had a pretty decent season as well. If these two have to compete for targets, I would stay away from them on draft day.


The last group that I’ll discuss is the “bad” unexpected tight ends. No one ever wants to have these on their team, but many did. These four players are as follows: Jason Witten, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen and John Carlson.

They ended the season ranked 8th through 11th in that order. Now, Witten has been a stud for years. In fact, his stats look great: 94 receptions for 1,030 yards! That’s sick! A tight end with 94 catches! So, why is he ranked eighth overall and only had a 50% QGSR? Touchdowns! Witten only caught two touchdowns all season. If he catches just six more touchdowns, he would have ranked fourth overall and probably would have earned many more Quality Games. The other three tight ends were solid players from 2008, but for some reason didn’t step up to the next level as many experts, including myself, believed they would. Will these four be great values heading into next year’s draft? Most certainly. Witten will still be recognized as a stud, so I wouldn’t expect to see him drop too much. However, Miller, Olsen and Carlson should be solid values next year.


Well, there’s your Quality Game (consistency rankings) for the tight ends in 2009. If you didn’t make the playoffs and you had Jason Witten or Greg Olsen on your team and can’t understand why, I hope this helped clear things up.

If you have any questions about the Quality Game Scores, you can email me your questions to bob@bigguyfantasysports.com or just visit the website (www.bigguyfantasysports.com) and check out all of the great consistency analysis.

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