The AFC South features some talented fantasy TEs, and it all starts in Indy with Dallas Clark.
1. Dallas Clark
The six year veteran has become one of Manning’s go-to guys over the past two seasons. In 2007, Clark posted a career high 11 touchdowns. Last year, in a season where the Colts were offensively challenged at times due to injuries, he managed career highs in catches (77) and receiving yards (848).
This year, with the loss of Marvin Harrison, Clark instantly become the number two option behind Reggie Wayne. With a little more protection up front, look for him and Manning to connect often—more than 750 yards and eight to 10 TDs.
2. Owen Daniels
Coming into the 2008 season, Daniels was thought of as an attractive fantasy sleeper, and by year’s end, he proved those who selected him right. Daniels caught 70 passes for over 800 yards and two TDs in 2008.
This year, the attention paid to Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton by opposing defenses should be even greater—leaving Daniels with favorable match-ups. Look for another 700 yard season and an increase in TDs to five.
3. Bo Scaife
With the insertion of Kerry Collins into the starting QB role after the first game of last season, Scaife quickly became a favorite target, nabbed 58 catches for 561 yards and two TDs.
With a sneaky ability to break some long gainers, look for Scaife to have another productive season in ‘09. Most of the Titans’ offseason activity centered on upgrading the receiving position, so with less attention paid his way, expect over 500 yards and five TDs.
4. Mercedes Lewis
Ever since the retirement of Jimmy Smith, all Jaguars attempts to upgrade its receiving corps have proved futile, so they’ve had to spread the ball around in order to keep defenses honest.
Last year, one of those recipients was Merceded Lewis, who developed a solid rapport with quarterback David Garrard, finishing with just under 500 yards and two TDs.
Look for another step forward in 2009, with more than 500 yards and between three and five TDs.
Clark will be one of the top TEs taken in the fantasy draft because his role in the high flying Colts’ offense just got larger, so anytime from round four on will provide good value.
Daniels and Scaife will both go around the same time and probably no earlier than round eight, while Lewis could end up a nice fantasy sleeper who’ll be available towards the end of the draft.