Fantasy Rankings: NFC South TE’s in 2009

After a few offseason trades, the NFC South is well represented at Tight End, with perhaps the best at the position now calling this division home.

1. Tony Gonzalez

Gonzalez arrival in Atlanta instantly makes him the top fantasy TE in the division. Stuck in a horrible situation playing for a 2-14 team last year, Gonzo had one of his finest seasons, with 96 catches, 1,058 yards and 11 TDs.

And now Matt Ryan’s throwing the ball to him. Look for Gonzalez to be heavily utilized in the passing game and have another 1,000 plus yard, double digit TD season.

2. Kellen Winslow

Acquiring Winslow was a very nice move by Tampa. The talented TE needed a change of scenery after an extremely disappointing beginning to his Cleveland career which consisted of his missing a few seasons from off-field injuries.

In 2008, playing in a troubled Browns’ offense, he totaled just 428 yards and three TDs while playing in 10 game—this coming after his breakout 2007 season.

This year, look for Winslow to rediscover his game and post at least 60 catches, for 800 yards and 7 TDs.

3. Jeremy Shockey

This is really a make or break year for Shockey, who has always ranked well in fantasy due to the hype he received from his rookie season. But in all truthfulness, back-up TE, Billy Miller, played better than he did last year.

In what was expected to be a move which he reignited his career, Shockey managed just 50 catches and zero TDs, even with Drew Brees as his QB.

We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt one more time: Look for a 60-70 catch and 5 TDs.

4. Billy Miller

We’d normally feature a Panther is this slot, but since their leading TE, Dante Rosario, managed only 209 yards and one TD on just 18 catches, it’s quite clear that the TE position has little to no role the Panthers’ offense.

Miller on the other hand, playing in a very potent offense, hauled in 45 balls for nearly 600 yards.

Look for a similar stat line in 2009 as Brees likes to look for his TE’s over the middle.

Draft Tip

Gonzalez should be one of, if not the top TE drafted, and hear his name called from the third round on.

Winslow is still a starting caliber fantasy TE and will be a nice pick after round six.

Shockey could actually end up as a strong fantasy sleeper as he’s certain to be overlooked following last year’s disappointing season while Miller would be a good back-up to add depth to your roster.

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