TEs On The Rise – Dante Pitts

Vance McDonald: Through all indications, Vance McDonald will be the starting Tight End Week 1 for the 49ers. After the departure of Vernon Davis. McDonald started to show some production that may make great dividends for fantasy owners. Once he got more playing time, he was able to produce 30 catches, for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. There were a few instances were McDonald was able to produce double digit outings for standard leagues. His ADP is low, making him easy to target in later rounds to fill in your roster or I even predict him to be sitting on your waiver wire. With the addition of Chip Kelly expect to see big passing numbers, and San Francisco doesn’t have a strong receiving core (other than Torrey Smith) so expect McDonald to see a lot of targets. He has also built chemistry with Blaine Gabbert from last season so taking him late or on waivers has a big reward and little risk for owners.

Will Tye: The Giants are filled with spectacular pass catchers, but in the mix off all that talent there is a sure-handed pass catcher in the New York offense. With the short playing time Tye had with the Giants he was able to come on late. He had 42 receptions for 464 yards, and 3 touchdowns. When Larry Donnell went down, Tye was able to show some of his ability. In five of his final six games, Tye was able to produce 7 fantasy points in each and in two of those games he posted double digit outings. Tye will still be competing with Donnell for the TE1 spot on the Giants roster, but for deep fantasy drafts I would lean towards Tye for his upside. So far Tye hasn’t had a spectacular preseason but I expect that to increase as the season continues.

Jared Cook: Jared Cook is in a Green Bay offense with Aaron Rodgers in command. As an elite quarterback, Rodgers is sure to get the ball around a lot and his receivers and Tights Ends will benefit from it. Drafting Cook may be a great idea as there will be decent trade value for owners that may need to fill the void due to injury or any other reason. Also, be aware that he will be competing with Richard Rodgers. Either way, one of these guys are going to be worth a lot in fantasy value in the Packers offense. I expect Cook to have a big season with the Pack. My only concern is the plethora of pass catchers may take away a few targets from the Tight End.

Virgil Green: The Denver Tight End spent a majority of his snaps blocking in his first 5 years while the likes of Julius Thomas, Owen Daniels and Daniel Fells saw most of the passing targets. He is emerging as Denver’s number one Tight End target. Through his first set of preseason games he seems to building chemistry with whatever quarterback is on the field. In PPR formats Green will be a valuable option as he will be a security blanket for whatever quarterback option they decide to go with. The consistency that Green has shown is proving that he could potentially be a TE1 but is definitely a TE2 for depth.

Gary Barnidge: I know, I have Barnidge already listed on my Tight Ends to Target Besides Gronk, But listen… I have to reiterate the value that is there for you. His ADP for both Standard and PPR leagues is 8.11 and 8.08. So far in the preseason he looks great! He has 4 receptions for 36 yard and one touchdown this season. With the resurgence of RGIII, Barnidge is going to come up big, don’t not miss this chance to have a top 10 tight end this season with a middle to late round pick.


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