Fantasy Football

2012 Fantasy Rookie Tight Ends Rankings, History

The Colts' Coby Fleener leads Fantasy rookie tight ends in 2012.

Usually, every Fantasy Football preseason, we hear a lot of talk about a rookie tight end that has great potential to help owners. This year, Stanford’s Coby Fleener reunites with fellow Colts rookie Andrew Luck. He’ll likely be the highest rookie Tight End drafted in Fantasy Football drafts, but that doesn’t mean much this season.

With tight ends like the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Saints’ Jimmy Graham getting drafted as high as the second round, this position is chock full of talent, and rookie tight ends are going to have a tough time breaking into the top 12.

Interestingly, Fleener is among the top 12 tight ends getting drafted in leagues on, near Round 11. Yet, last year’s top rookie TEs (Lance Kendricks (25th) and Kyle Rudolph(14th)) were drafted behind him.

Before we get into which rookies have the best chance of finishing in the top 12 by season’s end, let’s look at Fantasy Football tight end history.


Top Fantasy Rookie Tight Ends since 2002

2011 – Lance Kendricks, STL — 28-353-0 – 35 pts
2011 – Kyle Rudolph, MIN – 26-249-3 – 42 pts
2010 – Rob Gronkowski, NE – 42-546-10 – 114 pts
2010 – Aaron Hernandez, NE – 45-563-6 – 92 pts
2010 – Jimmy Graham, NO – 31-356-5 – 65 pts
2010 – Jermaine Gresham, CIN — 53-471-4 – 71 pts
2010 – Tony Moeaki, KC – 47-556-3 – 73 pts
2009 – Brandon Pettigrew, DET – 30-346-2 – 46 pts
2009 – Zach Miller, JAC – 21-212-2 – 33 pts
2008 – John Carlson, SEA – 55-627-5 – 92 pts
2008 – Dustin Keller, NYJ – 48-535-3 – 71 pts
2007 – Zach Miller, OAK – 44-444-3 – 62 pts
2007 — Greg Olsen, CHI – 39-391-2 – 51 pts
2006 – Owen Daniels, HOU – 34-352-5 – 65 pts
2006 – Vernon Davis, SF – 20-265-3 – 44 pts
2005 – Alex Smith, TB – 41-367-2 – 48 pts
2005 – Heath Miller, PIT – 39-459-6 – 81 pts
2004 – Chris Cooley, WAS – 37-314-6 – 67 pts
2004 – Ben Troupe, TEN – 33-329-1 – 38 pts
2003 – Jason Witten, DAL – 35-347-1 – 40 pts
2003 – Dallas Clark, IND – 29-340-1 – 40 pts
2003 – Antonio Gates, SD – 24-389-2 – 50 pts
2002 – Jeremy Shockey, NYG – 74-894-2 – 101 pts
2002 – Randy McMichael, MIA – 39-485-4 – 72 pts


Rob Gronkowski is certain to be the top Fantasy Football tight end drafted in 2012.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has scored 28 touchdowns in two seasons, breaking some NFL records. Photo Credit: DGAProductions

A few interesting things to glean from those rookie tight end stats from the past 10 seasons:

  • The best tight end draft ever was 2003 (let’s give 2010 a few more years to breathe), producing Clark, Witten and Gates. They scored a trio Fantasy average of 44 points. Yet, the previous season, Univ. of Miami product Jeremy Shockey posted 101 Fantasy points, which was the second-highest total in the past decade. But while Shockey caught 35 more TDs over the next nine seasons, he never eclipsed his rookie catch or yardage totals.
  • These 24 players represent the top rookie tight ends for each year. The average production from these players is about 38 catches for 425 yards and 3.4 touchdowns.
  • It’s reasonable to expect that kind of production from the top rookie tight ends this year. If Fleener, for instance, were to register those numbers, or about 62 Fantasy points, he would land outside of the top 25 Fantasy tight ends.


Top Fantasy Rookie Tight Ends for 2012

1. Coby Fleener, IND: It’s tough to judge Fleener on his own credentials because he’s tied to Luck, a rookie quarterback. If Luck is successful, Fleener has a much better chance to play well too. The fact that the Colts lost Dallas Clark, Pierre Garcon and Jacob Tamme means a lot for Fleener too. In deeper leagues, he’s a nice TE2 to give a spot to.

2. Dwayne Allen, IND: Allen played basketball in college and that has proven to be an excellent addition to a resume when you’re hiring tight ends (see Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez). And the Colts are going to be in need of some playmakers on the other end of Luck’s passes.

The Colts' Coby Fleener leads Fantasy rookie tight ends in 2012.

Colts rookie TE Coby Fleener caught 34 passes for 667 yards and 10 TDs in his senior season at Stanford, with QB Andrew Luck. Photo Credit: Carmine19Jock

3. Ladarius Green, SD: Green has a basketball body, much like Gates, who he’ll be learning from early on. Gates and Randy McMichaelare no spring chickens, and Green will be a top-10 tight end in 2015.

4. Orson Charles, CIN: Someone to remember in future years, but he’s going to be second banana behind Gresham for now. He’s thicker than he is tall, but tight ends out of Georgia have had some Fantasy Football success recently, including Vernon Davis.

5. Michael Egnew, MIA: Much like Fleener, Egnew’s career is tied to a rookie signal-caller. Miami tied their wagons to rookie QB Ryan Tannehill, who should see some action in 2012. Egnew could be an early-and-often target in Miami, mostly because the wide receiver corps is relatively unimpressive (TE Anthony Fasano, WR Davone Bess, WR Legedu Naanee and WR Brian Hartline).


2012 Rookies: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


RANKINGS: Top 60 | QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST | Top 50 IDP


2012 Fantasy Rookie TE Rankings


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