Tight End Outlook: AFC North

When I think of the AFC North, the thing that comes to mind is defense. They may shine on defense but they still have contenders for a good fantasy offense. Three of the four teams in this division will have the same starting tight end as last year, except for Baltimore, who had Todd Heap (now in Arizona). Let’s take a look:

Baltimore Ravens– As mentioned earlier, the Ravens will have a new starting tight end. It looks as if they will go with Ed Dickson. He still has to win the job, but I would avoid picking him up nonetheless. His future is bright, but as a fantasy option this year, he will not provide enough to be a fantasy starter or fill-in.

Cincinnati Bengals– The Bengals have Jermaine Gresham at tight end, a second year player out of Oklahoma. He had a good year in 2010, amassing 52 REC/471 YDS/4 TD. This year could be a big year for Gresham, but there are questions at QB that need to be answered. If the starter looks to rely on Gresham as a go-to guy, he could have another good year. Until we see how that plays out, look to draft Gresham late in your drafts, and only as a backup.

Cleveland Browns– The Browns lost a lot of close games last year. That could be related to the fact the Colt McCoy has no real receiving threat to throw to. Ben Watson provided the offense with some consistency, grabbing 68 passes for 763 yards and three touchdowns. With the lack of a deep threat, McCoy could continue to use Watson as a drop down option. That will be very helpful in a PPR league. He is not an elite starter, but should be looked at in late rounds as a backup, injury replacement, or bye-week fill in.

Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger has a way of moving around and avoiding being sacked. However, he does not look to throw to tight end Heath Miller. Miller had 42 REC/512 YDS/2 TD, meaning he was not the first option in the offense. The early report out of training camp says that Miller is lining up in the backfield more, meaning he will be used more as a blocker than receiver. His numbers are not good enough to be a consistent fantasy player, but if you want to take the risk, grab him in late rounds and store him on your bench.

Next up will be the tight ends of the AFC West

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