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2014 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Top 20 TEs After Preseason Week 3

Top 20 TEs After Week 3 of the Preseason

Jimmy Graham Saints
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With Week 3 of the 2014 NFL preseason now in the books, we've seen the last of most of the projected star tight ends until the regular season. With that, these are the top 20 fantasy tight ends to keep an eye on heading into the fantasy football season. These rankings don't reflect talent, but fantasy value.

20. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers

Ladarius Green Chargers
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20. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers

Ladarius Green Chargers
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A backup to Antonio Gates in San Diego, Ladarius Green was just the No. 35-ranked fantasy tight end in 2013 with 47.4 fantasy points, averaging 3.2 fantasy points per game, but he flashed late in the season, especially against Cincinnati in the playoffs. Expect Green to get more targets this season due to his emergence and the slow decline of Gates.

19. Garrett Graham, Houston Texans

Garrett Graham Texans
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19. Garrett Graham, Houston Texans

Garrett Graham Texans
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Garrett Graham split time last season with Owen Daniels in Houston, but still finished as the No. 15-ranked fantasy tight end in 2013 with 82.5 fantasy points, averaging 6.3 fantasy points per game. When new coach Bill O'Brien worked in New England, the offenses he worked under utilized tight ends a lot, so you can expect that Graham will be a big workload this season now that Daniels is in Baltimore.

18. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Jared Cook Rams
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18. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Jared Cook Rams
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A free agent acquisition last season, Jared Cook was the St. Louis Rams' top tight end and the No. 13-ranked fantasy tight end with 86.1 fantasy points, averaging 5.7 fantasy points per game. With no clear No. 1 receiver in St. Louis, Cook posted career-highs in receptions (51) and touchdowns (5) without QB Sam Bradford for most of 2013. His 51 receptions led the team and he could very well be St. Louis' No. 1 receiver this season.

17. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Antonio Gates Chargers
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17. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Antonio Gates Chargers
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After a down season in 2012, Antonio Gates bounced back nicely in 2013, finishing as the No. 10-ranked fantasy tight end with 98.1 fantasy points, averaging 6.5 points per game. In his 11th NFL season, Gates led the Chargers in receptions (77), finished second in yards (872) and fourth in touchdowns (4). Another season like last year won't be expected from Gates, but he is still a good late-round fantasy option.

16. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

Dwayne Allen Colts
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16. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

Dwayne Allen Colts
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Dwayne Allen was lost in Week 1 of the regular season last year, but Allen will bounce back and become a top fantasy tight end again. When Allen was healthy in 2012, he had 45 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the presence of Coby Fleener, Allen should get back to 2012 form and produce like a viable fantasy tight end.

15. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker Titans
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15. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker Titans
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In Delanie Walker's first season with the Titans, he finished as the No. 11-ranked fantasy tight end with 90.2 fantasy points, averaging 6.4 fantasy points per game. With quarterback troubles around him last season, Walker finished with 60 receptions for 571 yards and six touchdowns, all career highs. Walker should still be viewed as a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end, but not consistent enough to be a top option.

14. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Ertz Eagles
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14. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Ertz Eagles
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As a rookie last season, Philadelphia's Zach Ertz finished as the No. 22-ranked fantasy tight end with 66.6 fantasy points, averaging 4.4 fantasy points per game. Ertz is now likely to be the No. 1 tight end with the Eagles and quickly became one of Nick Foles' top weapons. With DeSean Jackson now in Washington, Ertz will get even more targets in the passing game.

13. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

Heath Miller Steelers
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13. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

Heath Miller Steelers
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One of only a few Steelers remaining from their Super Bowl XL team, Heath Miller finished 2013 as the No. 26-ranked fantasy tight end with 61.6 fantasy points, averaging 4.7 fantasy points per game. Miller had a down season in 2013 as he recorded 58 receptions for 593 yards, but scored just one touchdown. Expect a bounce back season from a healthy Miller, and expect more touchdowns in 2014.

12. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins

Charles Clay Dolphins
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12. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins

Charles Clay Dolphins
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One of the more underrated players in the NFL, Miami's Charles Clay finished 2013 as the No. 7-ranked fantasy tight end with 115.1 fantasy points, averaging 7.7 fantasy points per game. Clay had career-highs in receptions (69), yards (759) and touchdowns (6) and has become one of Ryan Tannehill's top targets. However, with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline still on the roster, Clay is still the third option in the Dolphins' passing game.

11. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears

Martellus Bennett Bears
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11. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears

Martellus Bennett Bears
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In his first season with the Chicago Bears, Martellus Bennett finished 2013 as the No. 9-ranked fantasy tight end with 102.4 fantasy points, averaging 6.8 fantasy points per game. Bennett is an underrated option as a fantasy tight end, but can't be a consistent option as long as the Bears have other offensive weapons like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte.

10. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

Dennis Pitta Ravens
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10. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

Dennis Pitta Ravens
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Playing in just three games last year, Baltimore's Dennis Pitta was the No. 57-ranked fantasy tight end with 16.6 fantasy points, averaging 5.5 fantasy points per game. When healthy, Pitta is good for at least 50 catches a season. With Steve Smith and Torrey Smith on the outside, Pitta will see plenty of one-on-one matchups in the middle, and Pitta is one of Joe Flacco's favorite offensive weapons.

9. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Rudolph Vikings
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9. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Rudolph Vikings
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Prior to his 2013 mid-season broken foot, Kyle Rudolph finished 2013 as the No. 32-ranked fantasy tight end with 49.3 fantasy points, averaging 6.2 fantasy points per game. Despite the injury, Rudolph got a contract extension this offseason and will benefit in Norv Turner's new offense. With Adrian Peterson in the backfield and Cordarrelle Patterson on the outside, Rudolph will easily double his 2013 numbers in 2014.

8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Greg Olsen Panthers
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8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

Greg Olsen Panthers
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Carolina lost all three of its top receivers from a season ago, but TE Greg Olsen is still with the team. Last season, Olsen finished as the No. 8-ranked fantasy tight end with 107.4 fantasy points, averaging 7.2 fantasy points per game. Olsen recorded 73 receptions for 816 yards and five touchdowns last season. With Steve Smith now in Baltimore, Olsen should be viewed as Carolina's No. 1 receiver and a solid No. 1 fantasy tight end.

7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten Cowboys
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7. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten Cowboys
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Now in his 11th season in the NFL, Dallas' Jason Witten continues to produce like a No. 1 fantasy tight end. In 2013, Witten was the No. 6-ranked fantasy tight end with 119.6 fantasy points, averaging 8.0 fantasy points per game. Witten's yards and catches dropped from 2012 to 2013, but his touchdowns increased form three to eight. As long as Tony Romo is healthy, Witten is a safe No. 1 fantasy tight end.

6. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski Patriots
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6. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski Patriots
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When healthy, Rob Gronkowski is the second-best tight end in the NFL, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy during his career. Gronkowski finished 2013 as the No. 14-ranked fantasy tight end with 83.2 fantasy points, averaging 11.9 fantasy points per game. If he stays healthy, Gronkowski is easily a top-five fantasy tight end, but he is a major question mark for any owner this season.

5. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Jordan Reed Redskins
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5. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

Jordan Reed Redskins
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Jordan Reed was the No. 20-ranked fantasy tight end in 2013, but he is projected to be a top-five fantasy tight end this season. Reed finished his rookie season with 69.7 fantasy points, averaging 7.7 fantasy points per game. He recorded 45 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns. with DeSean Jackson now joining Pierre Garcon on the outside, Reed will have plenty of one-on-one matchups this season, leading to a big season.

4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

Vernon Davis 49ers
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4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

Vernon Davis 49ers
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After an average 2012 season, Vernon Davis had a bounce-back season in 2013, finishing as the No. 2-ranked fantasy tight end with 150.5 fantasy points, averaging 10.8 fantasy points per game. Davis had 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns, but those numbers came with Michael Crabtree out of the lineup. With Crabtree back and with the addition of Stevie Johnson, Davis' targets and numbers should drop slightly, but not much in 2014.

3. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns

Jordan Cameron Browns
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3. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns

Jordan Cameron Browns
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In his third season in the NFL, Cleveland's Jordan Cameron finished 2013 as the No. 5-ranked fantasy tight end with 126.8 fantasy points, averaging 9.1 fantasy points per game. Cameron recorded 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, all career-highs. Now that Josh Gordon is out for the entire 2014 season, Cameron is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver for the Browns.

2. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos

Julius Thomas Broncos
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2. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos

Julius Thomas Broncos
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An unknown tight end to begin 2013, Denver's Julius Thomas finished as the No. 3-ranked fantasy tight end with 147.2 fantasy points, averaging 11.3 fantasy points per game. Thomas recorded 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, and with Eric Decker now in New York and Wes Welker's status in doubt, Thomas should easily repeat last year's numbers and be a top-three fantasy tight end.

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham Saints
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham Saints
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Jimmy Graham is head and shoulders above every other tight end in fantasy football. He finished 2013 as the No. 1-ranked fantasy tight end with 204.4 fantasy points, averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game. His totals were 50 points higher than the next best tight end. With Graham now under contract, he should still be viewed as the top fantasy tight end and the only one worth drafting in the first three rounds of any draft.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

Related Links:

2014 Fantasy Football: The Top 10 Defenses After Week 3 of the Preseason

2014 Fantasy Football: Ranking The Top 20 RBs After Preseason Week 3

2014 Fantasy Football: Ranking The Top 20 QBs After Preseason Week 3