His numbers during the regular season may not have been that impressive, but Vernon Davis showed last January that he has what it takes to be one of the top tight ends for the fantasy football 2012 season after nearly leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl–which is why he ranks No. 3 on this list.
In two playoff appearances last season against the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, Davis combined for 10 catches for 292 yards and four touchdowns–including a 73-yard touchdown catch in the NFC Championship. Davis has always been considered a top-five pass-catching tight end since joining the 49ers in 2006, but his performances in last year’s playoffs showed just how dangerous he can be and expectations will be even higher for him heading into 2012.
During the 2011 regular season, Davis caught 67 passes for 792 yards and six touchdowns–which is decent for an offense that ranked 29th last season when it came to the passing game. However, in the two seasons prior to 2011, Davis caught 134 passes for 1,879 yards and 20 touchdowns–so he’s certainly capable of putting up monstrous numbers like Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham.
Of course, whether or not Davis puts up big numbers in 2012 may depend on how well Alex Smith performs. If Davis and Smith can establish the same connection from last year’s postseason, there’s every reason to believe Davis could be in for another big year in 2012.
From a fantasy perspective, Davis will most likely be selected anywhere from the third-to-fifth rounds in most fantasy football leagues.