1. Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys
Injury concerns make it easy for me to go with my trusty fallback Jason Witten - The Dallas Cowboys all time leading receiver. Don't be fooled by his meager 3 touchdowns - he started the year with a freak accident (that he played through) and managed over a 100 catches. It's boom or bust with the other guys - give me the consistent producer and I'l take my championship please.
2. Jimmy Graham - New Orleans Saints
Last year's Jimmy Graham was solid but not worth the second or third round pick you may have sacrificed to snag the guy that broke an NFL tight end record for receiving yards in 2011. What does that year and this upcoming fall have in common? Try Sean Payton. The return of the offensive mastermind will be a huge boost not just to this athletic freak but all Saints players.
3. Rob Gronkowski - New England Patriots
The Gronk was exciting in 2011 but copy and paste from Jimmy Graham here. He let you down last year and I'm talking to those desperated enough to draft him early because that's where you needed to find him. His multiple broken arm ailments and now a back issue make him a gigantic risk. Back injuries especially are especially challenging to play through - this ailment being the same that shelved him for his junior year in college. His potential makes him top 5 worthy but I'm not reaching
4. Aaron Hernandez - New England Patriots
Should Gronkowski miss any time it will come down to Aaron Hernandez who really stepped up in the 3 or 4 games he was healthy last year. Yep, another New England tight end and another injury question mark. Maybe I should put Jake Ballard in my top 10? He could be seeing the field too. The reason I got these injury bugs high on my list is because I think Brady leans on them now that Welker is gone. That seemed to be his safety valve pre-Welker.
5. Vernon Davis - San Francisco 49ers
The last two years Vernon Davis has been in straight beast mode for the playoffs. He seems to save his best for the biggest stages but sounding like an echo here - he should step up and be leaned on with Michael Crabtree's absence. The 49ers will trot two tight ends out in their base formation and he'll be the receiving threat that stretches the middle. Don't be surprised to see 8-10 touchdowns.
The next 5
Antonio GatesTony Gonzalez
Great Value Late
Pass on these guys