QB | WR | RB | TE
- Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers - The difference between Gates and Witten is minuscule, but I'm giving the edge to Gates. He's got a better history of scoring touchdowns, and I worry about how defenses may be able to clamp down on Witten with Terrell Owens out of the picture in Dallas.
- Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys - Witten has been Tony Romo's favorite target (and good buddy) pretty much since Romo started playing quarterback for the Cowboys. Roy Williams replaces Terrell Owens as the #1 receiver on the team, which could mean more double-teams for Witten. We'll find out soon if Witten actually deserves the accolades he's been getting in fantasy circles.
- Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons - Gonzalez moves to a much more impressive offensive team, and he was far and away the #1 fantasy tight end last year. He's got a little more wear on his tires than you'd like, but he's been the model of consistency. You can take him with confidence.
- Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts - Clark set career highs in receptions and yards last season, although his touchdown catches dropped from 11 to 6. That can be partly attributed to a weak running game, which should be stronger this season. I expect Clark to once again be a prime red zone target for Peyton Manning.
- Chris Cooley, Washington Redskins - Lost in the weakness of the Redskins' wide receivers is the fact that Cooley has developed into one of the most consistently productive tight ends in football. He only notched one touchdown last season, but had at least six in every other season of his career. There's no reason to think he won't get back there.
- Kellen Winslow Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Winslow seemed on the path to greatness after consecutive 80+ catch seasons, but he got hurt and faltered last year. He allegedly has an attitude problem, but come on, everybody in football has a little bit of an attitude problem. Winslow's at least got the talent to be #1 on this list.
- Owen Daniels, Houston Texans - Oftentimes, the sexy TE pick in the preseason ends up disappointing (remember Boo Williams?). Daniels is an example of one who didn't disappoint. He's in a fairly high-powered offense, and while he hasn't been much of a red zone threat, he's a productive tight end, which means he's always just a play away.
- Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears - There are about fifty rankings that changed when Jay Cutler got traded to Chicago, not the least of which was a bump for Greg Olsen. I'm not certain it's warranted, as Cutler should be able to do more with his wide receivers than Kyle Orton did. Still, talent is talent.
- Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders - Miller was far and away the best receiver on the Raiders last year. The problem, of course, is that we're talking about the Raiders, so nobody was great, and there's no reason to think they'll be much better this year. But a repeat performance seems reasonable.
- John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks - The addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh is expected to be almost as important to Seattle as Cutler's addition is to Chicago. Housh should open things up for other receivers, and Carlson figures to benefit as much as anyone.
- Dustin Keller, New York Jets - Keller was a productive rookie last season, but any projected improvements based on experience are mitigated by the quarterback situation in New York. The loss of Laveranues Coles without any replacement doesn't help, either.
- Bo Scaife, Tennessee Titans - Scaife has improved in three consecutive seasons, but still can't seem to plant himself in the end zone (his career high is 2 TDs). He'll split time with Alge Crumpler as well, but I can see a breakout happening for Scaife this season, specifically in the scoring department.
- Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans Saints - There was never a player who made more off of one play than Shockey did when he ran over that guy on the Texans. He hasn't matched his reception or yardage totals from his rookie season, and has never played all 16 games. But with the Saints' passing attack, he'll be good enough to take a flier on late.
- Tony Scheffler, Denver Broncos - Scheffler was by no means a powerhouse last year, but he was solid, and fairly consistent when he was healthy. Unfortunately, his health itself was inconsistent. Whenever he plays, though, he should be good for at least 50 yards.
- Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers - Lots of people, including myself, thought Heath Miller would flourish in Pittsburgh, with their reputation for hard yards and conservative passing. But the Steelers are much more of a downfield team than their reputation would suggest, and Miller has just been okay. He's a big body, well-suited for red zone offense, so he's a decent roll of the dice from week to week.
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