2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends (and Defenses and Kickers)



We've given you our 2011 fantasy football rankings for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, and if you haven't done so already, take a look at those before you proceed.


Go ahead, we'll wait.


OK, now that you've studied up on our previous rankings, your priorities are in order. We're of the opinion that you want to load up on the running backs and wide receivers throughout your draft, and that you should make sure to grab a top-tier quarterback and be done with that.


The latter is how we also feel about tight ends. Get a good one early, and don't even bother with a backup. The waiver wire will eventually offer plenty of pieces for you to plug in.


As for kickers and defenses, don't even bother worrying about either until the last two rounds. The big rallying cry from top fantasy football experts is to never draft a kicker before the last round, and we feel the same about defenses. We feel like the second-to-last-round is a perfect spot for your kicker. This way, you get one of your top-rated kickers before everybody else in the last round follows the advice of the so-called experts.


Defenses, meanwhile, are an equal crapshoot. Just pick one up in the last round and watch the waiver wire during the season, where a top 10 defense is sure to reside at some point early on.


The only rankings we'll provide here are our tight ends:


Tier 1
1. Antonio Gates
2. Jason Witten
3. Dallas Clark
4. Jermichael Finley
5. Vernon Davis


That's all we'll even bother to show you. Pick up one of these guys in the fourth or fifth round and be done with it. Kickers and defenses we'll trust you to figure out on your own.


Not a fan of fantasy football? (What's wrong with you?) Don't worry, we'll be back to betting on games as soon as they matter--starting with a pick in the Packers-Saints game season-opener on Sept. 8.