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2014 Draft Prep: TE tiers, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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QB tiers | RB tiers | WR tiers | Draft Averages | Rankings | Draft Index

There are two types of Fantasy drafters: Those willing to dedicate an early-round pick to an elite tight end, and those who aren't.

If you do want an elite tight end making a difference in your lineup, you'll either have to get really lucky on Draft Day or on the waiver wire to fix a weakness somewhere else.

If you do not want an elite tight end then you'll either get lucky with another tight end on Draft Day or find an option off the waiver wire to fix the weakness at the position.

Which way is the right way?

There's no right answer, since the elite tight ends should deliver huge numbers (so long as they stay healthy ... Gronk, we're looking at you) and there will be breakout tight ends as well.

The good news is that there seems to be enough tight ends to go around in a league with 10 or fewer owners. Twelve or more? There's still enough, just not comfortably.

We discussed the finer points of drafting tight ends at every stage in a Fantasy draft along with the concept of taking high-upside tight ends late and whether or not you need to take two tight ends in our earlier tight end strategies.

But the tiers have been tweaked a little bit and you deserve to know about it.

Tight end tiers for 2014

Elite Tier Second Tier Third Tier Shoot for the moon
Rounds 1, 2, 3 Rounds 5, 6, 7 Rounds 8, 9 Rounds 10+
Jimmy Graham Vernon Davis Zach Ertz Ladarius Green
Rob Gronkowski Jordan Cameron Kyle Rudolph Antonio Gates
Julius Thomas Jason Witten Greg Olsen Heath Miller
  Dennis Pitta Jordan Reed Charles Clay
      Martellus Bennett
      Delanie Walker
      Eric Ebron

PPR tiers for tight ends

Elite Tier Second Tier Third Tier Shoot for the moon
Rounds 1, 2 Rounds 5, 6, 7 Rounds 8, 9 Rounds 10+
Jimmy Graham Vernon Davis Kyle Rudolph Antonio Gates
Rob Gronkowski Jordan Cameron Zach Ertz Heath Miller
Julius Thomas Jason Witten Greg Olsen Ladarius Green
  Dennis Pitta Jordan Reed Charles Clay
      Martellus Bennett
      Delanie Walker
      Eric Ebron

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Player News
Bills WR Marcus Easley returns to practice Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:46 pm ET) Bills wide receiver Marcus Easley returned to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday.

Easley has missed the last four weeks while recovering from a sprained MCL. If he's healthy enough to play Sunday, his presence on special teams could help counter the loss of Anthony Dixon on the unit, as he's expected to fill a much bigger offensive role in the wake of multiple injuries to the team's running backs.


Cordarrelle Patterson no longer on injury report
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:43 pm ET) Vikings second-year wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, who had dealt with a hip flexor strain since Week 5, is not listed on the team's injury report, according to 1500ESPN.com. Patterson has been a big disappointment, catching 19 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown in seven games.

Minnesota visits Tampa Bay on Sunday.


49ers WR Steve Johnson making most of limited snaps
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) 49ers wideout Steve Johnson has played 31 percent of the team's offensive snaps, yet he ranks third on the team in catches (25) and receiving yards (315) and is tied for the team lead with three touchdown grabs, notes the San Francisco Chronicle. Colin Kaepernick has a sterling 127.8 passer rating when targeting Johnson, completing 25 of 31 throws, the report said.

Despite his success, Johnson might have a hard time earning more time because Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin are locked in as starters and Brandon Lloyd is a deep threat coaches want to get on the field, the paper said.

For now, the paper envisions Johnson continuing to split No. 3 receiver duties with Lloyd, who has played 38 percent of the snaps.


Rams WR Kenny Britt a non-participant Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) Rams wideout Kenny Britt did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis visits Kansas City on Sunday.

Bears CB Kyle Fuller up in the air for Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:01 pm ET) Bears rookie corner Kyle Fuller sat out Wednesday's practice with a hip pointer and a broken right hand, and his status for Sunday's game at New England is uncertain, reports the Chicago Tribune. It would be a big blow to the Bears if they don't have Fuller, who's made 33 tackles and three interceptions in seven games.

Coach Marc Trestman has said Fuller does not need surgery and could play with a broken hand.


Saints RB Khiry Robinson held out Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:34 pm ET) Saints running back Khiry Robinson was held out of Wednesday's practice due to a forearm injury. Robinson left after playing five snaps Week 7 at Detroit, but said he'll be fine for Sunday night's game against the Packers.

"I have a little boo-boo, but I'm straight," he said, per The New Orleans Advocate.


Colts have confidence in Hakeem Nicks if Reggie Wayne is sidelined
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:33 pm ET) If Reggie Wayne is unable to play Week 8 against the Steelers due to an elbow injury, Colts coach Chuck Pagano expressed complete confidence in veteran receiver Hakeem Nicks helping pick up the slack in Wayne's absence.

"He comes here every day with his hat on, lunch pail, ready to work," Pagano said about Nicks, per ESPN. "He’s a competitive guy. We have a ton of competitive guys in that locker room. They all want to contribute and they all want to make plays. He understands that. He’ll be ready no matter when his number is called. He knows his stuff; he practices hard, prepares hard."

Nicks has posted modest numbers in his first season with the Colts, totaling 17 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.


Emmanuel Sanders looking for more
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4:33 pm ET) If Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is to bounce back from a surprisingly quiet showing over the last two weeks, he will have to do so in Week 8 against a Chargers defense that has more than held their own against wide receivers this season.

The Chargers rank sixth in Fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers this season, and have done a fantastic job overall, with one exception. The Raiders -- yes, the Raiders -- absolutely torched the Chargers in Week 6, with three receivers going off for double digit Fantasy points.

The Chargers have allowed just one other receiver to score 10 or more Fantasy points, though they also just haven't faced off against many good passing offenses. The Broncos racked up 519 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Chargers last week, so they should have some success.

Sanders has at least 8 Fantasy points in five of six games this season, and should be able to keep that up even in the face of the Chargers' success. Keep him active in most Fantasy formats for Week 8.


Jimmy Graham limited in practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was limited in Wednesday's practice ahead of Sunday's game against the Packers. Graham, who's nursing a shoulder injury, played 30 snaps in the Week 7 loss at Detroit. He was targeted twice without making a catch.

Pierre Thomas sits as expected
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:27 pm ET) Saints running back Pierre Thomas did not practice Wednesday, as expected. The team listed him with shoulder and rib injuries. Reports have suggested Thomas will miss two to three games, but the team has not confirmed that.

 
 
 
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