Tight Ends - 2006 Fantasy Final

We're continuing the final analysis of fantasy players from the 2006 fantasy season. Today, we focus upon the tight ends where we list the best of '06 based upon performance.


1. Antonio Gates - Gates recertified his title as "The Best Tight End in Football". It took some time for Gates to totally adapt to the San Diego change at quarterback from Drew Brees to Philip Rivers, but Gates' numbers improved as the season progressed to put him on pace to have the top NFL TE numbers by year's end. Gates scored 5 TDs in his final 6 regular season games...with an accumulated 20 grabs for 275 yards and 4 TDs in weeks 12-14. Fantasy owners who drafted Antonio Gates early were rewarded as he put up top 15 caliber wide receiver numbers as a tight end.

2. Alge Crumpler - "Big Alge" was a "Big TD Target" inside the 20 for quarterback Michael Vick. With 6 touchdowns in his first 8 games, Crumpler was key to Atlanta's early victories and seemingly put the Falcons on their way to big things with a jumpstart record of 5-2. In fact, Crumpler had a 4 game pace (weeks 6-9) where he caught 19 balls for 302 yards with 5 TDs! But as the season progressed, Crumpler's numbers declined and so did the Falcons. AG scored just 2 TDs in the 2nd half of the season and the Falcons won just 2 of their final 9 games. Regardless, Alge Crumpler's 1st half performance was enough to boost him to 2nd overall for fantasy TE production in 2006.

3. Jeremy Shockey - Shockey plays offense like Brian Urlacher plays defense. Everytime Shockey gets the ball, he wants to hit someone...and it seems to work for him. On the season, Shockey bulled his way to 7 TDs to rank 3rd in scoring of all tight ends. But like Crumpler, Shockey scored most of his TDs in the first half of the season with 5 in his first 8 games to help lead the Giants to a 6-2 record after starting the season at 1-2. Shockey's total of 7 touchdowns and 600+ yards for the season is still respectable and ranks him 3rd overall at his position, but early season indications appeared Shockey would be on a much more torrid pace for the season. Shockey was unable to score in NYG's final 3 games and sat out week 17 with an injury.

4. Tony Gonzalez - Always a player at TE...Gonzo overcame dominance by Larry Johnson and a Chiefs quarterback change to remain a key factor in the KC offense. Gonzalez put up 900 yards on 73 catches for the season...ranking him 2nd in both categories for tight ends. Although Gonzo was consistent in touches and yardage, the downside to his performance was his lack of TDs - finishing with just 5 for the year.

5. Todd Heap - Heap had a tendency to be questionable on the injury report every single week. But somehow Heap rarely missed time. Similar to several of our top tight ends for 2006, Heap busted out early with 5 TDs in his first 7 games. But also similar to other top TE's this past season, Heap faltered in the second half of the season and scored just one touchdown in his final 9 games. Regardless, Heap scored a respectable 6 touchdowns for the year on 73 catches...but wasn't exactly a scoring machine down the stretch for his fantasy owners..

6. Chris Cooley - Cooley had similar numbers to Todd Heap, but with fewer receptions (57). The main difference with Cooley was that he somewhat spread his scoring throughout the season after going scoreless in his first 5 games.

7. Desmond Clark - With an over-anxious quarterback who wants to always throw the ball in the redzone (when running may make more sense), players like Desmond Clark start to show up on the radar. Of Clark's 45 catches, 6 went for touchdowns...as Rex Grossman often looked Clark's direction when he was on the field.

8. L.J. Smith - Smith adjusted to a change at QB from Donovan McNabb to Jeff Garcia and it didn't affect his performance much. L.J. stayed pretty consistent on the season with 50 grabs for 600+ yards and 5 TDs...not great, but good enough (esp. if in a league that requires use of a tight end).

9. Kellen Winslow Jr. - Winslow has arguably the most talent of any wide receiver in the league. In fact, he led all tight ends with 89 (EIGHTY-NINE) receptions! Only five wide receivers caught more balls this past season. Winslow is third in yardage with 875, but made it into the endzone only 3 times...and wasn't able to score in the 2nd half of the season. The Browns never seemed to find their offense in '06, but Winslow held a key role in what they were able to produce.

Top Fantasy Tight Ends 2006



Rec Yards


Antonio Gates




Alge Crumpler
Jeremy Shockey
Tony Gonzalez
Todd Heap

Chris Cooley




Desmond Clark
L.J. Smith
Kellen Winslow Jr.


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