1. Jared Cook (TEN) – Aside from the turmoil he encountered in Tennessee when he believed he wasn’t being used enough, there’s not much to dissuade GMs from taking a shot at this athletic physical specimen. Cook has excellent hands and speed and a knack for stretching the field. He’s also a solid red zone target with capable blocking skills. He could easily be a 60-850-10 sort of tight end and a Top 5 fantasy TE in the right system. There are several potential landing spots for Cook, but I think his days in Nashville are done. And if certain teams are willing to spend the money, Cook could be in line for a monster 2013.
The Best Fit: Seahawks, Rams, Raiders
2. Fred Davis (WAS) – Not too long ago, there was a lot to get excited about concerning Davis, a rising star with oodles of upside. But after getting hit with the franchise tag in 2012 and then tearing his left Achilles in October, it looked like his future in Washington was over. Still, there are rumors that signing Davis, one of the top targets of 2013, is still on the Redskins to-do list. It’s rare for a player coming off a major injury to land a multi-year deal, but if anybody is going to take a long-term risk with Davis, it’s probably Dan Snyder. If not, Davis will get looks from a host of other teams but probably not anything in the way of a three- or four-year deal. If he’s back with the ‘Skins in 2013 and healthy to start the season, he’s a mid-round steal in redraft leagues.
The Best Fit: Redskins, Giants, Jets
3. Dustin Keller (NYJ) – Keller barely saw the field last year after struggling with a myriad of injuries and failing to establish a rapport with Mark Sanchez once he was healthy enough to play. The veteran isn’t quite as old as his body, and he’s never reached his full potential as a steady target or meaningful red zone contributor. I doubt he’ll get a huge payday, but the gradually increasing numbers over the first few seasons of his career (improvement that was stymied in 2012) could be a huge selling point for his agent. When he’s not battling nagging ankle and hamstring injuries, Keller is an every-down tight end with plenty of upside, and in a perfect world, he’d be a Top 10 fantasy TE. But a robust tight end market could mean he gets lost in the shuffle and ends up on a squad without a viable quarterback or plan to effectively insert him in the offense.
The Best Fit: Browns, Rams, Bears
4. Martellus Bennett (NYG) – Like Davis, Bennett has a good chance of re-signing with his current team, as he flourished in the Giants offense after years of toiling away in relative obscurity behind Jason Witten in Dallas. Bennett’s gotten some flak for dropping passes in the past, but he made sense as a tall, lanky red zone threat for Big Blue in 2012, hauling in 55-626-5 despite little preseason fanfare. Plenty of teams will be in the market for Bennett, who emerged as a viable fantasy TE and could be in line for a big payday after the one-year, 2.5 million contract he signed with the Giants last season. For many GMs, that kind of production for such a modest contract will pique their interest.
The Best Fit: Giants, Bucs, Cards
5. Brandon Myers (OAK) – Myers was one of the lone bright spots for the Raiders in 2013, catching 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll be a highly coveted free agent despite limited abilities and being taken in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft. Some of Myers’ emergence has been attributed to the work that former Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders put in with him, readying the young tight end for a feature role in Greg Knapp’s offense. Because the grass is always greener for the Raiders organization, there’s not much of a chance they bite the bullet and pay out Myers in 2013, even if that’s the best move. Myers will likely get a multi-year deal from one of several suitors, and he’ll be hard-pressed to repeat his numbers from last season.
The Best Fit: Falcons, Giants, Bucs