The tight end is like the closer in baseball if there were only three teams that didn't use the Bullpen by comittee. If you love having a position give you minimal points per game, you love the tight end. I mean, drafting a second tight end is very likely not going to be worth your time.
And even this year? You can see there reasons to fail these guys beyond the big three. Heck, there's reasons to worry about the big three.
But I'll give you a new tier system. Remember...
Don't follow this list in order.
If I have their name italicized, I expect them to be busts.
If I have them in the courier bold font? They are sleepers.
Jason Witten(Targets? Yes. Red Zone looks? Not as much. Martellus Bennett has some vulture capabilities.)
Tony Gonzalez (He'll fall off from 96-1108-10, but considering the lack of much receiver depth and Matt Ryan's lack of an underneath game? He'll be fine.)
Antonio Gates (If his legs are healthy? He goes back to 100+ targets and a solid weapon, but Vincent Jackson is becoming solid. Malcom Floyd is emerging as well. Is Gates getting phased out? He honestly might be.)
Greg Olson (There are some who think G-reg of the 7th floor crew is going to be spectacular. And he's got good physical skills. But I just don't see how he's going to get enough targets to break out. Hester seems to have finally shown something in OTA's, Bennett has a connection with Cutler, and Desmond Clark may not get 70 targets, but he's not going to see all his looks disappear.)
Chris Cooley (He's unsexy. Seeming new hotness in Greg Olson and Owen Daniels may move him down toward the 7 or 8 in the rankings. He's still the Redskins posession receiver.)
Zach Miller (I liked him as a breakout candidate last year, and he delivered the yards and catches. The touchdowns come this year.)
Owen Daniels (He'll have a chance to show himself worthy of an extension. But here's the thing. The Texans drafted Anthony Hill and James Casey. Casey especially is the sort of Dustin Keller type who can vulture Daniels.)
Dallas Clark (It's four great games, 6 weeks of listings as questionable, and 8 to 10 games of dreck.)
Kellen Winslow (It's another if-then scenario. If the quarterback situation sorts itself out somewhat and if Winslow stays healthy? Then he has a great year. It's a needle that may not be worth the thread.)
Dustin Keller (If there is a vertical passing game, Keller gets the benefits. Stuckey is decent, but injury prone. He has the means and motive. This year he gets opportuinty.)
John Carlson (Greg Knapp is someone who would marry the short passing game if people like Tony Dungy weren't so adamant. Anyway, this means that while they signed Housh, John Carlson's grittiness is going to be successful.)
Kevin Boss (I like Kevin Boss because the situation in Giants camp is a mess. Outside of Hixon there is an opportunity for targets. I'm not saying he's going to be a member of the big three, but he has means and the goal-line targets to be very interesting. While they drafted Beckum, the window is his.)
Bo Scaife (They want Jared Cook to be Dustin Keller. Maybe not so much of a worry this year, but Cook is a weapon and Scaife is not starting material.)
Jeremy Shockey (Stick a fork in him. He's done.)
Tony Sheffler (I was burned by Tony Scheffler last season. He's shown flashes of awesome. But McDaniels doesn't love the pass catcher tight end. And Scheffler doesn't block. I don't trust.)
Heath Miller (Heath needs to be healthy for all 16 games to be worth something. Matt Spaeth is somewhat of a vulture. But if you don't trust Hines Ward? Miller has a chance.)
Visanthe Shiancoe (He just won't get the looks to be anything more than a bye week replacement.)
Donald Lee (The Packers want to transition him out. A good camp from Jermichael Finley and he's toast.)
Marcedes Lewis (Perennial tease.)
Anthony Fasano (Even if David Martin gets more targets this year? He still will get the targets on the goal line. Take him on a bye week and hope he gets six.)
Brent Celek (A fools gold sleeper.)
Vernon Davis (He is West Coast Marcedes Lewis.)
Randy McMichael (If you take an end of the draft flier and McMichael stays healthy? You have a good value. Long odds he stays healthy.)
Brandon Pettigrew (Wait until next season for anything spectacular. But he will get 5 or 6 scores this season.)
Ben Watson (Meh. The New England Tight End scenario is the ugly version of the New England Running Back situation.)
Shawn Nelson (This is a pick designed for Dustin Keller seam splitting over the middle. Great athleticism, great hands, never mind the run blocking. He'll get decent targets. He's not going to be a member of the Top tier, but if Buffalo breaks right? Nelson could be a fringe starter.)