The tight end position improved in free agency, and Fantasy owners should be excited. We got two new potential starting options with Ladarius Green signing with the Steelers and Coby Fleener signing with the Saints.

And we needed it given the lack of talent at the position.

Antonio Gates also stayed with the Chargers, which was expected, Dwayne Allen stayed with the Colts and Benjamin Watson signed with the Ravens. Zach Miller's destination could also make an impact, but we'd like to see him stay with the Bears and Martellus Bennett move on.

We'll wait for that news, but for now let's look at the transactions that have already happened. And Green and Fleener get huge upgrades in their Fantasy value.

Ladarius Green
PIT • TE • 89
2015 stats37 catches, 429 yards, 4 TDs
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We've been waiting to see Green in a full-time role after sitting behind Gates in San Diego for the first four years of his career. He's shown flashes of his potential, and last year he got the chance to start when Gates was suspended for the first four games of the season.

Green appeared in three of those games and had 14 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns over that span. He's been a good blocker, and he should excel playing for the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh has to replace the retired Heath Miller, who has averaged 64 catches, 676 yards and four touchdowns over the past four seasons, with at least 78 targets a year over that span. Green is a better athlete than Miller, and Roethlisberger should enjoy another weapon of his caliber in this high-powered offense.

Now, it's not a guarantee that Green becomes a star. Miller's averages over the past four seasons aren't overwhelming, and this offense has plenty of targets who need the ball like Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Le'Veon Bell and even Markus Wheaton.

But you have to buy into Green's potential now that he's a starter and his chance to play with Roethlisberger. Because of that, he's worth drafting with a mid-round pick as a starting Fantasy tight end in all leagues. He could easily finish as a Top 10 option in 2016.

Coby Fleener
NO • TE • 82
2015 stats54 catches, 491 yards, 3 TDs
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The same goes for Fleener with his move to the Saints. He's been an average Fantasy tight end during his first four years with the Colts, but he's played well when Allen has missed time and Andrew Luck has been healthy. Fleener has at least 50 catches in each of the past three seasons, and he's going to one of the most tight-end friendly offenses in the NFL.

Over the past five seasons, the Saints and Drew Brees have targeted their No. 1 tight end at least 109 times. And that position has posted at least 74 catches, 825 yards and six touchdowns each year over that span.


Now, Jimmy Graham was the No. 1 tight end for four of those years, and he was an elite player with the Saints. But Watson hit those stats in 2015, and he was the No. 8 Fantasy tight end in standard leagues.

That should be the floor for Fleener. Going back to 2014 when Luck was healthy, Allen was hurt for four games. Over that span, Fleener had 18 catches for 355 yards and four touchdowns, and he scored at least 14 Fantasy points in a standard league in three of those outings.

Like Green, he should be drafted as a starting Fantasy tight end with a mid-round pick. And like Green, he has the chance to be a Top 10 option in the majority of leagues.

Antonio Gates
LAC • TE • 85
2015 stats56 catches, 630 yards, 5 TDs
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With Gates, you know what to expect by now, and he remains a starting Fantasy option in all formats. He'll be 36 this season and has slowed down, but he should still get 700 yards and seven touchdowns, which he's done nine times in 13 years.

He's a tight end you should settle for instead of target with a late-round pick, but he can be a reliable Fantasy option for you in 2016. And maybe he gets an additional touchdown or two with Green gone.

Dwayne Allen
MIA • TE • 89
2015 stats16 catches, 109 yards, 1 TD
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Allen should be considered a sleeper this season now that Fleener is gone. Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has a good history of using his tight ends, and Allen has been a solid red-zone threat with 13 touchdowns in 43 career games.

The Colts offense should rebound in a big way with Luck healthy following last year's kidney injury, and if Allen can stay healthy he could approach double digits in touchdowns. He had eight touchdowns in 2014 while sharing the field with Fleener, and the Colts have to replace Fleener's 85 targets from last year. Allen is worth drafting with a late-round pick in all leagues.

Benjamin Watson
NE • TE • 84
2015 stats74 catches, 825 yards, 6 TDs
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Watson was a great Fantasy option last year with the Saints when he replaced Graham, but he loses any appeal with his move to the Ravens. At 35, he'll share playing time with Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams, and that limits his upside.

Watson is the lone loser of the top free agent tight ends to sign thus far, and he should not be drafted in most formats. The best thing Watson did was allow Fleener to sign with the Saints, and he and Green have now boosted the tight end position with their new destinations.