Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


2018 Fantasy Football Rankings Analysis - Tight End (Half-PPR)

Unfortunately, tight ends as a position have been losing value in the NFL for quite a while. Gone are the days where tight ends were fantasy points machines, as teams are spreading the ball more and more and using their tight ends as blockers.

However, there are still several high-performance tight ends in the league that are difference makers in real life and in fantasy football. This includes a mixture of proven veterans and unknown youngsters primed for a breakout (R.I.P. Hunter Henry).

Our preseason rankings at RotoBaller will continue to shift as free agents sign with new teams and rookies get drafted, but for now here are my tight end rankings in half-ppr fantasy leagues heading into the 2018 campaign.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Tight End Half-PPR Rankings

Position Tier Position Rank Overall Rank Player Name
1 1 21 Rob Gronkowski
1 2 24 Travis Kelce
2 3 35 Zach Ertz
2 4 59 Greg Olsen
2 5 63 Evan Engram
3 6 70 Kyle Rudolph
3 7 75 Delanie Walker
3 8 77 Jimmy Graham
4 9 106 Jordan Reed
4 10 114 Trey Burton
4 11 118 Tyler Eifert
4 12 120 Jack Doyle
4 13 123 Austin Seferian-Jenkins
5 14 125 George Kittle
5 15 132 Charles Clay
5 16 137 David Njoku
5 17 138 Cameron Brate
5 18 140 O.J. Howard
6 19 157 Eric Ebron
6 20 159 Jared Cook
6 21 168 Austin Hooper
6 22 170 Ricky Seals-Jones
6 23 171 Benjamin Watson
7 24 178 Vance McDonald
7 25 182 Gerald Everett
7 26 194 Vernon Davis
7 27 195 Mike Gesicki
7 28 214 Hayden Hurst
7 29 229 Stephen Anderson
7 30 231 Jake Butt
7 31 241 Adam Shaheen
8 32 246 C.J. Fiedorowicz
8 33 250 Nick Vannett
8 34 261 Ryan Griffin
8 35 262 Ed Dickson
8 36 264 Tyler Higbee
8 37 268 Jesse James
8 38 279 Luke Willson
9 39 287 Garrett Celek
9 40 294 Dallas Goedert
9 41 297 A.J. Derby
9 42 301 Maxx Williams

Tier 1

Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce

After flirting with retirement, it seems that Rob Gronkowski will be back on the field and with the Patriots for the 2018 season. When healthy, Gronk has been a dominant fantasy force with unmatched production. I mean, this guy once had a 90 reception, 1,300+ yard, 17 touchdown season. He even rushed for an additional touchdown that year! Gronk is in a tier on his own regardless of format and is worth an early pick, despite his injury risk. If you add him on your team, you can expect game-winning numbers each week. However, he carries significant injury risk, so you should be prepared for him missing a few games or potentially longer if he is seriously injured.

The most solid fantasy tight end the past few seasons, Travis Kelce is a lock for over 1,000 yards and 5+ touchdowns, making him a good play in half-ppr formats due to his high reception floor. Kelce is on a very productive Chiefs defense that will be more pass-happy this season; however, the offense is crowded with the addition of veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins and incumbent starters running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Nevertheless, Kelce will have a solid market share and should finish as one of the top tight ends once again when all is said and done.

Tier 2

Zach Ertz, Greg Olsen, Evan Engram

Zach Ertz has emerged as one of the top tight ends in the league following three years of over 800 receiving yards and at least 74 receptions. Additionally, Ertz finally broke out with regards to touchdown receptions last year, hauling in eight scores (two more than his previous two seasons combined). If he can maintain that touchdown pace, he should be good for another top finish. However, if there is some regression, Ertz has the potential to be a mid-TE1 once again, which would not justify his currently high draft cost.

After playing rather poorly and succumbing to injury last year, Greg Olsen will hope to rebound and be one of the top passing targets for quarterback Cam Newton. However, due to the crowded nature of the team's offense, Olsen will have to work to continue being the top target for the team and should see his fair share of red-zone looks. Olsen is a solid mid-level TE1 with top-three upside if he is able to recapture his form of seasons past.

After seeing an insane amount of targets for a rookie tight end, Evan Engram ended up leading the Giants in targets and receptions in 2017. Engram played very well as a rookie, but the Giants offense will look very different entering 2018. With the return of wide receivers Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard as well as the drafting of running back Saquon Barkley (a generational talent with Marshall Faulk comparisons), Engram will also be in a crowded receiving room and should find it difficult to match last year's totals; however, if he is able to realize his potential, Engram has the chance to be a upper-level TE1 in half-ppr formats.

Tier 3

Kyle Rudolph, Delanie Walker, Jimmy Graham

Although Kyle Rudolph finished the year with eight touchdowns, he had a down-year in yards working with quarterback Case Keenum. Now, Rudolph will get to work with quarterback Kirk Cousins; he should hopefully resume his solid work in between the 20's and get his fair share of red-zone looks. However, with a crowded receiving room containing Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen as well as workhorse back Dalvin Cook in the mix, Rudolph will face stiff competition for targets and carries solid but unappealing mid-range TE1 potential for the upcoming year.

Delanie Walker has had a career resurgence in Tennessee, emerging as one of the top options in the game in both the NFL and fantasy football. With the Titans hoping for a rebound year offensively despite making the playoffs, Walker should serve as quarterback Marcus Mariota's go-to weapon and will fight for the most targets on the team. This makes him a solid TE1 with considerable upside and significant fantasy value in half-ppr formats.

Although he's not the player he once was with the Saints, Jimmy Graham enjoyed a few productive seasons in Seattle before being shipped to work with quarterback Aaron Rodgers as the starting tight end for the Green Bay Packers. With wide receiver Jordy Nelson's release and move to the Raiders, Graham should assume a role as one of the top red-zone threats for the team (with wide receiver Davante Adams) and could eclipse the double-digit touchdown mark while seeing some work in between the 20's. This makes Graham a nice play in half-ppr formats due to his reception and touchdown upside while working alongside Rodgers - although it must be said that there hasn't been a lot of productivity from the tight end position in Green Bay. However, Graham will not be the highest paid tight end for nothing - he should see a fair amount of work and has top-three upside at the position.

Tier 4

Jordan Reed, Trey Burton, Tyler Eifert, Jack Doyle, Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Despite only playing six games last season, Jordan Reed still figures to be a central part of the team's offense - if he can stay healthy. When healthy, Reed has the potential to be a dominant force in fantasy football, but you are better off looking at other options if you want a more consistent player at the position.

After playing as the second string tight end in Philadelphia, Trey Burton made a big money move this offseason to join the Bears as their starting tight end. Burton is an athletic freak who has a legitimate chance to become a top tight end this season; however, he has yet to prove that he has that ability due to his lack of a starting role in the Eagles offense. Nevertheless, he should compete with wide receiver Allen Robinson for red-zone looks but could be the most targeted played inside the 20's when all is said and done, making him an intriguing upside TE1 with a solid floor given the relative lack of competition for targets that he will face.

Yes, Tyler Eifert has missed more games than he has played in his career. The oft-injured tight end is hardly a reliable fantasy contributor; however, outside of the top few tight ends, he is one of the few at the position that has top-three upside due to his place in the Bengals offense and red-zone role (when healthy). In a contract year and hoping to cash in, Eifert has every motivation to stay healthy and has double-digit touchdown upside, making him a low-end TE1 with a chance to vastly outperform his ADP.

Jack Doyle will likely be the Colts starting tight end after seeing over 100 targets last season and converting those into 80 receptions. However, the presence of new free agent acquisition Eric Ebron should mitigate the upside of Doyle to a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 in half-ppr formats.

 Tier 5

George Kittle, Charles Clay, David Njoku, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard

49ers tight end George Kittle has a chance to break out in his second year in the league following an exciting rookie campaign. However, the presence of wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin as well as receiving running back Jerick McKinnon could prove to be a threat to Kittle's upside, especially now that he doesn't have his old college teammate at QB targeting him.

Charles Clay may be Buffalo's best pass-catcher this year - which means something right? Maybe not, but Clay should be a high-end TE2 with a good weekly reception floor.

David Njoku had a quiet rookie campaign which could translate to an improvement after a successful offseason with the team. However, with a competition for targets due to the presence of several top quality receiving options (Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman), Njoku might find it difficult to be a weekly consideration for fantasy players.

Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard both are expected to be significant portions of the offense for the Buccaneers this season, but they should eat into each other's fantasy upside - however, they should still both be considered boom-or-bust weekly TE2 options.


Updated Tiered Rankings and Analysis

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

More Recent Articles


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More

Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More

2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More

Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More

Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More

Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More

Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More

Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More

Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More

Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More

Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More