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


Best Ball Tight End Rankings and Tiers

There is less than a week remaining to join a best-ball draft before the NFL season kicks off. If you're doing a last-minute draft, you obviously want to check our updated rankings and tiers first before taking the plunge.

The tight end position is more intriguing than ever. Aside from the obvious top three players, there are several young targets that could ascend to fantasy stardom. It's easy to forget about the veterans like Olsen and Walker, though, who might want up representing the best value when it's all said and done.

As always, we will keep updating our rankings in all formats during the final days of draft season; you can find the latest rankings right here.

Editor's Note: For a limited time, we are offering all new FFPC players a $25-off coupon for any contest! You can play a $35 contest or a $70 contest, we'll give you $25 off either one! Whether you want to play a Best Ball challenge, join a Dynasty Startup, or try FFPC's unique Terminator challenge (best ball spin-off), there's a $25 discount waiting for you! All you have to do is be a new FFPC customer, sign-up for any game on FFPC through one of the above links, and the $25 discount will be automatically applied to your account!


Updated Tight End Rankings - Best Ball

Position Rank Overall Rank Player Name Position Tier Overall Tier
1 16 Travis Kelce 1 2
2 22 Zach Ertz 1 3
3 35 George Kittle 1 4
4 57 O.J. Howard 2 5
5 61 Evan Engram 2 6
6 67 Hunter Henry 2 6
7 85 David Njoku 3 7
8 87 Jared Cook 3 8
9 89 Vance McDonald 3 8
10 99 Austin Hooper 3 8
11 111 Eric Ebron 4 9
12 112 Mark Andrews 4 10
13 116 Delanie Walker 4 10
14 124 Trey Burton 4 10
15 129 Chris Herndon IV 4 10
16 131 Dallas Goedert 4 10
17 133 T.J. Hockenson 4 10
18 140 Jack Doyle 5 11
19 147 Tyler Eifert 5 11
20 151 Greg Olsen 5 12
21 153 Jimmy Graham 5 12
22 168 Kyle Rudolph 5 13
23 169 Jordan Reed 5 13
24 178 Demetrius Harris 6 14
25 186 Mike Gesicki 6 14
26 193 Noah Fant 6 14
27 195 Gerald Everett 6 14
28 196 Will Dissly 6 14
29 201 Ian Thomas 6 14
30 202 Cameron Brate 6 15
31 214 Charles Clay 7 15
32 217 Ricky Seals-Jones 7 15
33 232 Tyler Kroft 7 16
34 234 Blake Jarwin 7 16
35 235 Geoff Swaim 7 16
36 237 Dawson Knox 7 16
37 241 Darren Waller 7 16
38 244 Jonnu Smith 7 16
39 248 Jason Witten 7 17
40 255 Jake Butt 8 17
41 260 Hayden Hurst 8 17
42 274 Luke Willson 8 18
43 275 Josh Oliver 8 18
44 276 Irv Smith Jr. 8 18
45 278 Nick Vannett 8 18
46 284 Josh Hill 8 18
47 288 Tyler Higbee 8 18
48 289 Jordan Thomas 8 18
49 290 Jace Sternberger 8 18
50 291 Jason Croom 8 18
51 293 Benjamin Watson 8 18
52 296 Jesse James 8 18
53 302 C.J. Uzomah 9 19
54 324 Kahale Warring 9 19
55 329 Rob Gronkowski 9 19
56 330 Adam Shaheen 9 19
57 332 Jeff Heuerman 9 19
58 338 Vernon Davis 9 20
59 340 Matt LaCosse 9 20
60 380 Jacob Hollister 9 20


Tier 1  

You know the drill. Kelce will be the first TE off the board, followed by Ertz and Kittle in some order. In typical BB10 best-ball drafts, these players should be viewed as second or third-round selections. If you join a FFPC Satellite League that includes a TE premium of 1.5 PPR, then things change a bit. Kelce is typically the seventh player taken on average in FFPC best-ball formats, with Ertz at 18 and Kittle 20th overall. The cost for an elite tight end is high, which forces you to weigh the potential reward of having a dominant player at that position over a volatile running back or a steady wide receiver.

In a tight end premium league like Scott Fish Bowl, those three tight ends all finished as top-15 fantasy scorers, ahead of most wide receivers. In non-premium formats, it might be best to play it safe and find value later on since you can stack three other players at the position.


Tier 2

Seeing as how one of my 2019 bold predictions was OJ Howard outscoring George Kittle, I can't complain if you spend a fifth-round pick on him. In FFPC, all three players in this tier will cost you a fourth-round pick, so these could be favorable backup options if you missed out on tier one.

Aside from Howard's tremendous upside (if he stays healthy), Engram appears to be the safest pick, at least in the early going. Golden Tate's four-game suspension was upheld, so there will be one less reliable target for Eli Manning. We saw how Engram performed late last year when Odell Beckham was shelved, averaging 5.5 receptions and 80 yards per game over the last four contests. In a generally disappointing sophomore season, Engram finished strong and proved that he can shoulder the load when called upon.


Tier 3

The most conspicuous thing you'll notice in this tier is who isn't there - Eric Ebron. While FFPC and BB10 drafters both have him as the TE7, our rankings staff prefers him outside the top 10. We knew regression was already coming; Andrew Luck's absence just solidifies that.

As for who does reside in this tier, some fantasy owners are of the belief that Vance McDonald will be the best TE value of 2019. Jesse James is gone, as is a certain receiver with a large chest (in his mind). McDonald is more of a receiver than a blocker and could take on many of those targets vacated by former Steelers. That means Big Ben will have to consciously look his way more often, as the coaching staff has indicated McDonald's snap count won't necessarily increase. He will have to be a bigger part of the gameplan and prove that he can move the chains consistently.

David Njoku falls to ninth in FFPC and BB10 ADP ranks but he has the most likely chance to be a top-five finisher at this position. If you believe Baker Mayfield is a top-five QB, then why shouldn't he support an elite pass-catching tight end? Sure, OBJ and Jarvis Landry are there. But if this offense clicks like we think it can, there is enough room for all three receivers to be productive. It's not as if Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins negate Travis Kelce's value...


Tier 4

Personally, I'll be doing most of my TE shopping in this area on draft day. Unless a player like Njoku or Hooper fall outside the top 100 picks, I'm waiting until my other positions are settled and then making either Mark Andrews or Delanie Walker my "starting" tight end. At opposite ends of the spectrum, one is known for his consistency and veteran leadership. The other is coming off his rookie season and has another talented tight end to compete with.

In redraft, I'm hanging my hat on Walker more often and taking a young tight end as a backup. Prior to last year when he tore his ACL, Walker had posted four straight seasons of 800 or more receiving yards and five straight seasons of 60+ receptions.

In best-ball, give me Andrews and his breakout potential. He was much more productive in the second half of the year, not coincidentally when Lamar Jackson took over as QB. Two catches and 44 yards per game isn't overly thrilling but Jackson should be better as a passer and they may take the cuffs off him in second down, actually allowing him to throw the ball.

Tier 5

Experience abounds in this tier of former fantasy stars. Among the choices, it might be surprising to discover that I prefer Greg Olsen and Tyler Eifert over Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed. Olsen may be on his last legs but as long as he can go, he will be one of Cam Newton's top targets. Eifert has experienced a slew of injuries but last year's wasn't a recurrence of a previous incident - it was a fluke. With A.J. Green out for at least a couple of weeks, Eifert will be a streamer to consider in redraft and a nice TE2 option in best-ball throughout the season.

Tier 6

What the what is Demetrius Harris doing here? I know we're high on the Browns offense this year and Njoku has a chance to excel but could this offense sustain two tight ends? Probably not, but if you're playing in a deeper league like FFPC that includes a TE premium, he could have enough value to roster over more questionable picks like Charles Clay or Blake Jarwin.
When searching for a TE3, Will Dissly is an ideal sleeper. He exploded for 105 yards and a TD in his first NFL game, then followed it up with 42 yards and another score in Week 2. A season-ending injury erased a promising campaign but it's allowed him to fly completely under the radar this draft season. He is the type of player that has no redraft value but could be useful in deeper best-ball leagues.

Tier 7 and beyond

Darren Waller has gotten some hype from experts and scouts but the buzz hasn't extended to his ADP climbing in any way. He still has to contend with Antonio Brown and won't have the same luxury Jared Cook did last year of being the only viable receiver on the field. He's worth a late-round flier but we don't advise taking him earlier than the top 25 tight ends.

Rob Gronkowski still has an ADP. That's right - people are willing to burn a late-round pick on the chance he comes back this season. That seems unlikely, considering he has barely been retired at all and just explained how he was in agonizing pain for months after the Super Bowl and couldn't mentally sustain the energy to play any more. I understand hanging onto him in dynasty but you can do better things with a pick in best-ball that you can't do anything with once the draft is over. Gronk is gone - let it go people.

More Best-Ball League Strategy

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


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to miss another game this week. Evan Engram and Daniel Jones are not expected... Read More

All-Day For the Win: Why Adrian Peterson Matters Again

I don't think anyone could ever be happy at any sports player getting injured. It just makes no sense, so please leave the hatred out now and forever when it comes to that. That being said, though, we're talking about just a branch of sports here with fantasy football, and we all know what is... Read More

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 15 (Top 100)

One of the great things about implementing IDP in fantasy football is that it balances out some of the insanity that the offensive players produce in some weeks. If you started a lineup with Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Boston Scott, A.J. Brown, Darius Slayton, and Noah Fant then you undoubtedly crushed your opponent while a... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White

If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week. The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then... Read More

Show Me The Money! Stashes That Could Win Your League

Success in the fantasy playoffs is all about planning ahead. Your bench is no longer a safe space for high floor players without much of a ceiling; they won't win you the big game. You need to look ahead and stash players with exploitable matchups in the weeks to come so that you don't get... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 14 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. If you are preparing for Week 15 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed... Read More

The King's Week 15 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 15 fantasy football lineup rankings for the second round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More

Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids

Week 13 was a pretty chalky one with just three underdogs winning outright. The biggest upset was the Broncos absolutely annihilating the Houston Texans who were still celebrating their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots the week prior. Three weeks remain and I'd be a fool to think there are hundreds who are reading this... Read More

The Tape Tells All - Robby Anderson Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who's shaken off a slow start to the 2019 season by going... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Sit Your Studs?

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More

Week 15 Warning Signs: Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Julio Jones

You made the playoffs. Awesome. Now you have even won your first game. That is even better. But now what? There are many players, some of whom performed in the first round, who may not be so fortunate this week. Whether it is a bad matchup or injuries to key players around them, this could... Read More