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Updated Tight End Draft Rankings for Half-PPR Scoring

Ah, the tight end position. Other than the kicker and defenses, the least useful position in fantasy football. But alas, it is a necessary position so we need to look at it.

Of course, here we will be talking about typical single-TE leagues with no scoring premium. So, you really have to decide whether or not to use a first or second-round pick on the top guys. Or you can wait and let it fly with a low-end roll of the dice. Either way has its advantages. If you get Travis Kelce, you can have an advantage at the position each and every week. But that comes at the cost of a more elite player at another position. On the other hand, you can wait, wait, wait and grab an iffy player late. They may flame out incredibly, leaving you to stream come playoff time. Or they may turn into George Kittle from 2018.

Without further ado, let us look at the tiers and some players to prioritize from each one.

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Half-PPR Fantasy Football Rankings - Tight Ends

Below are RotoBaller's consensus staff rankings for the 2019 fantasy football season. These rankings are compiled by Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Scott Engel, Bill Dubiel, Dominick Petrillo and Spencer Aguiar.

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was the #11 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season, and #9 overall in 2017. Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Position Rank Overall Rank Player Name Position Tier Overall Tier
1 13 Travis Kelce 1 2
2 28 George Kittle 1 3
3 34 Zach Ertz 1 4
4 54 Evan Engram 2 5
5 58 O.J. Howard 2 5
6 62 Hunter Henry 2 5
7 86 Jared Cook 3 6
8 101 David Njoku 3 7
9 108 Vance McDonald 3 7
10 113 Delanie Walker 3 8
11 115 Austin Hooper 3 8
12 124 Mark Andrews 4 8
13 125 Eric Ebron 4 8
14 130 Jack Doyle 4 8
15 132 Trey Burton 4 9
16 135 Greg Olsen 4 9
17 152 Jordan Reed 5 10
18 169 Noah Fant 5 10
19 174 Kyle Rudolph 5 11
20 179 Chris Herndon IV 5 11
21 188 Tyler Eifert 6 11
22 189 Jimmy Graham 6 11
23 191 Darren Waller 6 11
24 204 Dallas Goedert 6 11
25 206 T.J. Hockenson 6 11
26 220 Mike Gesicki 7 12
27 225 Gerald Everett 7 12
28 249 Ian Thomas 7 13
29 258 Cameron Brate 7 13
30 290 Hayden Hurst 7 13
31 298 Jason Witten 7 13
32 299 Will Dissly 7 14
33 304 Nick Vannett 8 14
34 307 Irv Smith Jr. 8 14
35 320 Benjamin Watson 8 14
36 324 Lee Smith 8 14
37 326 Blake Jarwin 8 15
38 327 Jonnu Smith 8 15
39 328 Matt LaCosse 8 15
40 333 Luke Willson 8 15
41 335 Jesse James 8 15
42 345 Josh Hill 9 15
43 346 Foster Moreau 9 15
44 351 Josh Oliver 9 15
45 358 Jake Butt 9 15
46 362 Charles Clay 9 15
47 369 Geoff Swaim 9 15
48 374 Mo Alie-Cox 9 16
49 378 Tyler Higbee 9 16
50 388 Jace Sternberger 9 16
51 392 Demetrius Harris 9 16
52 397 Jeff Heuerman 9 16
53 398 Adam Shaheen 9 16
54 402 Jordan Thomas 10 16
55 404 Vernon Davis 10 16
56 406 C.J. Uzomah 10 16
57 413 Dawson Knox 10 16
58 427 Kahale Warring 10 16
59 430 Nick O'Leary 10 17
60 434 Tyler Kroft 10 17
61 444 Luke Stocker 10 17
62 449 James O'Shaughnessy 10 17
63 450 Dan Arnold 10 17
64 454 Ryan Griffin 10 17
65 455 Jason Croom 10 17
66 457 Dwayne Allen 10 17
67 458 Jordan Akins 10 17
68 460 Virgil Green 10 17
69 461 Ed Dickson 10 17
70 471 Nick Boyle 10 17
71 474 Blake Bell 10 17
72 485 Jacob Hollister 10 18
73 490 Xavier Grimble 10 18
74 492 Maxx Williams 10 18
75 493 Garrett Celek 10 18
76 495 Levine Toilolo 10 18
77 497 Logan Paulsen 10 18
78 501 Dalton Schultz 10 18
79 502 Drew Sample 10 18
80 503 Jeremy Sprinkle 10 18
81 504 Anthony Firkser 10 18
82 508 Jordan Leggett 10 18
83 509 Darren Fells 10 18
84 510 Seth DeValve 10 18


Tier One

It all starts with the man in Kansas City. No, not Patrick Mahomes but his main target, who is also the man when it comes to the tight end position. In a ridiculous season in 2018 where a tight end broke the record for receptions and targets and another broke the record for yardage, Kelce still finished ahead of both Ertz and Kittle in the rankings. He himself garnered over 100 receptions and missed out on the yardage record by less than 100 yards. Oh, and of the three he was the only one with double-digit touchdowns. He is also the only one likely not to take a step back this season.

When it came to the 2018 season totals for Zach Ertz and George Kittle, these numbers could turn out to be outliers. For Kelce, it was just another season. A season in which, even with a 20% touchdown share from his quarterback, this was still lower than his career average of over 23%. If you absolutely have to take a tight end high, make it Kelce. Although Ertz and Kittle broke all the tight end records last season, Travis Kelce is the only one in this tier worth the draft price. Yes, he is going in the late first or early second round. But his value is far superior to the others and they are going less than two rounds later.


Tier Two

O.J. Howard and Hunter Henry are names everyone likes. They are great players. Or are they? We have not truly ever seen it other than in flashes. And both have injury concerns which could be a deterrent to taking them so high in drafts.

Evan Engram though could be the next man to move into the elite tier with the top three. Odell Beckham Jr. is gone. Golden Tate in suspended and Cody Latimer is a starting receiver for the team. Yes, that's where this team is. If we know one thing about Engram it is this. The man cannot block. He blocks worse than Deion Sanders tackled. He is basically a big receiver who masquerades as a tight end. Fortunately, this is what the Giants will need out of him this season.

Engram is set for a big season, possibly leading this receiver group in receptions, yardage and touchdowns. He is a great player in an even better situation and he will take full advantage. He is certainly a player who could be taken higher than his current draft price with no hesitation unlike Ertz and Kittle as discussed above.


Tier Three

The dreaded bronze-medal tier. Not only is it the ugliest medal in the Olympics, it also doesn’t do much to move the needle in the tight end market.

Everyone loves Vance McDonald. But he hasn’t even been able to stay healthy. If he does, he could be great as there are a lot of targets (225) gone in this offense to account for. But the number of passes from Ben Roethlisberger is also going to decline from a league-high 675 last season. So, take it for what it is.

Yes, Delanie Walker missed last season with a gruesome ankle injury. But in the three seasons before, even with Marcus Mariota at quarterback, he still finished in the top eight at the position. This includes a ranking of four in 2017 before his injury. He is old for sure. But he has the trust of Mariota. When he gets in trouble, he finds his safety blanket in Walker. This should be a common theme again this season and getting him so late is great in allowing you to be able to build up your team at other premium positions like wide receiver and running back.

The best name in this group may also be the last in the tier. Austin Hooper. He is set for a year three break out. Not to mention he is playing with who could be the best quarterback in this tier. Matt Ryan. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the schedule. 13 of his 16 games this season are played indoors. This offense should be clicking and by default he could vastly outperform his draft price of the eleventh round.


Tier Four

A lot of ugly names in this group for sure. From the old and damaged to the young and unproven. So, who to take?

Eric Ebron is set for major regression from 13 touchdowns. Especially with Jack Doyle back in the fold. Oh yeah and with that Andrew Luck retirement thing as well.

Mark Andrews is going to be the man in the Baltimore Ravens pass offense. He became only the third tight end in recent seasons to compile more than 500 yards as a rookie. The Ravens want to run the ball. But even they cannot do it on every play. On those rare occasions when Jackson completes a pass, it will be to Mark Andrews. His trusted tight end who started building a rapport with him last season and continued this over the summer. Don’t take him to high. But if you are ready to punt the position to gain advantages elsewhere. He could be your guy.


Tier Five and The Rest

There is a mixture of young and old. Starters and backups. Good and bad.

Dallas Goedert is still the backup to Zach Ertz. But he may be the only backup in the league worth drafting. In his rookie season last year, he had five touchdowns. The Eagles have said they want to get him more involved. Based on his production and the way Philadelphia uses the tight end, this means good things on the horizon.

Another player to look at is the rookie in Denver. Noah Fant is going to be the rookie to own this season. T.J. Hockenson may have the superior career. But much like Evan Engram, Fant cannot block and won’t be asked to. Also, like Engram he is a big inline tight end who is athletic enough to dominate. Joe Flacco loves using the tight end position and he is going to have a field day finding Noah Fant the 6’5 big man from Iowa. Barely being drafted, you can get him in the last round, and he is a great pick here if you are really punting the position and hoping on a prayer.

More Fantasy Football 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.

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