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Tight End Rankings Analysis - Standard Scoring

Travis Kelce - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to draft for in fantasy due to the lack of elite talent at the position. Once the top-five guys have been drafted, it becomes much trickier for managers to pick a potential TE1 just because of things like small roles, unproven NFL talent, etc.

Luckily, there are always going to be a few sleepers each year who have unexpectedly good seasons, but the hard part is always going to be predicting who, especially during drafts.

Well, lucky for you RotoBaller is here to give you some excellent TE rankings that will give clarity on who you should consider in standard leagues. Let's break it down:

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Tight End Rankings (non-PPR)

Pos. Rank Pos. Tier Player Name Overall Rank Overall Tier
1 1 Travis Kelce 11 2
2 1 Darren Waller 22 3
3 1 George Kittle 28 3
4 2 Mark Andrews 53 5
5 2 T.J. Hockenson 54 5
6 2 Kyle Pitts 56 5
7 3 Dallas Goedert 83 6
8 3 Noah Fant 95 7
9 3 Logan Thomas 100 7
10 3 Robert Tonyan 103 7
11 3 Mike Gesicki 113 8
12 3 Tyler Higbee 114 8
13 4 Gerald Everett 120 8
14 4 Rob Gronkowski 127 8
15 5 Jonnu Smith 129 8
16 5 Evan Engram 135 9
17 5 Adam Trautman 138 9
18 5 Hunter Henry 144 9
19 5 Austin Hooper 151 9
20 5 Zach Ertz 154 10
21 5 Anthony Firkser 159 10
22 5 Cole Kmet 161 10
23 5 Jared Cook 168 10
24 6 Blake Jarwin 177 11
25 6 Eric Ebron 185 11
26 6 Irv Smith Jr. 216 12
27 6 Dan Arnold 223 13
28 6 Hayden Hurst 224 13
29 6 Jack Doyle 226 13
30 6 Donald Parham Jr. 248 13
31 6 Dawson Knox 249 14
32 7 Pat Freiermuth 262 14
33 7 C.J. Uzomah 271 15
34 7 Jimmy Graham 279 15
35 7 Tyler Kroft 280 15
36 7 Dalton Schultz 286 15
37 7 Chris Herndon IV 287 15
38 7 O.J. Howard 288 15
39 7 Jacob Harris 301 15
40 7 Mo Alie-Cox 303 15
41 7 Tyler Conklin 309 15
42 8 Pharaoh Brown 315 16
43 8 Jordan Akins 324 16
44 8 Jacob Hollister 325 16
45 8 Kyle Rudolph 329 16
46 8 Hunter Long 345 16
47 8 Harrison Bryant 353 17
48 8 Cameron Brate 354 17
49 8 Brevin Jordan 360 17
50 8 David Njoku 361 17
51 8 Albert Okwuegbunam 364 17
52 8 Adam Shaheen 368 17
53 9 Will Dissly 373 17
54 9 James O'Shaughnessy 375 17
55 9 Drew Sample 377 17
56 9 Geoff Swaim 378 17
57 9 Ian Thomas 386 18
58 9 Tyler Eifert 389 18
59 9 Hunter Bryant 398 18
60 9 Jace Sternberger 422 18
61 9 Foster Moreau 424 18
62 9 Ryan Griffin 425 18


Tier 1

Kelce, Kittle, and Waller are the cream of the crop when it comes to reliable, point-amassing fantasy TEs. Kelce is arguably on the best offense in football, and his role is quite large to the point where he now has an incredible five consecutive seasons with at least 83 receptions, 117 targets, and 1,000 receiving yards. He's as reliable as you'll ever find in terms of fantasy TEs today.

Kittle was set back by several injuries last season, but when healthy, has produced two straight seasons with at least 85 receptions, 100+ targets, and 1,000+ yards receiving back in 2018 and 2019. He remains a focal point of the 49ers offense and is primed for another excellent season.

Like Kittle, Darren Waller has recently broken out as a fantasy star, but the difference is that Waller is a veteran who started his NFL career in 2015. Nevertheless, he is the top receiving target for the Raiders entering 2021 and is coming off two straight seasons with at least 90 receptions, 117 targets, and 1,145 yards.


Tier 2

Kyle Pitts has been one hyped prospect and it's incredible that's he ranked as a top fantasy TE without even playing one snap. But that's what happens with a generational talent like Pitts. With Julio Jones now out of Atlanta, the rookie will have a lot of chances to soak up targets and he should be considered the second-best receiving option on the team behind new WR1 Calvin Ridley.

Andrews has now been a solid fantasy TE for two seasons while also seeing at least 88 targets the past two seasons, which is quite decent for a Ravens offense that's primarily about the run. Baltimore has yet to show it has a true WR1, so Andrews remains the top passing option for Lamar Jackson heading into 2021.

While Jared Goff will now be running the show in Detroit, there shouldn't be too much concern for T.J. Hockenson entering 2021 considering he's coming off a breakout year in 2020 in which he finished top-five among fantasy TEs and the team doesn't have a true WR1, just journeyman WRs like Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman sitting atop the depth chart. Hockenson is the best receiving option for Detroit.


Tier 3

Dallas Goedert should now be considered the top TE in Philly with Zach Ertz having a muddied situation with the team. The 26-year-old is primed to have a great season with Jalen Hurts at the helm. In addition, Goedert should be a top-three overall receiving option on the team, alongside DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor.

Fant is coming off an excellent sophomore season where he finished first among the team in receptions, second in targets, and third in receiving yards. Alongside Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, Fant is a top-three receiving option on the team and hopefully with Teddy Bridgewater running the show instead of the rather inconsistent Drew Lock, the offense is elevated up a notch and more consistent.

The good news for Tonyan and the entire Packers offense is the return of Aaron Rodgers, but Tonyan's 2020 was one for the books and something that likely nobody saw coming as he was a top-three fantasy TE among the likes of Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. 11 touchdowns will be hard to replicate but Tonyan essentially proved himself as the TE1 and a reliable pass-catching option last year. There is no reason to believe Tonyan can't be the second-best receiver on the team behind Davante Adams.

Gesicki and Thomas are both coming off excellent years and are expected to have integral roles with their respective offenses once again. Gesicki posted a career-high 53 receptions, 703 yards, and six touchdowns in 2020. Meanwhile, Thomas, a career journeyman TE, came out of nowhere to post a career-high 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns on 110 targets for Washington. Aside from Terry McLaurin, Washington is lacking elite talent when it comes to pass-catchers, so Thomas should be in for some decent numbers even with the streaky Ryan Fitzpatrick manning the helm.


Tier 4

Though coming off a modest rookie season, the reasoning behind the surge in Trautman's value is due to the lack of receiving options New Orleans has. With no proven and reliable TEs and WRs and Michael Thomas sidelined due to an ankle surgery, new guys will need to step up for starter Jameis Winston. Trautman sustained an ankle/foot injury in the second week of the preseason, but there is hope he won't miss much time in the regular season, if at all.

After competing with Tyler Higbee for targets for the past several years, Everett now ends up as the TE1 in Seattle for Russell Wilson and is slated to be a factor in the offense alongside D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Though modest numbers, Everett is coming off his best NFL season last year in which he racked up 41 receptions for 417 yards and a score on 62 targets.


Tier 5

Engram is coming off a decent 2020 and will once again be the top TE for Daniel Jones. With the addition of guys like Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, targets will be more challenging to come by. Cook is now the TE1 for the Chargers, but it's fair to wonder how much of an impact he can make at age 34.

Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry are both solid tight ends that add more dimensions to New England's offense, but it will likely be difficult for one to achieve great fantasy numbers without affecting the other's in a negative way. Both guys offset each other's fantasy value and this could end up being a two-man TE committee.

With Jonnu Smith now in New England, Anthony Firkser will hope to be a factor at TE for Tennessee. His third NFL season in 2020 was his best, though he still just posted a modest 39 receptions for 387 yards and one score on 53 targets. Nevertheless, the presence of Geoff Swaim could cut into Firkser's targets a bit.

Cole Kmet hopes to be a factor in the Bears' offense this season, but the presence of veteran Jimmy Graham could still affect his numbers. Nevertheless, the 22-year-0ld is figured to be factored more into this offense (according to coach Matt Nagy) and the eventual presence of Justin Fields could help elevate his value. All the guys in this tier remain great values as TE2s.


Tier 6

Irv Smith Jr. was slated to have a solid season with veteran Kyle Rudolph no longer on the team. The third-year player figures to factor more in this offense as the third-receiving option behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. It's worth noting however that he will likely miss some games at the beginning of the season due to meniscus surgery, so it's best to monitor the TE's situation and lower him on your draft board.

Ebron is coming off a decent first year with the Steelers and figures to be the TE1 for the team again even with the addition of Pat Freiermuth. The fact that Pittsburgh has several solid WRs could hurt Ebron's target share, but do expect him to see a decent enough number of looks to be a TE2.

Arnold had his "breakout" season last year with Arizona where he posted 31 receptions for 438 yards and four scores on 45 targets. That did enough to put him on the fantasy (and real life) radar and now the 26-year-old will lead the Panthers' TE room in 2021. Carolina had underwhelming TE production last year so the hope is Arnold can chip in and be a good option for new QB Sam Darnold and a TE2 for managers.


Tier 7

After an excellent second season in Atlanta and an overall career-best year, Hurst will now be relegated to the backup TE role in 2021 with the addition of prolific talent Kyle Pitts, who will immediately step in with a large role in this offense. It will be hard for Hurst to replicate his 2020 numbers with another TE taking his role, so expect a dip in production for the 28-year-old.

Despite the Bills' offense soaring to greater heights last year, Know wasn't apparently a part of that party and actually regressed in his numbers compared to his 2019 rookie year. Despite being the TE1 for Buffalo heading into 2021, it will be hard to trust Knox as anything more than a stash given his inconsistency.

Though Jimmy Graham will turn 35 this season, he was still serviceable for the Bears last season. Expect more competition from second-year TE Cole Kmet in 2021 as the youngster has one year under his belt and is hungry to prove himself as the team's TE1. In turn, Graham's fantasy value could be very affected by Kmet this season, meaning the veteran shouldn't be considered as reliable as he once was.

As was the case last year, Colts TEs Jack Doyle and Mo-Alie Cox may end up offsetting each other's fantasy values once again as they both fight for targets and a stable role in the Indy offense.


Tier 8 and lower

The only TE in tier eight who has put up somewhat decent numbers in his career is Rudolph, and that was back in 2016 with the Vikings when he amassed 83 receptions for 840 yards and seven scores on 132 targets. Now on the Giants, Rudolph will back up Evan Engram and likely won't be a factor on an offense that has multiple new weapons. The other guys in this tier are unproven and are likely expected to have a small role in their offense (barring injury).

Tight ends beyond this point are best viewed as unproven players who are expected to be backup and third-string options on their respective teams. Barring any injuries to the starting TEs on the roster, none of these guys should be on the fantasy radar heading into the season and should only be claimed off the waiver wire if they prove to be a reliable weekly option at some point in 2021.

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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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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 4) - Targets and Avoids

Week 3 saw the most entrants in survivor pools make it through so far, but those who had Kansas City did not have a happy Sunday. The Chargers were not picked by as many as one may have thought. Week 4 has a no-brainer play and one team that could be deemed risky, but you'll... Read More

Week 4 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2022 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Before we dive into the rankings, I want to talk quickly about overreacting and process. We're still early enough in the fantasy football season that I want to caution people against overreacting to the final total fantasy points scored and advocate for sticking to our process, even if the results aren't 100% what we want... Read More

Justin Tucker - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Kickers

Week 4 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2022 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

We're through three weeks of the NFL season, but we'll never get to a place where we can ignore the streamer game at the kicker position in fantasy football. Even though we have three games of data for each team, kicker projections are very elastic week-to-week and it's too early to draw definitive conclusions.  Things... Read More

Jonathan Taylor - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Fantasy Football Injury Reports For NFL RBs: Week 4 Updates for Jonathan Taylor, D'Andre Swift, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook

Below you will find our fantasy football injuries report for running backs in Week 4, as of October 1. The injury statuses for various NFL running backs are up in the air for Week 4 including Jonathan Taylor, D'Andre Swift, Christian McCaffrey, and Dalvin Cook. The fantasy football season may be just getting underway, but... Read More

Fantasy Football Week 4 Busts? Players Who May Disappoint: Derek Carr, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, D.K. Metcalf, Jeff Wilson Jr.

Welcome to Week 4 RotoBallers! The season is starting to ramp up, and it is crucial to start getting some wins under your belt to make the playoffs and win a fantasy championship. For those who have started 0-3 or 1-2, this is a huge opportunity to get in the win column. It is getting... Read More