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Way Too Early PPR Tight End Rankings (2023)

Dallas Goedert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

It is never too early to worry about fantasy football rankings for the upcoming season.

The tight end rankings for PPR fantasy football leagues have shifted significantly since the end of 2022 thanks to personnel changes throughout the league. From top to bottom, the latest rankings and tiers must adapt to reflect key signings and trades, additions and subtractions.

Here are RotoBaller's Way Too Early Rankings for PPR Leagues for Tight Ends and Andersen Pickard's corresponding analysis.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:


2023 Way Too Early PPR Rankings - Tight End

Pos. Overall
1 1 Travis Kelce TE 7
2 2 Mark Andrews TE 19
2 3 T.J. Hockenson TE 33
2 4 George Kittle TE 52
2 5 Kyle Pitts TE 54
2 6 Dallas Goedert TE 69
2 7 Pat Freiermuth TE 73
3 8 Darren Waller TE 88
3 9 Evan Engram TE 92
3 10 Dalton Schultz TE 93
3 11 David Njoku TE 100
4 12 Cole Kmet TE 102
4 13 Greg Dulcich TE 129
4 14 Dawson Knox TE 132
4 15 Chigoziem Okonkwo TE 139
4 16 Gerald Everett TE 144
4 17 Tyler Higbee TE 148
5 18 Mike Gesicki TE 150
5 19 Cade Otton TE 152
5 20 Zach Ertz TE 167
5 21 Taysom Hill TE 168
5 22 Noah Fant TE 169
5 23 Juwan Johnson TE 180
5 24 Hunter Henry TE 184
5 25 Daniel Bellinger TE 188
5 26 Hayden Hurst TE 194


Tier 1 - Tight End Rankings

Over the last seven seasons, Kelce has had six TE1 finishes, plus an anomaly in 2021 when he was the TE2 while averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer will continue to be ranked as the top tight end in fantasy football until he gives us reason to believe otherwise. Until then, expect another big year from Kelce. As the top target in the extravagant Chiefs offense, don't be surprised if he exceeds 100 receptions, 1,300 yards, and 10 touchdowns.


Tier 2 - Tight End Rankings

Andrews underachieved last season, producing inconsistent results in the wake of Lamar Jackson's lingering injury. However, he still finished as the TE4, and now that Jackson is healthy and under contract, the tight end's value is high. It's hard to envision anyone usurping Kelce as the TE1 quite yet, but if there's anyone who can do it, it's Andrews. After all, he was the one who edged out Kelce with 17.7 fantasy points per game in 2021.

Also in this tier are Hockenson, Goedert, and Freiermuth, three players with incredibly similar styles and patterns. Hockenson emerged as a reliable target hog after being traded to the Vikings last season, finishing the year with a career-high 86 catches, 914 yards, and six touchdowns while finishing as the TE2. Since then, Minnesota waved goodbye to Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr., suggesting Hockenson should maintain a steady role in the offense despite the presence of players like Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and K.J. Osborn. Goedert finds himself in a similar situation; he plays in a crowded offense that features the likes of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, yet he has still managed to remain a featured part of the offense. We know he's going to rack up plenty of receptions and yards, so now it's just a matter of him finding the end zone. He scored just three touchdowns in 2022 and has never scored more than five times in a single season.

Freiermuth also emerged as a steady weapon in the Steelers' offense. He is a physical playmaker who can get first downs and touchdowns, but the difference between him and guys like Hockenson or Goedert is that the Steelers' offense remains somewhat of an unknown. On one hand, the young tight end can offer a much-needed security blanket for an even younger quarterback. On the other hand, none of that matters if the offense can't move down the field. 2023 is a huge year for Freiermuth to prove that he is one of the league's best tight ends.

Kittle and Pitts round out this tier. While both players have earned their fair share of praise in previous years, they need to surpass major hurdles in order to achieve full-time fantasy prominence. For Kittle, it's health. Injuries have limited his ability to stay on the field and showcase his elite physicality and athleticism. Pitts, meanwhile, is battling a lack of productivity through his first two seasons in the league. He finished as the TE6 in his rookie year but averaged just 7.6 fantasy points last season. Most notably, he missed seven games in 2022 and has just three career touchdowns. Kittle and Pitts belong in Tier 2 because of their upside, but it goes without mentioning that there is significant risk here, too.


Tier 3 - Tight End Rankings

It's hard to know what we can expect from Waller and Schultz as they embark on a new chapter with a new team. Waller found his way to the Giants via trade, instantly taking over as the team's top tight end and perhaps Daniel Jones' new top target, too. Injuries have plagued the now-30-year-old over the past two seasons, but he finished as a top-three tight end in the two years prior to that. He has the athleticism to be a top fantasy weapon again, and perhaps the change of scenery will be just what the doctor ordered. On the other hand, Schultz's fantasy appeal is declining after he settled for a deal with the Texans. He has averaged 11 points per game over the last two seasons, but it remains to be seen whether he can return to his 2021 form (TE3) in a Houston offense sure to endure its fair share of growing pains.

Engram averaged 21.43 points from Weeks 13 to 16, vaulting him to TE5 over the course of the season. Outside of that hot stretch, though, he averaged just seven points per game. 2022 was a step in the right direction for the former Giants' first-round pick, but it would still be nice to see a little more consistency from him going forward. The same goes for Njoku, who totaled between 7.0 and 13.0 fantasy points in just two games last season. On a positive note, Deshaun Watson finally gets a normal offseason to prepare, which could bode well for Njoku and the rest of the Browns' offense. Consider Njoku a low-end TE1 with week-by-week upside.


Tier 4 - Tight End Rankings

Tier 4 is starting to encroach on the dart-throw range. Maybe you'll hit your target, maybe you won't. Everett and Higbee are two solid veterans who flashed great upside as recently as 2022, but as their respective offenses shift and adapt, so do the tight ends' roles. Higbee was bombarded with volume at times, finishing with a career-high 108 targets and 72 receptions. Everett also had a career year, turning 58 catches, 555 yards, and four touchdowns into a TE13 finish.

Kmet and Knox are still trying to find a footing in their respective offenses. Both players seemed to be trending up at the end of last season, but Chicago added DJ Moore to the mix and Buffalo found direct competition in the form of Dalton Kincaid. Their situations are murky heading into 2022, to say the least.

Questions persist about how Dulcich will perform in a subpar offense while losing targets to Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. However, he showed tremendous promise last season, averaging 8.6 fantasy points per game, and faces absolutely no competition at the tight end position. If your draft strategy includes waiting until the later rounds for a tight end, Dulcich is a great option.

Finally, can we talk about Okonkwo? The 23-year-old emerged as a key piece of the Titans' offense late last season, averaging 9.85 points per game over the final six weeks. The rookie was emerging as a true YAC threat, so while his value around the goal line remains unclear, his ability to rack up yards makes him a viable fantasy option nonetheless.


Tier 5 - Tight End Rankings

We round out the mid-to-low TE2 range with Tier 5. These tight ends could all be fine matchup-based plays and are capable of providing a steady floor to your lineup in a pinch, but it's hard to envision them becoming reliable options on a weekly basis.

Ertz has the best track record of this group, but his 2022 campaign was cut short due to injury and the rebuilding Cardinals are likely motivated to incorporate a larger dose of Trey McBride into their offense.

The Saints' tight end position includes Johnson and Hill, who both flashed potential at times in 2022. However, with Derek Carr under center, one has to wonder if New Orleans will play more traditional football and partially phase Hill out of their backfield plans.

Bellinger and Otton impressed as rookies in 2022, but the former has taken a backseat to Waller while the latter's development could suffer following Tom Brady's retirement.

Of this whole tier, Hurst might be the most appealing option. The Panthers did add a reliable pass-catching threat in Thielen, but there are still plenty of targets to go around to support Hurst's production on a weekly basis. Latching on with the Bengals last season provided a significant boost to the tight end's value (7.9 fantasy points per game), and he could enjoy similar success in a Carolina offense that needs a steady veteran receiver to support its flashy new rookie quarterback.

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