Tight End (TE) Fantasy Football Rankings

Travis Kelce is such a luxury at the tight end position that he’s put himself firmly in the conversation in the first round of fantasy drafts. He scored 207.8 standard fantasy points last year and the second-highest-scoring tight end scored 171.6. The TE5 scored just 108.3 fantasy points. Darren Waller and George Kittle are worthy of consideration early in drafts as some of the rare elite tight ends. Mark Andrews and T.J. Hockenson can also provide consistency at the position. Kyle Pitts will be a boom-or-bust rookie tight end who is a rarity at the position with his physical profile. Other than those five players, you can comfortably wait until the double-digit rounds to draft a tight end, as it will be difficult to find truly consistent production at the position. Luckily, there are several high-upside options available later on in drafts. You can find all of our Fantasy Football Rankings for the 2021 season updated in real-time as news breaks.

POS RANK RANK PLAYER ADP AUCTION 2020 FPTS 2021 FPTS TEAM DEPTH BYE REC REC YDS REC TD
1 6 Travis Kelce 11 $53 208 227 Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs 1 12 116 1547 12
2 15 George Kittle 23.7 $23 77 147 San Francisco 49ers 49ers San Francisco 49ers 1 6 82 1055 7
3 21 Darren Waller 27.8 $24 172 145 Las Vegas Raiders Raiders Las Vegas Raiders 1 8 97 1150 5
4 43 Mark Andrews 49.8 $11 112 138 Baltimore Ravens Ravens Baltimore Ravens 1 8 71 896 8
6 50 T.J. Hockenson 55.3 $7 108 128 Detroit Lions Lions Detroit Lions 1 9 82 922 6
7 65 Tyler Higbee 113.1 $0 84 119 Los Angeles Rams Rams Los Angeles Rams 1 11 74 829 6
5 75 Kyle Pitts 50.4 $12 129 Atlanta Falcons Falcons Atlanta Falcons 1 6 78 870 7
8 92 Mike Gisecki 95.4 $3 106 111 Miami Dolphins Dolphins Miami Dolphins 1 14 61 751 6
9 101 Robert Tonyan Jr. 78.3 $7 125 108 Green Bay Packers Packers Green Bay Packers 1 13 59 603 8
10 111 Adam Trautman 138 $0 23 102 New Orleans Saints Saints New Orleans Saints 1 6 55 724 5
11 121 Dallas Goedert 73 $3 70 98 Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 1 14 67 617 6
12 131 Noah Fant 77 $2 87 94 Denver Broncos Broncos Denver Broncos 1 11 64 695 4
13 139 Blake Jarwin 182.6 $0 1 92 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 1 7 59 680 4
14 146 Irv Smith Jr. 119.2 $1 69 92 Minnesota Vikings Vikings Minnesota Vikings 1 7 51 617 5
16 152 Jonnu Smith 143.7 $1 99 81 New England Patriots Patriots New England Patriots 1 14 47 633 3
17 157 Anthony Firkser 205.8 $0 45 80 Tennessee Titans Titans Tennessee Titans 1 13 46 499 5
18 169 Austin Hooper 169.8 $0 68 79 Cleveland Browns Browns Cleveland Browns 1 13 56 494 5
15 177 Logan Thomas 97.7 $4 105 83 Washington Football Team Washington Washington Football Team 1 9 58 535 5
19 195 Rob Gronkowski 118.3 $1 104 74 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 9 40 445 5
20 204 Eric Ebron 218.3 $1 86 73 Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 1 7 48 489 4
21 210 Hunter Henry 130 $1 85 73 New England Patriots Patriots New England Patriots 2 6 48 546 3
22 220 Evan Engram 143.3 $1 78 70 New York Giants Giants New York Giants 1 10 50 523 3
23 229 Mo Alie-Cox 255.1 $0 49 70 Indianapolis Colts Colts Indianapolis Colts 1 14 41 516 3
24 239 Gerald Everett 167.3 $0 52 69 Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 1 9 44 448 4
25 247 Jimmy Graham 276.8 $0 94 64 Chicago Bears Bears Chicago Bears 2 10 56 523 2
26 255 Jared Cook 149.3 $0 90 62 Los Angeles Chargers Chargers Los Angeles Chargers 1 7 38 384 4
27 262 Hayden Hurst 237.8 $0 93 55 Atlanta Falcons Falcons Atlanta Falcons 2 6 41 431 2
28 268 Will Dissly 0 $0 37 55 Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 2 9 34 368 3
29 281 Chris Herndon 0 $0 43 55 New York Jets Jets New York Jets 1 6 34 427 2
30 299 Jack Doyle 0 $0 41 50 Indianapolis Colts Colts Indianapolis Colts 2 14 37 376 2
31 0 Ian Thomas 0 $0 21 46 Carolina Panthers Panthers Carolina Panthers 1 13 35 396 1
32 0 Dawson Knox 233.6 $0 43 45 Buffalo Bills Bills Buffalo Bills 1 7 31 268 3
33 0 Cole Kmet 172.7 $0 34 44 Chicago Bears Bears Chicago Bears 1 10 25 321 2
34 0 Zach Ertz 185.7 $0 42 44 Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 2 14 29 318 2
35 0 Johnny Mundt 0 $0 5 41 Los Angeles Rams Rams Los Angeles Rams 2 11 26 289 2
36 0 Tyler Conklin 0 $0 25 40 Minnesota Vikings Vikings Minnesota Vikings 2 7 33 341 1
37 0 Maxx Williams #N/A $0 16 38 Arizona Cardinals Cardinals Arizona Cardinals 1 12 24 260 2
38 0 Dalton Schultz 291.4 $0 84 37 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 2 7 22 193 3
39 0 Geoff Swaim 0 $0 14 37 Tennessee Titans Titans Tennessee Titans 2 13 27 252 2
45 0 Drew Sample 0 $0 34 Cincinnati Bengals Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 2 10 26 276 1
40 0 Cameron Brate 0 $0 40 36 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 9 22 240 2
41 0 James O'Shaughnessy 0 $0 26 36 Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars 1 7 32 299 1
42 0 Pat Freiermeuth 0 $0 36 Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 2 7 28 237 2
49 0 Donald Parham 0 $0 34 28 Los Angeles Chargers Chargers Los Angeles Chargers 2 7 23 224 1
43 0 Jordan Akins 0 $0 47 34 Houston Texans Texans Houston Texans 1 10 30 280 1
44 0 Marcedes Lewis 0 $0 29 34 Green Bay Packers Packers Green Bay Packers 2 13 17 216 2
46 0 Nick Vannett 0 $0 30 New Orleans Saints Saints New Orleans Saints 2 6 19 240 1
47 0 Dan Arnold 0 $0 66 29 Carolina Panthers Panthers Carolina Panthers 2 13 25 231 1
48 0 Kyle Rudolph 0 $0 37 29 New York Giants Giants New York Giants 2 10 29 228 1
52 0 C.J. Uzomah 0 $0 15 25 Cincinnati Bengals Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 1 10 20 190 1

TE Weekly Fantasy Rankings

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Travis Kelce is the cream of the crop at the tight end position as he’s finished first or second in the end-of-season rankings in each of the past five years. He has averaged 94.6 catches for 1,228.8 yards and 7.6 touchdowns over that five-year span. Those would be elite numbers for a wide receiver, but his consistency and high-end upside are unmatched at the tight end position. Darren Waller has emerged as another elite tight end option with an average of 98.5 catches for 1,170.5 yards and 6 touchdowns over the past two years. He first broke out in 2019, but he took it to another level last season as he caught 17 more passes and had 6 more touchdowns than the previous year. George Kittle is coming off an injury-plagued 2020 in which he only played 8 games, but his per-game pace of 5.8 catches for 80.6 yards and 0.3 touchdowns over the past three years puts him in elite company.

There is a decent amount of depth among the top crop of the tight end position this season. Mark Andrews was the TE2 in 2019 and the TE4 last season as the top target for Lamar Jackson, and he has scored 17 touchdowns over the past two years. T.J. Hockenson had a bit of a breakout season last year as he finished as the TE5, and now he’s in line for a heap of targets as the Lions lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in the offseason. Kyle Pitts should also be firmly in this tier as the rookie tight end is quite unlike any rookies we’ve seen at the position. Pitts should be ready to make an impact right away as the Falcons’ second target after Calvin Ridley; Julio Jones was traded to the Titans this offseason.

In addition to the top tier of tight ends, a crop of late-round options provide varying levels of upside this season. Tyler Higbee is the guy I have my eyes on as he’s the third-best receiving option for Matthew Stafford in the Sean McVay offense, and we’ve seen him explode in the past when Gerald Everett is not in the lineup; Everett is now in Seattle. Mike Gisecki and Dallas Goedert are in the middle rounds in ADP, but both have too much target competition in lower-volume offenses to be consistent options this year. Instead, I have my eyes on guys like Adam Trautman and Irv Smith Jr., who are clearly in line for a bump in targets from last season. Robert Tonyan Jr. shouldn’t be overlooked, either, after he broke out with 11 touchdowns in his third season in the NFL.

TE Fantasy Draft Strategy

Tight end can be a position that people pass over when drafting research. There are obvious top names, and then after that, the production variance is pretty high year-to-year. However, there are always bargain buys that end up breaking out, and finding a consistent tight end does give you a slight edge over the field. Does it hurt your overall upside, though? Because the top-tier tight ends do not score as much as even the second-tier running backs or wide receivers, you are passing on some higher production guys to get safe at tight end. If you are drafting in the middle of the order, you will likely want to pass on tight ends till later. Now you can make a case for drafting one late in the second or early third round if you are on the edges of a snake draft where you have that quick turnaround.

The mid-round is a good sweet spot. You have some guys who are still safe, like Noah Fant and Robert Tonyan, but they also carry some upside as well. Now you can first draft other needs and then round out your starting fantasy lineup with a quality tight end. If you want to go late in drafts, and nab a tight end, be prepared to dive into the waiver wire if needed. The important thing is that you are drafting for upside this late, so finding the highest ceiling players for the season should be something you eye. There is no safe floor late, so don’t bother looking. League scoring will also have an impact on how you draft, so it is important to know how tight ends score in your league.

Tight End (TE) fantasy football Rankings Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are The Best Fantasy Tight Ends?

It starts with Travis Kelce, who has been a top-two scoring tight end in five straight seasons. His production is extremely stable, which is what you want from a tight end that is always drafted so highly. George Kittle is in the same boat, but his upside is somewhat capped from the introduction of Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk at wide receiver as competition for targets. Darren Waller is often the first, second, and third read for Derek Carr but doesn’t have the same upside as Kelce. Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson, and Kyle Pitts are also among the best tight end options for fantasy football.

Who Is The Number One Fantasy Tight End?

Travis Kelce has finished as TE1 in scoring three times over the past four seasons. The one year he didn’t, he finished second to Rob Gronkowski. Now you can make a case for George Kittle or Darren Waller as well. But looking at Kelce, this is someone who plays in an excellent offensive system for fantasy production, gets steady targets, has been durable, and is also looked at in the red zone. It also doesn’t hurt having Patrick Mahomes throwing to you. He checks off all of the boxes as the number one option.

How Many Tight Ends Should I Have On My Roster?

Having depth at tight end is not quite as important as it is for other positions, but having a backup tight end isn’t the worst thing in the world either. It gives you some weekly flexibility, where you can start some guys based on strong matchups. If you are dealing with a smaller bench with only 4-5 bench spots, I will look towards having just one tight end on your roster and moving on. That means other teams are in the same boat so that the waiver wire will have options.

What Should I Look For In Drafting Fantasy Tight Ends?

Volume is crucial when looking to find fantasy tight ends. Outside of Robert Tonyan and Jared Cook, any tight end that finished in the top ten had over 75 targets. Volume translates to fantasy points, but only a select group is getting this type of volume. That is why names like Kelce and Waller are drafted so highly. It gives you some security. Much like receivers, we want to also find guys that are getting looks in the red zone. Once again, we see names like Kittle and Kelce dominate this department. Mark Andrews did as well, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them produce strong seasons and be up top when the season was over.

When you get past the top tier, you can find some tight ends who were on teams with bad defenses. This helped the game flow where they saw a few more targets because the offenses had to keep throwing the ball. T.J. Hockenson was one of the top-tier names who benefited from a bad Detroit offense that had to throw the ball chasing games. As Philadelphia's defense struggled, Dallas Goedert is another name, and the Eagles threw the ball a ton late in games. Late-game obvious passing situations can boost overall volume and help tight ends score more fantasy points.

How Do I Stream Tight Ends?

Because the tight end position is not as deep, there is a strategy to steam the position as the season goes on. Streaming is simply a strategy where you rotate tight ends depending on matchups or recent trends such as increasing targets. That means you have passed on the top and mid-tier tight ends in drafts and are taking a few names at the end of the draft who have an upside. Before the season starts, if you plan on streaming, look at the first few weeks, and identify some possible options. This is all going to be on the fly, so you can always adjust later on. Drafting targets still with upside is the way to go because if they do hit as a late-round steal, then you are in good shape.

Getting into the season, every week, you might be changing your starting tight end. On occasion, you might be able to use the same tight end for two-three weeks in a row. Identifying which teams struggle against tight ends is something to note. Last year the Jets, Jaguars, and Falcons allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends. We still want to find targets and red zone looks, so be on the lookout for trends pointing towards stability in targets. Logan Thomas was a name that came on the second half and had a large share of targets, producing in fantasy on occasion over the final few weeks.

How Do Different Scoring Formats Effect Tight Ends?

Each scoring system has a potentially major effect on fantasy tight ends. It can create more of a need for touchdown producers and drop the relevance down on guys who rack up receptions. Three different fantasy football formats are considered popular. However, PPR has been more popular of late. PPR is when one reception equals one fantasy point. Some leagues will do half-PPR, and then leagues will also not count receptions towards any stat. There are tight ends who need that PPR help and going to standard formats; this position can get ugly. It becomes a very touchdown-dependent position, and that is a high variance department to project. The following are two examples of how different scoring formats can impact the fantasy finish of different tight ends.

Dalton Schultz:

PPR - TE11 Half-PPR - TE14 Standard - TE17

Jonnu Smith:

PPR - TE16 Half-PPR - TE10 Standard - TE9