At the tight end position, the process of evaluating players is precisely what it is for wide receivers. There aren’t a lot of players that are consistently used as featured options in their respective team’s passing attack, placing a high price on the top options. Just like with wide receivers, we’re evaluating each player’s ability to earn a favorable role over time, but there also has been less young talent entering the league. Thus, a lot of the top options are the same that you’d see in redraft rankings. Hopefully, we see this position continue to evolve moving forward!
Before we get to the rankings, let’s go over some of the key points to touch on:
- TJ Hockenson is unbelievable. He’s having the third-year leap many were hoping he’d have, and is considered by a lot of analysts to be a top-three fantasy tight end. Did I mention he’s also just 24-years-old? That puts him over George Kittle, while his short-term value puts him ahead of Kyle Pitts. The top six are the clear “cream of the crop”, however.
- Here’s hoping that Dallas Goedert will eventually get his chance to shine as the lone tight end of an offense, whether it’s in Philadelphia or elsewhere. He’s earned a PFF grade of 79.6 or higher in each of the past two years and has produced at a level very impressive for someone sharing the tight end room with Zach Ertz.
- Cole Kmet is probably your best chance of a “young player” emerging if he takes a third-year leap next season, with Irv Smith Jr. (currently injured) and Pat Freiermuth being other candidates.
- The tight end duo of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith is going to continue to give all of us headaches, isn’t it?
- David Njoku, Blake Jarwin, and OJ Howard are all targets with some upside as “talented players in poor roles”. Njoku and Howard, for what it’s worth, are about to be free agents and could see their fantasy value rise significantly.
- The rookie class this year wasn’t super deep after the top two. Brevin Jordan was, in my opinion, the next best prospect, but he was drafted in the fifth round, while Tommy Tremble and Hunter Long were each drafted in the third round. Tremble, who performed very well at his pro day in terms of athleticism, is intriguing with an outside shot of commanding the lead share of the Panthers’ tight end snaps in the future.
- If you want a deep sleeper, we can hope Donald Parham replaces Jared Cook next year, especially if they see third-round rookie Tre’ McKitty as more of a blocking option. In that case, McKitty could be the Adam Trautman to Parham’s Juwan Johnson.