Tight end is a unique position in fantasy football – you only need to start one (in most leagues), and most aren’t any good. We only saw eight tight ends surpass 10.0 PPR points per game last year, a shockingly low number. By comparison, we had 50 WRs reach that same number. With tight end producing such low scoring, you need to make sure you draft according to your risk preferences. Do you want a safe option with no ceiling? Or are you willing to swing for the fences and be left fighting over waivers if you strike out? Let’s go through the tiers with these questions in mind, with my full rankings and notes to follow.
While Travis Kelce is in his own tier, we can talk about him and Mark Andrews together as the early-round tight-end options. Kelce will cost you a first or second-round pick, and Andrews will cost a second or third. These are likely to be the only true difference-makers at the position, the question really is more about the elite receivers and rushers you will be passing on instead. I would consider Kelce at pick 8 in the first round, but if you wanted to take him earlier I wouldn’t blame you.
Tier 3 is a tier I tend to pass on for cheaper options, but I’m willing to draft from here if someone falls in ADP. These options range from the 4th round to the start of the 6th, and they do provide some enticing upside. Just remember, this tier, ranging from T.J. Hockenson to Dallas Goedert, is likely scoring in the 10-12 PPR ppg range. I have a hard time passing on potential true difference-makers like Calvin Ridley or Justin Fields to draft a tight end in this range.
Tier 4 is the range that I find myself drafting the most, as Evan Engram, David Njoku, and Pat Freiermuth provide a relatively safe floor combined with some intriguing upside, all while being drafted multiple rounds after tier 3. These players can be drafted after the 7th round, allowing you to load up on other positions first.
If you miss on the top 4 tiers of tight ends, I recommend patience. None of these players are likely to make a difference, so load up on other positions and find values as they fall. It may be worth grabbing a potential volume option like Jake Ferguson and paring him with a more explosive option like Chigoziem Okonkwo. I find myself drafting a ton of Juwan Johnson, as I believe he checks both of those boxes to some extent. But overall, stay patient, don’t reach, and continue loading up on other positions while picking off your favorite late-round options.
Below are our Top 30 TE rankings as of August 19, 2023, with notes detailing the logic behind each ranking. Be sure to check back for updates after any major tight-end-related news.
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by William Purnell & Bob Kupbens/ Icon Sportswire