Having and elite Tight End on your squad can go a long way. It’s a position that has a rather limited amount of serviceable options. The reason being, the tier 1 TEs are substantially better than tier 2 guys. You can even argue that after tier 2, there’s another huge drop off again. But having a reliable TE on your fantasy team is extremely important, and can give you the edge you need to win your league. Depending on what your strategy is, it might make sense to lock down an elite guy, or it may make more sense to wait a little bit and draft a TE later in your draft. Either way, when drafting a TE, your expectation should be around 10-12 points per game in PPR formats. That would give you a nice reliable guy that you can feel safe starting each and every week. Anything more than that, you probably have one of the elites on your roster.
Just like the other lists I’ve created, this is not based on the rankings you’ve seen across the web, but instead, is a list of players I believe will finish 2020 within the top 10. With that said, here is my top 10 list of Tight Ends in fantasy football this year.
Top 10 TEs
1. George Kittle
George Kittle and Travis Kelce are pretty much interchangeable as the top 2 Tight Ends in the league. However, I’m choosing George Kittle for a couple reasons. With WR Deebo Samuel currently recovering from a Jones Fracture, there’s a real possibility he misses some games in the first portion of the NFL season. The rest of the WR group is a bit underwhelming, as it consists of Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis, Jalen Hurd, and rookie Brandon Aiyuk. I don’t have high hopes of any of those guys becoming a reliable target for Jimmy Garappolo. Also factor in that Jimmy-G’s favorite target is George Kittle, and the offense is designed for their TE to receive a ton of targets. Kittle is also incredibly gifted, as he can run, catch, truck, block… He’s the complete package, and backed it up last season with an impressive stat line. He finished 2019 with over 1000 yards through the air and pulled down 5 touchdowns. That was enough for him to average 15.9 fantasy points in PPR formats. Considering the state of the 49ers passing game, George Kittle has a legitimate chance to have the best year of his career.
2. Travis Kelce
Kelce has been incredibly consistent for multiple years in a row now, and he’s in the prime of his career. He’s averaged over 15 points per game in each of the last 3 years now, finishing as the top TE in the league every time. He’s also on the loaded offense of the Kansas City Chiefs. Having Patrick Mahomes as his QB alone puts him in the top 3. He’s just as athletic as George Kittle, and can do all the same things as well, making him the ultimate weapon on offense. In 2019, Travis Kelce finished as the TE1 after finishing with over 1200 yards and 6 total touchdowns. He’s entering the 8th season of his career and there’s no telling when this guy is going to slow down. Kelce will finish within the top 2 Tight Ends this year, and probably for the next 4 years or so too.
3. Zach Ertz
Even with Dallas Goedert threatening to take pass attempts away, Zach Ertz is still in elite status in the NFL. I actually don’t really see this year being the one where Goedert takes over, and has better potential next year, which is part of the reason why I have Ertz as the 3rd best TE this season. The veteran Tight End is entering his 8th season, and has been one of the best TEs in the league since 2015. Last year, he put up just under 1000 yards, and hauled in 6 touchdowns. The Philadelphia Eagles were given a lot of flack for taking Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round, but once the draft ended, the Eagles came away with a decent looking WR group. None of the guys are really WR1 worthy, which means Ertz should be Carson Wentz’s favorite target throughout the course of the season.
4. Mark Andrews
Andrews turned out to be a pleasant surprise for those who owned him on their fantasy team, especially considering he’s only entering his 3rd season of his career. At the end of 2019, Mark Andrews ended up with 852 yards and 10 touchdowns. Scoring 10 touchdowns for any position is impressive, and he showed Lamar Jackson and the Ravens he can be a reliable red zone threat. Considering he’ll have another year of building chemistry with his QB, Mark Andrews is set up to receive even more targets this year. I don’t know if he’ll be able to re-gain double digit touchdowns, but the fact he’s going to be a safe target for Lamar Jackson, Andrews potential is through the roof. If you’re in round 4 (give or take) and you’re needing a TE, TAKE THIS MAN!
5. Evan Engram
I know, he hasn’t really been able to stay healthy the last two years, however, when Evan Engram is on the field, he produces. Due to injuries, Engram only played in 8 games. Within those 8, he posted over 450 yards along with 3 touchdowns. He also averaged 13.7 points a game in PPR formats, which made him a must start when he was healthy. As of right now, the Giants starting lineup hasn’t been able to play together at all, which means this team should be at its highest potential once the season begins. Considering the offense will begin with Saquon Barkely, and the WR group is just above average, Engram has a real opportunity to be Daniel Jones’ go-to target throughout the year. Evan Engram is only 25 years old, which means he’s not even in his prime as an athlete yet. I have high hopes for this guy, and I like his chances of finishing as a top 5 fantasy option amongst Tight Ends… as long as he stays healthy.
6. Darren Waller
The Raiders Tight End had a breakout year after dedicating himself to the game. If you don’t know, Waller has gone through some crazy things in his life, and the fact he was able to turn it all around and play the way he did in 2019 is just remarkable and inspiring. He seems determined to be one of the best TEs in the league, and he has the athleticism to do so. In 2019, he put up over 1100 yards and hauled in 3 touchdowns. He also averaged 13.8 fantasy points a week, which made him an elite starter in the NFL. This year, he has some competition if he wants to remain the TE1 in Las Vegas, especially after the team acquired future Hall of Fame TE Jason Witten. Witten’s on the back end of his career, but he’s still talented enough to where there’s a real chance he takes some reps away from Waller. Either way, Darren Waller is likely the starting TE for the Raiders and he isn’t going anywhere. If Waller falls to you, take him, and allow him to be that reliable TE you need to win your league.
7. Tyler Higbee
Higbee was another guy who had a nice breakout year, although, not to the extent of Darren Waller. Tyler Higbee proved to be a fantastic mid-season pickup for fantasy owners alike. This year, he’s looking to be the TE1 on a Rams team with a ton of talent in the skills positions. The Rams offensive line seems below average, which doesn’t bode well for the run game. However, Jared Goff is a gunslinger and likes to throw all over the field. Last season, Higbee finished with over 700 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, and he has a real chance to have a better year than that this season. Considering LA’s depleted O-line, Higbee should be a check down machine, making him one of the better TEs in the NFL.
8. Rob Gronkowski
A lot of people don’t have GRONK within the top 10 on their draft boards, and I’m not sure why. He’s only 29 years old, he’s had 2 full years to heal his body, and he’s back on a team with his teammate in New England, Tom Brady. These two have a history of connecting often, as Rob Gronkowski has been a reliable target for Brady throughout the years. Also factor in that this Buccaneers offense has Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the WR group, there’s a real opportunity that Brady leans on GRONK as his Ol’ Reliable from the get go. Godwin and Mike Evans might run away with it down the stretch, but I’m fully expecting for Rob Gronkowski to be a receptions monster while Brady gets comfortable with this new team. GRONK is also dropping rather late in fantasy drafts, so you have a legit chance to stack your TE depth to dominate your league. At the very least, you may have a valuable trade piece at the start of the season.
9. Hunter Henry
Henry only played in 12 games last year, but he still finished the season as the TE9 in fantasy football. He had just over 650 receiving yards along with 5 touchdowns. Despite battling some injuries the last two years, Hunter Henry has proven to be one of the most consistent Tight Ends in the NFL. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Chargers will be without QB Philip Rivers. The new starting QB will likely be Tyrod Taylor until Justin Herbert is ready to go under Center. At the moment, the QB position is the weak spot on this Chargers team, which could be a reason to be concerned with Henry’s potential. However, considering how good Henry is when he’s healthy, I’m willing to bet he finishes within the top 10 in the league amongst TEs.
10. Noah Fant
I’ve officially put Noah Fant on BREAKOUT ALERT. Last year during his rookie season, Fant showed flashes of greatness, which gave Broncos fans something to be excited about in the future. Typically, Tight Ends don’t have a true breakout year until their 3rd or 4th season, but considering he’s likely the starter on this young Denver team, Fant’s chances of breaking out is rather high. He already has some familiarity with new starting QB Drew Lock, in which, during that 5 game time span, Fant was able to produce 188 yards and 1 touchdown. They say a TE is a QBs best friend (do they? There is a chance I just made that up), and Fant should prove to be a reliable target for Drew Lock while the rookie WRs get comfortable with the system. Noah Fant isn’t getting drafted until the very late rounds of fantasy drafts. I suggest selecting one of the TEs listed in the top 8, then take Fant as a nice depth piece that has the potential to give your team that extra boost it needs during the most important time of the year… the playoffs.