Travis Kelce, Chiefs. Not a lot must be stated right here. Kelce completed because the TE1 in 4 of the previous 5 seasons (and No. 2 in 2017). It might really be a shock if it did not occur once more this yr.
George Kittle, 49ers. Kittle is most popular over Waller in customary leagues. His elite yards after contact (YAC) abilities separate the 2. YAC is very vital in non-PPR.
Darren Waller, Raiders. Whereas Kelce and Kittle are ranked simply above Waller, he has one factor going for him that these two don’t: He is the clear-cut, No. 1 choice for Las Vegas. He has no Tyreek Hill, Brandon Aiyuk, or Deebo Samuel to compete with. His 146 targets led all tight ends in 2020.
Mark Andrews, Ravens. Andrews ranked above the massive three tight ends in aDot (common depth of goal) at 10.19. That is his energy in customary codecs. He is a big-play tight finish in an offense that has beforehand lacked big-bodied deep threats. The addition of Rashod Bateman could eat into his deep targets, however it should make his life simpler in different areas of the sector. He also needs to proceed to flourish within the purple zone.
Kyle Pitts, Falcons. Some within the fantasy group are banging the desk for Pitts to be a top-three or 4 TE. Nonetheless, the wrestle of rookie tight ends has been properly documented. One of the best rookie fantasy season by a decent finish was Rob Gronkowski in 2010 when he had 114.6 fantasy factors in customary codecs. Nonetheless, greater than 50 p.c of Gronk’s fantasy manufacturing got here from his 10 receiving touchdowns. Except Pitts reaches that type of landing determine, he’ll probably fall inside TE4-10. Put in a different way, he’ll have to copy the best rookie tight finish season ever to complete among the many elite of the elite. Being ranked at No. 5 is sort of a feat for a rookie — and he will be good this yr — however do not count on him to be within the first tier. Certain, he is fairly actually anticipated to be a future All-Professional stud on the place, however do not get overzealous on him in yr one.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions. Hockenson confirmed flashes of an unbelievable future in his sophomore season. The Professional Bowler was a goal magnet in a Matthew Stafford-led offense. He completed on the No. 5 spot amongst tight ends regardless of rating 10th in goal share (18 p.c). This yr, he is the one respectable piece amongst Lions’ pass-catchers. Detroit misplaced all of its high wideouts, most noticeably Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. They misplaced a mixed 2,063 offensive snaps from large receivers from 2020 and are in full rebuild mode. Hockenson needs to be a goal phenom as soon as once more. Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, and Tyrell Williams should not intimidate anybody with regards to goal share. With all of the lack of targets in Detroit, Hockenson’s 101 targets may hover someplace nearer to 150. The draw back is Jared Goff is not precisely the image of consistency.
Noah Fant, Broncos. The excitement is excessive round Fant in 2021. He might need essentially the most spectacular bodily profile of any tight finish within the league, together with his top (6-4), weight (250 kilos), and velocity (4.5 40-yard sprint) carefully resembling Derrick Henry’s. He trailed solely Kelce and Waller in complete YAC (381) regardless of not being close to them in targets. If Denver sees higher quarterback play, Fant is about for a year-three breakout. (Replace:Teddy Bridgewater was named Denver’s beginning QB. Will we see the aforementioned higher quarterback play? In the end, Bridgewater’s short-yardge accuracy ought to repay for Fant, not less than in PPR. He is unlikely to have as many massive performs, although.)
Tyler Higbee, Rams. It is formally Higbee time in 2021. Matthew Stafford rolls into LA whereas Gerald Everett leaves it, setting the stage for extra consistency from Higbee. He was listed as a fantasy sleeper earlier than the 2020 season started after an explosive finish to 2019. In Week Three of final season, Higbee charted a three-TD recreation for 23.Four fantasy factors in Week 2. After that, he failed to attain greater than six factors in 11 of the following 13 outings. The hope is Higbee will command excess of final yr’s 11.3-percent goal share with Everett headed to Seattle.
Dallas Goedert, Eagles. The writing has been on the wall for Zach Ertz in Philadelphia, and Goedert is lastly set to fully take over the beginning tight finish spot. Whether or not Ertz is traded or not, it is Goedert’s job. Jalen Hurts’ accuracy points have been properly documented, however what a greater technique to get simple completions than counting on a safety blanket at tight finish. As a ‘co-starter’ tight finish in 2020, Goedert commanded a 16.7-percent goal share (seventh amongst tight ends). Even with the addition of DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia does not have some other pass-catchers that ought to maintain Goedert’s goal share beneath 20 p.c in a extra vital function. Because the No. 2 choice, he ought to take pleasure in his finest season but.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins. Gesicki got here in on the No. 6 spot in 2020 amongst tight ends. A regression is probably going in 2021 with Miami’s upgraded offensive arsenal and the addition of rookie tight finish Hunter Lengthy. Gesicki commanded a 16.3-percent goal share with a weak group round him. It is to be anticipated he’ll drop down from that determine. Moreover, he loved his two largest performances with Ryan Fitzpatrick on the helm. Nonetheless, Gesicki’s versatility (second amongst tight ends in slot snaps) and 25-percent purple zone goal share will maintain him a fantasy-relevant choice.
Logan Thomas, Washington. In 2020, Thomas was a traditional case of a decent finish rising from nowhere to rank inside the highest 10. Extremely, the QB-turned-TE ranked third amongst tight ends in targets with 110. He did so with a putrid Washington passing assault. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB1, count on Thomas to see one other flurry of targets and enhance on his aDot of 7.02.
Robert Tonyan Jr., Packers. Tonyan ranked 24th in targets amongst tight ends final season. Nonetheless, he caught 88 p.c of these appears. Realistically talking, there’s subsequent to no likelihood that type of tempo repeats itself. He’ll go from a top-three tight finish to extra of a middle-of-the-pack type of participant. Nonetheless, with Aaron Rodgers presumably returning because the QB in Inexperienced Bay, Tonyan will proceed to be one in all his trusted targets within the purple zone. Tonyan caught 10-of-11 red-zone targets for seven touchdowns. The hope is that the development continues.
Jonnu Smith, Patriots. Smith got here into 2020 with a whole lot of hype. Though he completed high 10 on the place in customary leagues, he was very landing dependent (48 p.c of his fantasy factors from touchdowns). It is unclear whether or not Smith or Hunter Henry would be the major tight finish within the Patriots offense or if they may see a considerably equal piece of the pie. What does bode properly for Smith is the shortage of expertise at WR in New England. It would not be stunning to see the tight finish tandem turn into the top-two choices. We count on Mac Jones to take over in some unspecified time in the future, and tight ends usually function a safety blanket for younger QBs.
Irv Smith Jr., Vikings. Kyle Rudolph is out after an extended profession with the Vikings. Smith confirmed promise final season with 30 catches on 43 targets, 336 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Vikings have been clearly comfy sufficient with Smith to let Rudolph depart city. Outdoors of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, there’s a whole lot of targets up for grabs in 2021. Smith performs extra like a giant large receiver than a standard tight finish and may very well be utilized in many alternative positions within the offense.
Hunter Henry, Patriots. It is no coincidence Henry and Jonnu Smith discover themselves ranked eerily comparable. As beforehand talked about, they each have a whole lot of alternative to be premier weapons on this offense. New England made every of them tied for the third-highest paid tight finish within the NFL ($12.5M yearly), so you’ll be able to count on every of them to see loads of motion.
Jared Cook dinner, Chargers. Cook dinner is outdated dependable on the tight finish place. He is not fairly what he as soon as was, however he is set to play with an younger quarterback. In 2020, he completed fourth amongst tight ends in common goal distance (11.1), regardless of taking part in with an ailing Drew Brees and Taysom Hill in New Orleans
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers. Gronkowski’s vary of outcomes are wherever between fantasy irrelevance and top-five tight finish. With one other yr of rust knocked off him, it isn’t not possible for him to return to prime Gronk kind. The chances are stacked towards that, however he did begin heating up within the later a part of the season final yr, together with scoring twice within the Tremendous Bowl. Whether or not he will get a whole lot of quantity or not, his red-zone acumen will produce stable fantasy weeks this season (T-10th in red-zone targets final yr with 21). In the end, his worth may come all the way down to how a lot O.J. Howard performs after lacking 12 video games due to a torn Achilles’. If the Bucs nonetheless view Howard because the TE of the longer term, he may simply be extra beneficial.
Evan Engram, Giants. After a top-five fantasy tight finish season as a rookie, Engram has been nothing in need of a disappointment. He is did not rank inside the highest 10 since, ending at TE19 the earlier two seasons. With Saquon Barkely again, and Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Rudolph added to the offense, Engram’s alternatives determine to lower. The one hope is his elite expertise on the place lastly materializing into elite play.
Blake Jarwin, Cowboys. Jarwin has potential to destroy his rating in a high-powered Cowboys offense. It could sound contradictory with all of the mouths to feed in Dallas, however there will likely be loads of targets and scoring alternatives to go round in a high-volume passing assault, proven by Jarwin’s backup Dalton Schultz rating ninth amongst TEs in targets final yr (89) whereas filling in.
Anthony Firkser, Titans. The Titans possess a star-studded offense in 2021, however do not forget to control Firkser. Firkser has accomplished nothing however produce when given the chance, and he is simply now getting an opportunity to take over the beginning tight finish function in Tennessee. In accordance with PlayerProfiler.com, Firkser ranked No. 2 on the place in “hog fee” at 18.Three p.c — one spot forward of Travis Kelce. Hog fee represents targets per snap. In different phrases, Firkser noticed a goal on 18.Three p.c of his offensive snaps, exhibiting Ryan Tannehill trusted him when he was out on the sector.
Cole Kmet, Bears. Kmet is poised to take over the keys from Jimmy Graham at TE1 within the Bears offense. Whereas Kmet did not see a ton of quantity final yr (44 targets), he ranked fourth on the place in true catch fee at 94 p.c. True catch fee is the overall variety of receptions divided by complete variety of catchable targets. With Andy Dalton or Justin Fields on the sector, passing quantity and catchable targets are prone to level upward.
Zach Ertz, Eagles. Ertz is a wild card, as he is been rumored to be traded earlier than the beginning of the season. Touchdown spot will likely be all the things if that occurs. Nonetheless, his observe file means that he may be not less than a fantasy-relevant tight finish. From 2017-’19 Ertz was a premier tight finish listed among the many elites on the place. He completed high 5 in these three consecutive seasons, and a commerce to a decent finish needy staff may show fruitful for him. If he is not traded, he nonetheless appears to be part of the offense in a lackluster Eagles passing assault.
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers. See Rob Gronkowski.
Eric Ebron, Steelers. Ebron upset final yr regardless of constantly stable targets, and with the Steelers loaded at WR and including RB Najee Davenport and TE Pat Freiermuth within the draft, issues do not determine to get any higher for him. The targets nonetheless give him some upside in PPR leagues, although.
Austin Hooper, Browns. Hooper was a bust amongst tight ends in 2020. He dropped to TE22 from TE7 the earlier season with Atlanta. It isn’t essentially shocking, although. In ’20, the Browns tried 501 passes, fifth fewest. Examine that to the ’19 Atlanta passing assault that tried essentially the most passes (684), and it is clear to see the passing quantity merely is not the identical. Except the Browns resolve to randomly turn into cross completely satisfied, Hooper will not see a big workload as soon as once more.
Adam Trautman, Saints. Trautman got here into the league with a powerful prospect profile crammed with manufacturing. Throughout his faculty profession at Dayton, he compiled 3,000 yards and 31 receiving touchdowns. With targets up for grabs within the New Orleans offense, Trautman has all the chance on this planet to take benefit, making him an intriguing deep sleeper.
Gerald Everett, Seahawks. Taking part in with Russell Wilson is taken into account a very good factor for pass-catchers. At tight finish, there hasn’t been a lot manufacturing in Seattle. Everett is essentially the most athletic tight finish Wilson has performed with, however there is not any assure of quantity coming his manner till we have seen it.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys. See Blake Jarwin.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons. For apparent causes (Kyle Pitts), Hurst’s ceiling could be very low. Nonetheless, Atlanta will probably be a high-volume passing assault with a whole lot of detrimental recreation scripts. If Pitts is utilized as a WR in a whole lot of the Falcons formations like anticipated, Hurst may nonetheless have a job within the offense.
Dawson Knox, Payments. Knox stays TE1 in one of the crucial explosive and pass-happy groups within the league. Final season, he ranked second on the place in goal separation (2.26). The primary factor holding him again is the surplus of stable weapons in Buffalo, but when he can draw extra targets in 2021, his potential in fantasy soccer is sky excessive. On the very least, he is a very good TD-or-bust candidate each week once you’re looking for streamers on the waiver wire.