As we all cling to the hope that there will be a full NFL Season in 2020 we prepare for our Redraft leagues with 2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings. With training camps underway now is an opportune time to dive into the 2020 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings. But before we do so, let’s get reacquainted with the tiered rankings logic.
Elite (Tier 1)
Fairly self-explanatory. These tight ends have the ability to carry your fantasy football team(s) regardless of format.
Supers (Tier 2)
Like the ELITE TEs they can carry your team but have a lower floor and aren’t quite as consistent due to mitigating factors. (I.e. Inconsistent QBs, poor offensive line play)
Next Level Players (Tier 3)
This level of Tight End can carry your fantasy football team a few times per season.
Promising (Tier 4)
You’ve seen flashes of the three previous tiers; but there will be a couple head-scratchers along the way.
Status Quo (Tier 5)
You as a fantasy owner know what you’re getting, albeit nothing special.
Complement (Tier 6)
This set of Tight Ends have a fairly low fantasy floor for any number of reasons and hover around their weekly projections.
Wait & See (Tier 7)
It’s exactly what it sounds like… just want to see more before taking the plunge.
|2020 Fantasy Football Redraft Tight End Rankings|
|Elite (Tier 1)|
|1||George Kittle||San Francisco 49ers||I expect the newly minted and BEST tight end in the game to lead the Niners in all receiving categories. Frankly, this entire offense revolves around Kittle. Keep in mind that George Kittle finished 2nd in scoring among tight ends in PPR leagues, only trailing Travis Kelce. Kittle played in two fewer games.|
|2||Travis Kelce||Kansas City Chiefs||Not to be outdone, Kelce got his extension recently as well. Should he have been ranked #1? Probably. But I don't wanna. His brutal strength of schedule against has Kelce tumbling all the way down my rankings to the #2 slot.|
|3||Mark Andrews||Baltimore Ravens||Mark Andrews should build on a terrific 2019 fantasy season. Lamar Jackson's favorite target has a cake schedule including five Top 10 matchups in the Ravens' first six contests in 2020.|
|Supers (Tier 2)|
|4||Zach Ertz||Philadelphia Eagles||With quite a few breakouts and end of season flurries among tight ends in 2019, somehow, Zach Ertz's consistent performance got lost in translation it seems. Ertz has finished among the Top 4 tight ends over the last three seasons and has finished in the Top 10 among fantasy tight ends every season since 2015. I may have disrespected him by not putting him in the Elite Tier.|
|5||Darren Waller||Las Vegas Raiders||Raider Nation knew what they had in Darren Waller long before the fantasy community began to note Waller as a potential breakout candidate in 2019, and breakout he did! Waller finished as TE3 overall in PPR leagues and should once again offer Top 5 value. The Las Vegas Raiders made it a point to add more perimeter threats during the 2020 NFL draft including selecting the first wide receiver in the 2020 Draft Class, Henry Ruggs, as well as, WR Bryan Edwards who many a fantasy analysts believe will be the Raiders WR1 as soon as this season. Given that there are more mouths to feed and Waller faces a daunting schedule, I've ranked him Top 5 as opposed to Top 3. However, I expect him to lead the Raiders in targets once again considering the heavy volume tight ends receive in Jon Gruden's offense.|
|Next Level Players (Tier 3)|
|6||Hunter Henry||Los Angeles Chargers||Injuries consistently force me to temper my expectations for Hunter Henry, but he's a talent. The TE9 overall despite missing four contests; "IF" is the word that always comes to mind when discussing Hunter Henry's fantasy football prospects. If he can stay healthy, he will surpass career marks in targets (76), receptions (55) and yards (652) which he set in his injury-shortened 2019 campaign. Those that are concerned the Los Angeles Chargers won't offer as much fantasy scoring opportunities via the air need not worry about Hunter Henry. Former Bills tight end Charles Clay was a favorite target of Tyrod Taylor. In fact, Clay led the Buffalo Bills in targets in 2016 with Taylor starting under-center for 15 contests. I expect a considerable uptick in the tight end target share in Los Angeles (17% in 2019).|
|7||Evan Engram||New York Giants||Again, the "IF" word comes to mind. A unique blend of size, speed and athleticism in this offensive friendly iteration of the NFL; Evan Engram should be dominating for the New York Giants faithful and your fantasy football teams. Alas, he has struggled to remain in the lineup due to a myriad of injuries. If, he can remain healthy 2020 sets up nicely for the talented "move" tight end. A favorable schedule featuring nine top 10 matchups and a new play-caller in Jason Garrett whom targeted the far less dynamic (albeit much more polished and well-rounded) Jason Witten 130 times per year over six seasons as the play-caller in Dallas.|
|Promising (Tier 4)|
|8||Hayden Hurst||Atlanta Falcons||It seems like Hayden Hurst has been under-achieving for ages, having been displaced by Mark Andrews in Baltimore and ultimately being traded to the Atlanta Falcons. But the reality is he's only entering his third professional season at a position or rather "positions" that typically take time to acclimate to at the professional level. With Austin Hooper gone via free ageny, the Falcons traded significant draft captial to acquire Hayden Hurst to fill the vacancy left behind. New scenery and a defined/consistent role in what should be a high scording offense sets up nicely for Hurst to enjoy his own breakout in 2020. But I should note that my outlook on Hurst's fantasy prospects this season is particularly optimistic considering a rough schedule against.|
|9||Austin Hooper||Cleveland Browns||If Hooper were still in Atlanta he'd be ranked ahead of Huntery Henry and Evan Engram. The rapport he developed with Matt Ryan and his role/skill-set in the offense fit like a glove culminating in a career year in 2019. Too rich for Atlanta's blood, the Browns decided to pay up and bolster their tight end room by acquiring Austin Hooper. Unfortunatley, from a fantasy perspective, Cleveland's run-first approach is a far cry from what he enjoyed in Atlanta. A repeat of last year's Top 6 finish seems remote. Still, I expect him to return low end TE1 value. Just be mindful not to reach.|
|10||Mike Gesicki||Miami Dolphins||More often than not you have to exercise patience when dealing with young players at the tight end position. After not busting a grape during his rookie season, Gesicki, under a new/competent coaching staff converted a quiet but very healthy 89 targets into five scores. Still, there's certainly work to be done. Gesicki's catch rate wasn't good but that was a byproduct of spotty quarterback play as his drop rate was sterling. I'm not certain how much Tua we'll get in 2020, but that light bulb appears to be on for Gesicki.|
|11||Dallas Goedert||Philadelphia Eagles||The Phiadelphia Eagles have leaned more on their tight ends over the last two seasons than any team in the NFL. In 2018, they led the NFL in tight end target share at 35.7%. Only the Baltimore Ravens (42.5%) targeted the tight end position more than the Philadelphia Eagles (38.9%) in 2019. While I anticipate that number more closely reflecting the 2018 output this upcoming season, it still leaves a lot of room for Dallas Goedert to contribute to your fantasy team. His 66% snap rate in 2019 may take a slight hit in 2020 consideirng the Eagles have added some perimeter weapons and expect to get some back from injury. But it cannot be overstated that Philadelphia's offense produced two Top 10 tight ends a season ago (Ertz TE4, Goedert TE10). Don't dismiss Goedert on draft day.|
|12||Jared Cook||New Orleans Saints||Jared Cook caught a career high 9 TD passes last season... and I was still disappointed. I felt something was missing. It was snaps. Despite playing only 47% of the Saints offensive snaps (lowest percentage since rookie year) Cook was still targeted 65 times. Cest la vie... What does this mean? Well, it suggests volatility and touchdown regression may be in his immediate future. Though I've decided to take a more optimistic outlook in this case (been burned by Cook before so proceed with caution). He has substantial fantasy upside despite what could be unpredicatable volume (I like Adam Trautman a lot by the way). I think a full season with Brees and the field stretching speed of Emmanuel Sanders will clearout the intermmediate areas of the field and help support a solid weekly fantasy floor for Cook. Don't pay up, but in this offense, a little Jared Cook is better than copious amounts of a lot of tight ends.|
|13||Blake Jarwin||Dallas Cowboys||The Jarwin buzz started the moment Dallas moved on from Jason Witten, perhaps even sooner; but I just don't know what to expect of Mike McCarthy's offense. I know the 3-wideouts will be heavily involved, that I'm certain of. The font office understands what Dallas has in Jarwin as evidenced by his contract extension. I'm just not certain McCarthy shares the same thought process, so I'm hedging somewhat.|
|14||Jack Doyle||Indianapolis Colts||An injury-shortened 2018 and an underwhelming 2019 has placed the perpetually uninteresting Jack Doyle in a bit of no man's land. There are younger, more exciting options at the position but I caution against ignoring Doyle. Philip Rivers has supported a Top 12 fantasy football tight end in 13 of 14 seasons as a starter. I don't expect Doyle to have to compete for targets at the tight end position as much as he did with Eric Ebron on the roster and I expect Rivers to continue working from the inside out frequently under Frank Reich. Doyle represents excellent value late in your drafts and has low end TE1 upside. Just consider, how Rivers peppered Hunter Henry with targets last season when he was in the lineup.|
|15||Jonnu Smith||Indianapolis Colts||We've seen the flashes and it seems warranted that Smith would be more of a focal point in the Titans' passing attack given his explosiveness. But the volume hasn't been consistent at all (5+ targets in just two games last season) despite the absence of Delanie Walker in 2019. I don't expect Tennessee to make wholesale changes to their approach on offense so cosider Smith a hi-end streaming/bye week option for the time being.|
|16||Tyler Higbee||Los Angeles Rams||Higbee was a revelation for fantasy owners during the last five weeks of your typical fantasy football season (thru Week 16).and a league-winning acquisition. With four 100-yard receiving performances during that span it's difficult to imagine Higbee being regulated to a part-time role where targets are far and few between. However, it's improtant to note that this production was born at least in part due to an injury that sidelined fellow tight end Gerald Everrett. Frankly, throughout their respective careers when both players have been healthy, HIgbee (neither really) has NOT been rosterable, let alone a starting option for your fantasy teams. Could things be different in 2020? Perhaps, but it certainly doesn't come without substantial risk at his current ADP. I believe the Rams offense while predicated heavily on 11 personnel historically under head coach Sean McVay, functions best with their current, below average offensive line in 12 personnel... meaning two tight ends. I believe it is in the best interest of the Rams to deploy both tight ends on the field more frequently, together, and involve both in the passing attack. The connection Higbee had with Goff is undeniable and it makes no sense NOT leveraging it. I'm just not counting on McVay making that adjustment with all of his perimeter threats healthy.|
|Status Quo (Tier 5)|
|17||Chris Herndon||New York Jets||Herndon flashed during his rookie season, but his sophomore campaign was derailed by suspension and injury. I think it's safe to say Jamison Crowder will lead the New York Jets in targtets and the additions of Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman certainly will stress defenses verticially. Herndon is too much for most linebackers and safeties to handle and should see his fair share of opportunities in the redzone. He is the tight end I'm targeting in the latter parts of drafts as his upside is immense, despite my lack of trust in Adam Gase.|
|18||Noah Fant||Denver Broncos||There is a lot of talent all of sudden on the perimeter of this offense and only one ball to go round, but I think Fant has a distinct chance to surprise in 2020. Fant's speed and run-after-catch ability at his size presents a matchup nightmare. Even an incremental improvement will allow him to play closer to the 4.5 speed he flashed at the NFL Combine. Once he is comfortable and starts playing fast he's going to be a problem. Decent quarterback play from Drew Lock and a competent play-caller in OC Pat Shurmur should help in Fant's development but there will be volatility.|
|19||T.J. Hockenson||Detroit Lions||There's a lot to like about T.J. Hockenson's long term prospects. The Top 10 draft pick (capital) the Detroit Lions invested in him, his complete skill-set, and the return of trigger man Matthew Stafford. This Lions offense has a chance to be explosive but as I've stated before it generally takes a little time for young players at this position to truly take off. If that weren't enough Hockenson is still dealing with the lingering ankle injury that ended his 2019 campaign. As a result, I've tempered my expectations regarding Hockenson. However, the silver lining (if healthy) is that Detroit was a Top 12 team in terms of tight end target share in 2019. The upside is real.|
|20||Dawson Knox||Buffalo Bills||Very intriguing player but I need a word stronger than "volatile" to describe what I think his weekly fantasy production will look like.|
|21||Greg Olsen||Seattle Seahawks||I just have a feeling he's going to be a poular waiver add if he goes undrafted. Olsen is healthy for a change and has something to prove. I think Russell Wilson will find him as long as he's healthy and available on gameday.|
|22||Rob Gronkowski||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||I'm either going to be spectacularly wrong or nail this one. I don't think there's any in-between.|
|23||Eric Ebron||Pittsburgh Steelers||The ultimate tease...|
|24||Irv Smith Jr.||Minnesota Vikings||He clearly has the ability. Whether a seasoned coaching staff will let the youngster carve out more than a 50/50 split with veteran Kyle Rudolph remains to be seen.|
|Complement (Tier 6)|
|25||C.J. Uzomah||Cincinnati Bengals||Trixxy Hobbitzzz. Keep an eye on him.|
|26||Ian Thomas||Carolina Panthers||Let someone else take the plunge.|
|27||Jimmy Graham||Chicago Bears||Once more for old time's sake? Nah.|
|28||Gerlad Everett||Los Angeles Rams||Odds are Everett and Higbee continue canabalizing one another's fantasy value.|
|29||Tyler Eifert||Jacksonville Jaguars||2015 was five years ago B...|
|30||Jordan Akins||Houston Texans||Watson is going to pepper his tight ends in the redzone. Just not sure which tight end it will be. I'm guessing Akins.|
|Wait & See (Tier 7)|
|31||Jace Sternberger||Green Bay Packers||Do something...|
|32||O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Update: as of 8/29/2020 to include O.J. Howard|
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