Drafting tight ends in fantasy football can feel like feast or famine for managers, and this year may be no different
The top few players are so good that they seem like locks to take early in your draft. When you get past the top five you start to get some question marks.
Beyond the top 10, you get even more question marks so unless you plan to punt that position, it’s good to get one of these 10 players ahead of the 2020 season.
10. Evan Engram, New York Giants
Fantasy football players who have been around for a few years remember how great Engram was as a rookie in 2017. It’s been tough for Engram to find consistency in the last two seasons because he has missed 13 games in that time. As we saw with his 11 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown in last year’s opener, the talent is still there. Unfortunately, so are the injuries.
9. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Can Gronk and Tom Brady rediscover the magic they created with the Patriots? The thought alone makes Gronkowski a tempting pick as your starting fantasy tight end even though he is coming out of retirement. He caught 65 touchdowns in his first six seasons with New England. He started to show a bit of a decline in 2018 before retiring, but a new start for Brady in Tampa Bay and a year off football might allow Gronkowski to hit the refresh button and look more like his old self.
8. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Hooper provided a reliable option to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan last season by catching 75 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Hooper turned that success into a four-year contract with the Browns and should have a great chance to keep it going in Cleveland now that David Njoku begins the regular season at No. 3 on the depth chart.
7. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
Waller came out of nowhere last season with 90 receptions and 1,145 receiving yards. In his first three seasons combined he had 18 receptions for 178 yards. Waller should be productive again this season, but the Raiders addressed their void at wide receiver so quarterback Derek Carr should have more options than he had last season. Don’t draft Waller expecting the same stats as last season.
6. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Cook has a knack for the big play and scoring touchdowns, so when the elite tight ends are off the board, he is a good one to grab. His 16.4 yards per catch were tops by a tight end, and his nine touchdown receptions were second only to Mark Andrews.
5. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Henry’s production has always been there, but he carries a significant injury risk. He missed four games in 2017 and all of the 2018 regular season. He missed four more games during the regular season last year. He had career-highs of 55 receptions and 652 yards last year, so if he can stay on the field he has a great chance to pile up stats.
4. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore was known for its running game last season, but when Lamar Jackson threw the ball it most often went to Andrews. With defenses focusing on the run again this season, expect Andrews to continue to be targeted at a high rate. Andrews also was targeted in the red zone more than any other player on his team. His 10 receiving touchdowns last season ranked second among all players.
3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles:
The fact that the Eagles picked three wide receivers in the 2020 draft is not likely to keep Ertz from reaching his always trustworthy fantasy scoring floor. He leads all tight ends with 290 targets over the last two seasons – a mark that also ranks ahead of all but four wide receivers. Last year he had five games with at least eight receptions.
2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle burst onto the fantasy scene in 2018 when he set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,377 receiving yards. He followed that with 1,053 yards last year. Even though he is asked to do more blocking than most of the elite fantasy tight ends, he’ll remain the top target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs:
With four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Kelce has established himself as the tight end to chase in fantasy scoring. His 368 receptions over those four seasons make him especially valuable in PPR leagues. He has 200 receptions in the last two seasons alone. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ offense remains locked and loaded, so Kelce should be in for another fantastic season.