Welcome to the post-NFL Draft, pre-training camps 2022 fantasy football positional rankings. Below we examine my tight end rankings with categorical explanations as needed.
The Elite: TE1-TE2
Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce both saw their team’s respective No. 1 WRs, Marquise Brown and Tyreek Hill, depart this off-season via trade. Kelce’s team fully replenished their WR corps with a number of sturdy role players though while Baltimore only brought in a handful of rookies. Andrews comfortably led the position in targets last year (153) and should do so again in 2023.
Paths to the TE1 Finish: TE3-TE4
Kyle Pitts became the 2nd-ever rookie tight end to clear 1,000 yards receiving last year while also stealing the Atlanta Falcons’ rookie receiving record from Julio Jones (1,026 to Jones’ 959). Poor touchdown variance negatively shaded the sum of Pitts’ season though. Expect him to push rookie dynamo Drake London for No. 1 pass catchers honors this year.
George Kittle’s elite blocking abilities keep the 49ers from fully unleashing him in the receiving game. Should disgruntled WR Deebo Samuel successfully force a trade away from San Fran, Kittle would jump into The Elite tier.
End of the Reliable Guys: TE5-TE6
Darren Waller’s target share takes a massive hit with the acquisition of all-star WR Davante Adams (Derek Carr’s go-to pass catcher at Fresno State). Rob Gronkowski has mega touchdown upside but it’s a crowded situation in Tampa Bay (assuming he stays and plays in 2022).
High-Quality Platoon Options: TE7-TE24
Dalton Schultz has flashed brilliance.
T.J. Hockenson may be a victim of his own blocking abilities.
Dawson Knox has to compete with RB James Cook and a bevvy of short area WRs.
Albert Okwuegbunam, now operating as DEN’s TE1 and catching passes from newly acquired Russell Wilson, is perhaps the best bet to vault into the Waller/Gronk tier.
Zach Ertz will eat with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games.
Pat Freiermuth will build on a solid rookie year.
Dallas Goedert could smash his ADP if Jalen Hurts succeeds in the pass-first system that Philly will re-attempt to implement.
Hunter Henry was eighth in the NFL in end zone targets, across all positions, and second among tight ends overall.
David Njoku is now the TE1 in Cleveland. It is not uncommon for tight ends to take a few years to truly breakout and Njoku’s dynamic athleticism and dramatic improvement at the QB position make his ceiling awfully intriguing.
Gerald Everett is now Justin Herbert’s No. 1 tight end and will have a significantly larger target share to work with. Seattle, Everett’s former team, ranked dead last in the NFL with 56.1 plays per game. Everett’s new home, Los Angeles, ranked 5th with 66.4.
Tyler Conklin left for the Big Apple so Irv Smith Jr. has the TE receiving work all to himself in Minnesota. An increase in overall passing rate with the ouster of Mike Zimmer should help Smith as well.
The departure of Davante Adams could mean an extra target or two each week for Robert Tonyan.
Mackey Award winner Trey McBride carries intense upside but landed in a crowded tight end room. Since 2015, the Mackey Award winners are as follows—Hunter Henry, Jake Butt, Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson, Harrison Bryant, and Kyle Pitts. McBride is in elite company.
It is difficult to overstate Daniel Bellinger’s athletic profile. The 6-foot-5, 250 lbs tight end put on an NFL Combine masterpiece, highlighted by a red hot 1.52-second 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash. For reference, Julio Jones ran a 1.53. Bellinger finished T-2nd in receptions on the San Diego State Aztecs last year (31). New NYG HC Brian Daboll will attempt to turn Bellinger into Dawson Knox 2.0.
Cole Kmet’s prospects improved with Matt Nagy getting fired.
Logan Thomas will produce from time to time.
Hayden Hurst is now the No. 1 TE in Cincinnati.
Tyler Higbee is in an enviable offensive situation.
Notes From Dead Dreams: TE25-TE34
Mike Gesicki can’t do what George Kittle does so don’t expect him to succeed on Mike McDaniel’s San Francisco South Beach squad. C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin will cannibalize each other in New York.
The Leftovers: TE35-TE50
Foster Moreau becomes a must-add should Darren Waller miss time. Mackey Award winner Harrison Bryant has flashed at times but is currently stuck behind David Njoku. Keep the former rostered in dynasty.
2022 Tight End Rankings
|11||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN|
|48||Chris Herndon IV||MIN|
|49||Donald Parham Jr.||LAC|