Since time immemorial tight ends have perplexed the world. We all know you want an end that’s tight, but how tight is too tight? The great Albert Einstein tackled this enigma with his theory of relativity, where he concluded Darren Waller epitomizes the perfect balance of tightness and plumpness in the end department. And who is Donkey Teeth to argue with genius Einstein? Waller’s an adonis of a man, and well endowed too.
If the sweaty Waller riding stationary bike GIF isn’t enough to move the big man up to #3 in your tight end rankings, then I’m not sure if we can be friends. Who am I kidding, I’m desperate for friends! Anyway, here’s my top 10 tight ends for 2020 PPR fantasy football:
1. Travis Kelce – The Chiefs big man is a rock. I’m not talking about the firmness of his tight end, which I’m sure is also rocklike. I’m talking about the consistency Kelce brings to the field, which has been unparalleled at the tight end position over the past six seasons as he’s somehow managed to miss only one game while topping 1,000 receiving yards each of the last four years. You can argue that Kittle has more upside (debatable) but there’s no question about which player has the higher floor and more reliable quarterback. Usually I’m an upside whore but when you’re already with a 10 like Kelce, there’s no need to sleep around.
2020 Projection: 95 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns in 16 games
PPR Pts: 251 / 15.7 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 203.5 / 12.7 ppg | Standard Pts: 156 / 9.75 ppg
2. George Kittle – Based on the interviews I’ve watched, Kittle seems like he’d be a blast to hang out with. He’s also a blast to own on your fantasy team. And the recent Deebo Samuel Jones fracture news means Jimmy G will be looking to hang out with Kittle a bit more too. George of the Bay has hit pay dirt only five times each of the past two years. That number could easily double in 2020, which would make him the tightest of ends.
2020 Projection: 85 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 225 / 15 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 182.5 / 12.2 ppg | Standard Pts: 140 / 8.7 ppg
3. Darren Waller – It’s no surprise there’s a skeptical mob of haters yelling to fade Waller after his 27 year old breakout season in which he had very little competition for targets from the Raiders receiving core. But the reason he didn’t breakout sooner was due to drug issues and now he’s cleaned up his act. The Gruden offense will continue to utilize the tight end heavily, just ask 2018 Jared Cook. Scoff now, but don’t be shocked if you find Waller up in tier one come next year.
2020 Projection: 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 210 / 14 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 170 / 11.3 ppg | Standard Pts: 130 / 11.5 ppg
4. Mark Andrews – LJax and Mandrews have a connection like my crazy aunt and her cats. The big question with Andrews is whether the 10 touchdowns from last year will end up as a career high mark or the start of something special. I lean toward high mark; at the very least touchdown regression in 2020 seems quite likely. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that Andrews is only just about to turn 24 and might continue to grow.
2020 Projection: 65 receptions, 850 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 192 / 12.8 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 159.5 / 10.6 ppg | Standard Pts: 127 / 8.5 ppg
5. Zach Ertz – In my 2020 dynasty rankings I’ve been a little down on Ertz, mainly because I think Goedert is at least his equal in terms of talent. That said, Ertz has been a PPR stud for the past five seasons and he’s still Wentz’s safety blanket. Even with Goedert snagging five touchdowns away last year, Ertz still found the end zone six times himself. There’s a solid floor here as long as he’s paired with Wentz in Philly.
2020 Projection: 80 receptions, 800 receiving yards, 6 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 196 / 13.1 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 156 / 10.4 ppg | Standard Pts: 116 / 7.7 ppg
6. Rob Gronkowski – I saw Gronk on an episode of Shark Tank and one of his brothers was peddling some shaker cup for protein shakes. The sharks were climbing over each other to invest, under the condition the shaker cup was re-branded “The Gronk Shaker.” Ultimately the less-famous Gronk chose the duo of Mark Cuban and Alex Rodriguez as business partners. The main Gronk has a business partner of his own, by the name of Tom Brady. I get there’s loads of questions surrounding the big boy’s health, strength and conditioning, but what if we see a rejuvenated and remotivated Gronkowski in his return to the NFL? He only just turned 31 and went off for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns in his last semi-healthy season at age 28. How sure are you that he can’t leap right back to the top of the pack?
2020 Projection: 60 receptions, 840 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 13 games
PPR Pts: 174 / 13.4 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 144 / 11.1 ppg | Standard Pts: 114 / 8.8 ppg
7. Evan Engram – It feels weird to write, but I’m kind of excited about the Giants offense this year. They spent a first and third round pick on offensive line help, Danny Dimes has a large roll of coins in his pocket and Saquon is primed for liftoff. Evan Engram might be ready for launch too, if he can just find a way to stay healthy. Engram’s only logged 17 games over the past two seasons, so it’s an IF bigger than Saquon’s thighs. But the talent and upside is undeniable; there’s lots of big men with a chance to produce huge fantasy numbers this season, including Engram.
2020 Projection: 70 receptions, 750 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 13 games
PPR Pts: 175 / 13.5 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 140 / 10.8 ppg | Standard Pts: 105 / 8.1 ppg
8. Hayden Hurst – I expected to own a bunch of Hurst shares this year after the Falcons traded for the Ravens’ former first round draft pick to fill the void left by Austin Hooper. Turns out I’m not the only one who noticed the post-hype pass catcher landing in the dream situation down in Atlanta. Since June 1st Hooper is the 9th TE off the board at The NFFC with an ADP of 100. It’s become a steep price for a guy who’s yet to actually prove anything but on top of the cushy landing spot in ATL, Matt Ryan has also raved about Hurst after their one-on-one workouts; I’ll end up owning a share or two, there’s a real chance he’s this year’s Waller minus the stationary bike GIF and dreamy eyes.
2020 Projection: 70 receptions, 730 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 15 games
PPR Pts: 173 / 11.5 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 138 / 9.2 ppg | Standard Pts: 103 / 6.9 ppg
9. Austin Hooper – My tight end draft strategy is pretty simple this year. Plan A is take the man, the myth, the Waller. If I miss on big sexy then Plan B is to take the original big sexy, Gronk—who’s probably no stranger to Plan B himself. If Plans A & B both fail then it’s Hooper time. I figured the former Falcon would be faded a bit since he landed in Browntown where 2019 Baker looked more like he belonged on Worst Cooks in America than Top Chef. But I went over my belief in a Mayfield bounce back in my top 10 quarterbacks for 2020 fantasy football and while the Browns offense isn’t quite as TE friendly as the Falcons, Cleveland didn’t give Hooper $44 million dollars just to look pretty. This guy was the #1 fantasy tight end before his MCL injury last year and now he’s being drafted after pick 120, count me in.
2020 Projection: 75 receptions, 750 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 14 games
PPR Pts: 180 / 12.9 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 142.5 / 10.2 ppg | Standard Pts: 105 / 7.5 ppg
10. Hunter Henry – There’s so many talented tight ends in the NFL right now. Pretty much everything I wrote about Evan Engram applies to Henry. The big difference is Daniel Jones vs. Tyrod Taylor. But thinking back to the Taylor led 2015-2017 Buffalo Bills, Charles Clay saw plenty of work in those teams averaging 52 catches, 546 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns over those three seasons. No offense intended to Clay, but Hunter Henry is a whole different caliber player. If he can just stay healthy.
2020 Projection: 60 receptions, 650 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns in 13 games
PPR Pts: 155 / 11.9 ppg | 1/2 PPR Pts: 125 / 9.6 ppg | Standard Pts: 95 / 7.3 ppg