[brid autoplay=”true” video=”1385528″ player=”10951″ title=”2023 Fantasy Football Rookies” duration=”173″ description=”0:24 Jahmyr Gibbs 1:05 Kendre Miller 1:54 Jaxon Smith-Njigba ” uploaddate=”2023-08-19″ thumbnailurl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_th_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” image=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_sd_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” contenturl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/sd/1385528.mp4″ width=”480″ height=”270″]

Today I’ll be taking you through the latest update of my redraft tight end rankings, with my comments focussing on any major changes since my previous article, but click here to check out those comments if you missed them.

These are set up for a half-point per reception (PPR) league, so minor adjustments should be made if you’re in a PPR league. I finished last season as the third most accurate expert on FantasyPros, so I hope that you can use these rankings with confidence. You can find my full rankings, including dynasty, at ffdfantasyfootball.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, but you can also hit me up on Instagram @thefantasyfirstdown, where I answer all questions. 

To make things a little easier, I’ve broken things up into tiers, grouping players who are, in my opinion, close in value. Where you actually draft these players in drafts really depends on your specific league settings, so I won’t be covering that here. If you need specific rankings for your league settings, check out my latest offer for Razzball readers here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Razzball Fantasy YouTube Channel! You can also find our content on Instagram, TikTok and Razzball.com!

Tier 1: The GOAT Tier

  1. Travis Kelce (KC)

Travis Kelce remains in a league of his own, the only tight end you should be considering in the first round. But when should you take him? My general advice is 1.03-1.05 if you start two WRs and a flex, 1.04-1.07 if you start three WRs and a flex and 1.07-1.09 if you start three WRs and two flexes. If you want advice for your own personal league settings though, maybe these will interest you.

Tier 2: The High-Volume Receivers

  1. Mark Andrews (BAL)
  2. TJ Hockenson (MIN)
  3. George Kittle (SF)

With Todd Monken and a handful of new wide receivers in Baltimore, it’s fair to assume the Ravens will run a more pass-focused offense. How well Lamar Jackson can operate his vital role and to what extent Mark Andrews remains the top target remains to be seen. But it’s safe to assume he remains the clear TE2 and the only other tight end with true TE1 upside. TJ Hockenson was 2nd in targets, reception yards and fantasy points last year, though, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t do it again.

The Vikings will again find themselves in shootouts meaning there are plenty of targets to go around. Hockenson wasn’t, however, 2nd in fantasy points per game last year. That was, surprisingly, George Kittle. While staying healthy is far from a given for the 49er, who has missed at least two games in each of the last four seasons, but when healthy, he remains a strong upside option who only needs an injury to Christian McCaffrey or Deebo Samuel to have real league-winning potential.

Tier 3: High-Risk/High-Reward

  1. Darren Waller (NYG)
  2. Dallas Goedert (PHI)
  3. Kyle Pitts (ATL)

I’ve moved Waller past both Goedert and Pitts and while that’s partially a response to the Giant’s excellent pre-season, it’s partly also a concern regarding the other two in this tier. I still don’t believe New York is the best landing spot for Waller from a scheme perspective, but the Giants have made it very clear they plan to use their new weapon heavily, and that’s ultimately all that matters.

Dallas Goedert remains a solid middling option, but while I certainly wouldn’t be reaching for him, I love the idea of getting him if he falls a little. The Eagle was the TE5 in PPG (points per game) last year despite scoring just three touchdowns. While I wouldn’t expect a big jump in that area, it’s clear he was performing far from his ceiling overall, so while he’s got plenty of target competition, he’s still a solid upside option.

Kyle Pitts arguably has the most upside of anyone, but the Falcons are clearly intent on using a committee approach with their tight ends. Even in the pre-season, Pitts was off the field in 21 personnel and also missed some snaps out of 11 alignments. The 21 issue isn’t the end of the world, but 11 personnel should be a fantasy star’s bread and butter, and his usage here was a concern, as it suggests a continuation of last year’s underutilization.

Tier 4: Every Down Starters with Target Competition

  1. Evan Engram (JAC)
  2. Pat Freiermuth (PIT)

I feel very nervous about both of these players, and as a general rule, I’m skipping this tier entirely and waiting until the very late rounds for Tier 5.

Evan Engram was the TE6 last year and was given a big three-year deal after getting franchise-tagged in the off-season. There’s a lot of target competition arriving in the form of Calvin Ridley, though. Ridley appears to be the WR1 in Jacksonville, and we know just how dominant he can be. Engram will have some boom games, but I worry there will be too many lean weeks for him to pay off this draft cost. Pat Freiermuth is likewise a scary option.

While he played every starter snap in Week 2 of the preseason, the Steelers showed in Week 1 that they are willing to swap in Darnell Washington, Connor Heyward and Zach Gentry in certain personnel groupings. If that becomes more common this season, he could well struggle to provide a solid weekly floor. Having said that, the Steelers offense does look like one that could boom in Kenny Pickett’s second year, so don’t count him out entirely if he falls in drafts.

Tier 5: The Best of the Rest

  1. Chig Okonkwo (TEN)
  2. David Njoku (CLE)
  3. Tyler Higbee (LAR)
  4. Dalton Kincaid (BUF)
  5. Sam LaPorta (DET)
  6. Dalton Schultz (HOU)

It’s hard not to be enamored with Chig Okonkwo’s upside. We saw Delanie Walker crush it for years in a run-first Titans offense, but the arrival of DeAndre Hopkins is a little bit of a killjoy. If Okonkwo can run 30+ routes a game, the upside is huge. He only topped 18 twice last season, but with Austin Hooper out of town, he looks likely to play every down out of 11 personnel. Sadly the Titans often use 12 personnel, and he’s at best a 50-50 proposition in those. Nevertheless, given he’s often available very late in drafts, he’s a great, late gamble.

David Njoku was the TE13 in PPG last season, and there’s little reason to expect a massive step forward. Yes, a second-year DeShaun Watson should lead to a better passing offense, but the additions of Elijah Moore and Cedric Tillman must surely put a damper on that. The best hope is that Njoku can suction up many of the vacated RB targets and keep his play at an injury-free, high level.

Tyler Higbee is the definition of a floor pick. Higbee was one reception short of the third-most last year, and the Rams have only lost receiving weapons. With a defense full of UDFAs and little for Matthew Stafford to pass to outside Cooper Kupp, Higbee could easily be LA’s number two in targets as they regularly chase points late in games.

Dalton Kincaid and Sam LaPorta both look to have secured starting roles in their respective offenses. While rookie tight ends should ordinarily be avoided, this year’s class is one of the strongest ever, and either of these two could have a Pitts-like breakout very early. But the floor is naturally also really low, so I wouldn’t want them to be the only tight end on my roster.

Dalton Schultz is going far too early in drafts. He’s at risk of losing snaps, the Texans have receivers coming out of their ears, CJ Stroud hasn’t shown a tendency to use his tight ends heavily, and Houston will want to use a heavy run game. But he’s fine if you can get him in the very late rounds.

Tier 6: Other Starters

  1. Luke Musgrave (GB)
  2. Gerald Everett (LAC)
  3. Greg Dulcich (DEN)
  4. Cole Kmet (CHI)
  5. Irv Smith Jr (CIN)
  6. Juwan Johnson (NO)
  7. Trey McBride (ARI)
  8. Logan Thomas (WAS)
  9. Hunter Henry (NE)
  10. Hayden Hurst (CAR)
  11. Jake Ferguson (DAL)
  12. Cade Otton (TB)

There’s only one player I truly love here, and that’s Luke Musgrave. He’s uber-talented and, in any other draft class, would have threatened the first round of the NFL Draft. The Packers have totally changed the way they use tight ends, moving Josiah Deguara to fullback and giving Musgrave an every-down role. How that ends up looking in the season is a total unknown, but there’s more upside here than elsewhere in this tier.

Gerald Everett is consistently uninteresting but still finished as the TE14 last year. He would be higher in my rankings if Donald Parham wasn’t arguably the better player when he’s been able to stay healthy.

Greg Dulcich is another player under serious threat. The Broncos have shown their hand in the pre-season, using Sean Payton’s favorite Adam Trautman on early downs while only using Dulcich on clear passing downs. That’s not a recipe for fantasy success.

Cole Kmet similarly is under threat from Robert Tonyan on blocking downs, so he’s one to avoid in a low-volume offense.

Irv Smith Jr has little upside, given how the Bengals usually use their tight ends. But if something somehow changes and he gets a bigger piece of the pie than his predecessors, he’s at least interesting.

Juwan Johnson was the surprise TE8 last year, thanks to a bronze medal in the TD count. If he lost even two of his unexpected seven scores, though, he would have been the TE16. I have no interest in him with Michael Thomas back in New Orleans.

Trey McBride will be a big value if he can run as an every-down tight end, but with Zach Ertz likely healthy soon, this has committee written all over it.

Logan Thomas is a great target in deep leagues, as he has a Top 10 finish in the past, and Sam Howell has shown a penchant for using his tight ends regularly. The greatest concern otherwise is the emergence of Cole Turner.

Hunter Henry is a former gun who will likely split with Mike Gesicki to some extent. He’ll finish higher than this but lacks true upside.

Hayden Hurst likewise has an every-down role, but I can’t imagine wanting to start him any week, so I won’t draft him.

Jake Ferguson has some upside, given Dalton Schultz’s recent success but a very low floor, depending on how pass-catcher Peyton Hendershot and rookie Luke Schoonmaker are used.

Cade Otton is the last clear starter, and he could be busy, but in this offense, it’s hard to feel good about drafting him.

Tier 7: Other Familiar Names

  1. Jelani Woods (IND)
  2. Noah Fant (SEA)
  3. Zach Ertz (ARI)
  4. Durham Smythe (MIA)
  5. Mike Gesicki (NE)

The Colts and Seahawks both seem intent on using three-man committees, and that really hurts their leading men. If either can get even 25 routes per game, they become relevant, but that’s a big if.

Zach Ertz likewise just needs an opportunity, but if someone is going to be an every-down player for the rebuilding Cardinals, it’s the young gun McBride.

Durham Smythe is an underrated, super deep league punt you may like. The Dolphins seem to have decided he’s the guy, though how much he gets used and whether it’s truly just a committee remains to be seen. His former teammate Mike Gesicki is of zero interest to me. He was hopeless in Miami, and it’s hard to see him taking over from the actually-talented Henry.

Next week I’ll be back with my final look at the wide receivers. Remember to check out my full rankings for all positions at ffdfantasyfootball.com, and you can find my other Razzball articles here.