PPR Redraft Rankings 2019: Tight Ends

Tier 1: Elite – The four best bets at tight end in 2019, if you’re into spending a high draft selection on a tight end, that is. Tight ends are arguably the most top-heavy position group in fantasy. Last year, from TE1 to TE2, there was a 14.3 point gap, then a drop of 21.6 points from TE2 to TE3, and 36.5 points from TE3 to TE4. Said that, if you have a good one, you’re golden. If you don’t have one of the top four or five tight ends, you’re better off waiting. I’ll get into this more when I introduce the next tier.

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs – 6’5”/260, Bye 12

Kelce has been the #1 tight end in fantasy for three years in a row, and at least a TE1 since 2014. It will be business as usual in 2019.

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers – 6’4”/250, Bye 4

Last year, in just his second pro season, Kittle posted the all-time most receiving yards for a tight end in a single season with 1377. His place as the #1 target in San Francisco is secure.

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles – 6’5”/250, Bye 10

Ertz was a PPR machine last season with 116 receptions on 156 targets. He won’t repeat that, especially with the additions the Eagles made at receiver this offseason. Ertz will still be an elite fantasy option at TE and is one of QB Carson Wentz’s favorite targets.

4. OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6’6”/251, Bye 7

Before getting injured after 10 games last year, Howard was on pace for 54 receptions for 904 yards and 8 touchdowns on only 77 targets. I think that’s a good place to start as a floor for Howard in 2019. He has the athletic potential to be the best TE in the game.

Tier 2: TE1s – The rest of my favorite bets to finish as TE1 options. The steep drop-offs from one player to the next continued last year from the 4th-to-5th and 5th-to-6th place finishers at tight end. Starting at the 7th-place finisher, there finally began a steady decline in total point totals without any extreme drop-offs from one to the next the rest of the way down. This pattern isn’t guaranteed to happen again exactly like that in 2019, but my point is that there is a steep drop from the very top of the tight end pyramid to the rest of the tight ends who won’t be separated by nearly as many fantasy points, which means you’ll be able to get fairly similar production out of the bottom half of the top 12 and top half of the next tier of “TE2” options. The biggest difference is draft capital.

5. Evan Engram, New York Giants – 6’3”/240, Bye 11

Engram’s the best receiving option on his team and is lined up to have a massive statistical season as the go-to target for the Giants. He was stunted last year by an injury but still finished 13th at the position despite only playing in 11 games.

6. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers – 6’5”/250, Bye 12

After two promising seasons to begin his career, Henry missed all 16 games in 2018 with a torn ACL. He’s back and healthy, ready for a breakout season.

7. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns – 6’4”/246, Bye 7

Njoku finished as TE9 last year in only his second pro season. Cleveland has a lot of mouths to feed on offense this year, but it really isn’t as crowded as it is being made out to be. There will be plenty of targets to go around and Njoku should make strides in year three.

8. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints – 6’5”/254, Bye 9

Coming off a career year at the age of 31, and finishing TE5, Cook is in a new city again where he will be receiving passes from Drew Brees. I don’t foresee a repeat of last year, but he should remain a solid fantasy option on a team that needs a legit running mate for Michael Thomas.

9. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons – 6’4”/254, Bye 9

Hooper is a steady, consistent presence at tight end. He finished as TE6 last season, averaging 10.2 points per game, and should have a similar performance in 2019. Boring, but safe.

10. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens – 6’5”/256, Bye 8

I have talked about Andrews on the Ride or Dynasty Podcast throughout the offseason. He showed nice chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson as a rookie last year and I’m predicting a year-two breakout with at least a top-10 finish as the go-to target in Baltimore.

11. Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers – 6’4”/267, Bye 7

McDonald was a TE1 last year, and should have similar upside this year. However, recent comments by his offensive coordinator suggest he may not see an increased role, so his fantasy upside may not have the breakout potential many are predicting.

12. Trey Burton, Chicago Bears – 6’2”/238, Bye 6

It appears Burton will be ready for week one after recovering from a sports hernia injury. He finished TE8 last year and should see a similar role in Chicago’s offense this season, but I’ve knocked him down a few spots as a precaution.

Tier 3: TE2s – This is a tier comprised of lower-end and aging starters, along with some sleepers. The bottom half of the players in this tier likely won’t be drafted, but will be valuable options as streamers.

13. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts – 6’4”/253, Bye 6

A top-four tight end from last year, Ebron comes in at Lucky 13 for me here. With Jack Doyle being healthy again, Ebron’s season could go either way. One thing for sure is that he won’t repeat 2018.

14. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans – 6’2”/248, Bye 11

Still one of my favorite tight ends in the game. Coming off a year where he lost all but one game to an injury, Walker can be drafted at a fantastic discount. It was clear that Marcus Mariota missed his safety blanket last year. Walker could be a steal in 2019.

15. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – 6’6”/265, Bye 12

Rudolph was last year’s TE7, but I’m anticipating him losing a lot of snaps and targets at some point this season to second-round rookie Irv Smith, who has looked solid so far in preseason action.

16. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles – 6’5”/256, Bye 10

Goedert finished TE20 as a rookie and has the potential to be one of the better tight ends in the game, but he has someone named Zach Ertz ahead of him on the depth chart. However, in year two, I expect Goedert’s role in Philly’s offense to grow at least a little bit.

17. Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers – 6’3”/260, Bye 7

Thomas is one of my sleeper picks at tight end. He finished his rookie year strong, scoring 10+ PPR points in three of the final five games of the year. Thomas looks lined up for a very nice sophomore campaign.

18. TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions – 6’5”/247, Bye 5

Considering last year’s top rookie tight end, who was nowhere near as good as Hockenson, finished 16th, placing Hockenson here at 18 is a low-ball ranking. Hock is the best TE prospect since OJ Howard and will have a significant role in Detroit’s offense immediately.

19. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts – 6’6”/262, Bye 6

Doyle tied for 9th in fantasy points per game and out-snapped Eric Ebron in the games he played last year. He is healthy again and it is likely he will return to his normal role in the offense. However, having both Ebron and Doyle together will hurt both their fantasy values.

20. Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers – 6’7”/265, Bye 11

Graham finished as TE12 last year, but 20th in fantasy points per game. While he will likely finish higher than 20th in 2019, I’m more optimistic about the players I have ranked ahead of him.

21. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – 6’4”/249, Bye 10

The second of two Iowa tight ends selected in the first round (TJ Hockenson was the first), Fant landed in a nice situation in Denver. He is easily the best TE on the roster and QB Joe Flacco love to target his TEs. Fant could have a nice rookie campaign.

22. Chris Herndon, New York Jets – 6’4”/253, Bye 4

Herndon finished TE16 last year as a rookie, displaying nice chemistry with Sam Darnold down the stretch. He comes in at 22 in my rankings only because he’s suspended four games to start the year and you could probably snag him off waivers as a result.

23. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers – 6’5”/255, Bye 7

Olsen is aging and has missed 16 games the last two years. Ian Thomas came on strong to close out the 2018 season, and it is looking like Olsen’s days at the primary tight end in Carolina are waning.

24. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins – 6’2”/242, Bye 10

I was scrolling through the NFL app on my phone the other day and wouldn’t you know it? Reed is in concussion protocol… again… the seventh of his career. He should quit now while he still has any brain cells left in his head. Some things are more important than football.

Tier 4: Waiver Watch List – Just some names to keep an eye on.

25. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders – 6’6”/255, Bye 6

26. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals – 6’6”/255, Bye 9

27. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – 6’6”/250, Bye 5

28. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys – 6’6”/263, Bye 8

29. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams – 6’3”/240, Bye 9

30. Ben Watson, New England Patriots – 6’3”/255, Bye 10

31. Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings – 6’2”/242, Bye 12

32. Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks – 6’4”/265, Bye 11

33. Josh Oliver, Jacksonville Jaguars – 6’5”/250, Bye 10

34. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6’5”/245, Bye 7

35. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills – 6’4”/254, Bye 6

36. CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals – 6’6”/260, Bye 9

37. Foster Moreau, Oakland Raiders – 6’4”/250, Bye 6

38. Jordan Thomas, Houston Texans – 6’5”/277, Bye 10

39. Charles Clay, Arizona Cardinals – 6’3”/246, Bye 12

40. Nick Vannett, Seattle Seahawks – 6’6”/261, Bye 11

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @bicspicksffb

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