Top 15 Fantasy Football Tight Ends
It’s officially Mock Draft season. I hope you’ve done some. I’ve done five. Tight End is such an important position and you cannot overlook it. For as much as I’ve mentioned winning my one league, I was piss poor in another. Why? No Tight End production. Going on the waiver wire, you can only expect 7-9 points from that Tight End. Meanwhile, your opponent has a starter that averages 15 points a week. Tight Ends are important and here are the top 15.
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
He’s Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target. He had more yards and touchdowns than Ertz in 2018 (the only other person who would knock him off the #1 spot), and just might again in 2019. With Tyreek Hill playing in 2019, that only helps Kelce. He won’t or at least shouldn’t draw double teams. He’s still a matchup nightmare. Is he first round worthy? If you’re in a 12 team league, sure. Don’t be afraid to reach early in the second either because he will not be around your next pick. Kelce plays every week, he’s a focal point in the offense, and will still be a top fantasy player.
2. Julie Ertz’ Husband Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
He’s Carson Wentz’s favorite target. Ertz had over 115 receptions, over 1,100 yards, and 8 touchdowns in 2018. Ertz is ol’ reliable. He is not only the third down guy, he’s the check down guy, and the #1 option all in one. He’s better than most receivers, fantasy-wise, and if Wentz plays all 16 games, those numbers are only going to get better. Ertz is the best tight end in fantasy football. Be aggressive in getting him, he shouldn’t be on the board for long.
3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Third in points scored a year ago, Kittle gets his signal caller back. It doesn’t seem to matter who is throwing him the ball though, Kittle produces. In 2018 he hauled in 88 passes and 5 touchdowns. He was just under 1,400 yards as well. That’s good numbers for a Wide Receiver, let alone Tight End. Kittle is the real deal.
4. Evan Engram, New York Giants
This is where there’s going to be a slight drop off in star-power, but you should still have these guys high on your list. Evan Engram should have a breakout year. Whether it’s Eli Manning or Daniel Jones throwing him the ball, the Giants offense seems to be able to produce good TE production. He was just 12th in points in 2018, but 4th in 2017. 2019 is Engram’s year. There’s no OBJ, Golden Tate is suspended for four games, Corey Coleman is out for the year, and even though it may not be a factor, Sterling Sheppard is hurt right now. He’s a former first round pick whose skill is supposed to be pass catching. If he fixes his habit of dropping passes, he’ll be a top 5 TE.
5. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Picking someone coming off injury is always difficult, but Henry and the Charger’s situation should play right into Henry’s hand. Phillip Rivers likes to sling it and let’s not forget he made Antonio Gates a can’t miss TE for years. Henry may not be Gates, but he was very good in his last full season in 2017. In just 14 games, he had 45 receptions and 4 touchdowns. In 2016, he had 8 touchdowns. Is it risky to take him, sure. But the upside is there. He’s on a team that will score points and gain yards. He’ll be apart of that offense for sure.
6. OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He was just 13th in fantasy points in 2018, but the faith I have in Bruce Arians is real. Remember, Tampa Bay was the 12th highest scoring offense in all of the NFL in 2018. Howard, also a first round pick in his own right, and I can only see that offense getting better. In 2017, Camerin Brate was 8th among Tight Ends, showing Tampa Bay can produce a top 10 TE. Howard’s shown flashes, but 2019 it should come together.
7. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
There was about three years where he was supposed to breakout and be great. Just when it seemed like the fantasy world gave up their high hopes for him, Cook broke out. In 2018, he accumulated just under 900 yards on just 68 receptions. The Saints will score and gain yards, Cook is another matchup problem for defenses, and seems to get better with age. He was 5th in scoring among Tight Ends in 2018, and seems to be poised for another big season in 2019.
8. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
Ebron stepped up huge in Doyle’s absence. He hauled in 13 touchdowns on 66 receptions for 750 yards in 2018. He finished 4th in points amongst Tight Ends in 2018. While Doyle is recovering from kidney surgery, he should be ready to go week one. Andrew Luck likes them both, a lot. Don’t be surprised if they start lining one up at WR for some plays. That said, between the two of them, the production may be a little inconsistent week to week, but Luck and Ebron have some sort of connection that cannot be ignored.
9. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Another one coming off injury, but let’s not forget just how good he was. In 2017 he was 3rd among all fantasy TEs. He seemed to be Marcus Mariota’s security blanket. He is expected to come back healthy and face the Browns in week one. In his one game in 2018, he did have 4 receptions and 52 yards. He was targeted 7 times. While Mariota has Coery Davis, who seemingly is getting better, he seems most comfortable with Walker. With the Titans looking to turn the corner as a team in 2019, Walker will be a big part of their game plan.
10. Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers
No more Triple B’s in Pittsburgh. Also, no more Jesse James. That looks promising for McDonald. He’ll be more of a true #1 TE for the Steelers. He was 10th in scoring in 2018, and his production should go up. He had 50 receptions and just over 610 yards in 2018, not to mention 4 touchdowns. What’s great about McDonald was his 69% catch percentage in 2018, the best of his career by over 10%. He seems to get better each year, and now he’ll get more chances.
11. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
The Browns are the sexy pick for just about everything in 2019. That said, everyone can’t have the best seasons. Not to say Njoku won’t be good, he will be, but he may be the one affected in production. There’s only so much to go around. That said, don’t not take him. If you’re a Browns believer too, more reason to take him. He was 9th in fantasy points in 2018, with near 60 receptions and 4 touchdowns. The third 2017 first round TE (OJ Howard and Evan Engram) Njoku should continue to get better.
12. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Yet another TE coming off injury, Jordan Reed can bounce back with a bang in 2019. First off, he plays the Giants twice, who have been terrible against fantasy TEs the past few years. In his 13 games in 2018, Reed scored 2 touchdowns on 54 receptions, and just over 550 yards. The problem with Reed is he had never played a full 16 game season. That drives his value down, but every time he does play he produces. He does have yet another new Quarterback, whether that be Case Keenum or Dwayne Haskins, but the Head Coach and the system remains the same. Reed on the field, will produce.
13. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
The NFL is a physical league. Doyle is yet another person coming off an injury plagued 2018. Right now, Doyle is recovering from kidney surgery. He’s also dealing with a hip injury. Having said that, he is expected to play against the Chargers in Week 1. Let’s not forget his 80 receptions in 2018. He also had 4 touchdowns and just under 700 yards. He will be sharing the field with Eric Ebron, so an 80 catch season seems unlikely, but the Colts can run a two-headed TE machine that can make both TEs productive. The Patriots did it earlier in the decade, so why can’t the Colts do it now?
14. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
This may be a little low considering he was 8th in scoring a year ago, but hear me out. He did not have any games over 77 yards, and that wasn’t even his 10 reception performance. He had 6 games over 10 points, but then 9 under 10 in 2018. The inconsistency is a concern. If he does string together more consistent stat line, he’ll be a great late round steal.
15. Trey Burton, Chicago Bears
Best known for throwing the “Philly Special” to Nick Foles, Burton had a very solid 2018. He had just under 55 receptions, 569 yards, and 6 touchdowns. For a Bears offense that didn’t even seem like it hit it’s full potential, that’s pretty darn good. It’s his second year in Chicago, which can only make him more comfortable. Burton’s another “fly under the radar” type guy, but if he repeats his production, or improves ever so slightly, you will not be upset with him in your lineup.