The NFL season will be here quicker than Travis Kelce runs a slant route.
RotoBaller’s tight end rankings for standard fantasy football leagues have not changed drastically during the offseason, but there have been some risers and fallers to make note of. Most of the fantasy value changes have to do with the supporting casts around the tight ends in question changing either due to COVID opt-outs or other roster-related moves. If you want to be successful in fantasy football, you have to keep your eyes and ears open during the offseason. Yesterday’s sixth-ranked tight end might become tomorrow’s fifth-ranked in the blink of an eye.
Here is my analysis of RotoBaller’s current 2020 tight end rankings for standard leagues:Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Sign Up Now!
Tight End Standard Rankings and Tiers
|Position Rank||Position Tier||Player Name||Overall Rank||Overall Tier|
|21||6||Chris Herndon IV||166||10|
|22||6||Irv Smith Jr.||173||11|
Kelce and Kittle deserve the most money out of all tight ends and have both been paid handsomely this offseason, with both of them signing multimillion-dollar extensions this month. Kelce has four straight seasons of 80 receptions and 1,000 yards to his credit and has only missed one game over the past six years. Kittle is coming off back-to-back campaigns of at least 85 catches and 1,000 yards despite being stuck in a run-first offense. There is no debate that they are the top two tight ends in fantasy football
Andrews had fantasy players worried that his Type 1 diabetes would cause him to opt out of the upcoming season, but it appears that he give it a go, which is great news considering he topped all tight ends with 10 touchdowns last season. Philadelphia drafted TCU standout Jalen Reagor in the first round of April’s draft, but Ertz will continue to be the focal point of the Eagles passing attack, even with tight end teammate Dallas Goedert taking some targets. Waller racks up receptions and yards with the best of them at the position, but the fact that he only scored three touchdowns last year and that the Raiders upgraded their receiving corps keep him out of the top tier.
Henry has as much upside and talent as any tight end in the NFL, but he has two things going against him that keep him in this third tier. One is his lack of durability (23 missed games in first four seasons). The other is that Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert will be throwing to him and not Philip Rivers. Higbee was the breakout star and arguably the most valuable waiver addition in fantasy leagues in 2019. The questions are was his fantastic five-game stretch at the end of last year (43 receptions for 522 yards) a fluke and will Gerald Everett cause the Rams tight-end twosome to lose value if the pair splits time and targets.
While fantasy players should be titillated by the fact that Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join old quarterback buddy Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, the fact is that the injury-prone Gronk has two other above-average tight ends (O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate) and arguably the top tandem of receivers in the NFL (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) to fight with for targets. He cannot in good conscience be rated much higher than this. Cook is more durable than Engram, has a better track record than Hurst or Fant, and has a much better QB passing to him than Hooper, hence the higher spot in the rankings.
Hurst has been a prime mover in the tight end rankings, though. He has moved up 10 spots and two tiers since my May column about tight ends in standard leagues came out.
Gesicki’s target total should go up this year now that Miami wideouts Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson have both opted out of the 2020 season. Doyle should be buoyed by the quarterback upgrade of Indianapolis replacing Jacoby Brissett with the aforementioned Philip Rivers, not to mention no longer having to share the tight end targets with Eric Ebron.
Hockenson battled ankle, shoulder and concussion problems during his rookie year and had a stint on the COVID-19 list a few weeks ago, but if he can just stay on the field he should have a super sophomore season.
Now that longtime top tight end Greg Olsen has taken his talents to Seattle, Thomas has the golden opportunity to prove he can be a No. 1 tight end. Granted, he will have Teddy Bridgewater as his quarterback, who did not do any fantasy favors for Jared Cook in New Orleans last season. Cook only had 13 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the five games Bridgewater subbed in for the injured Drew Brees.
Tier 7 and Lower
Knox was lining up to have a super sophomore season after showing glimpses of being a future fantasy force during his rookie campaign. Buffalo trading for Stefon Diggs to team with incumbent top target John Brown and slot receiver Cole Beasley might limit the targets Knox sees in 2020, though.
Will DeAndre Hopkins having his talents traded to Arizona help or hurt Fells’ fantasy value? That is the question for players who are not sure if Fells is a TE1 or TE2 coming into 2020 after his career year (seven TD) last season. Fells might get more looks, but will he get more opportunities for touchdowns if Hopkins is not around to help Houston get in the red zone? Fells has dropped in the rankings over the past couple months, so we expect him to struggle.
Howard had everything go against him in 2019, especially a head coach who never used him consistently and wavered in how involved he wanted Howard in the offense. Now that Gronkowski is in Tampa, it is hard to fathom Howard getting much more than 50 receptions and 550 yards with everyone that needs to be fed in that hungry Buccaneers passing attack.
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Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.