A shiny crop of new rookies will finally get their landing spots at the end of April. But until then, we’ve seen plenty of movement since the new League Year began in March. Now feels like a great time to look at where we stand in dynasty. I’ll be updating my positional rankings—QB, RB, WR, and TE—in a series of posts this next week. Today, I conclude with my Top 25 TEs.
Tight End is an interesting position. Heading into last season, it felt shallow, with a wide gulf between a few elite options and the rest. But last season showed the depth at the position while seeing some who’d previously been distant from the pack pull back to the lead group. It feels like tight end is as deep as I can remember it, which might be good for those who are drafting.
1. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens—Andrews had an amazing 2021, but his placement here isn’t on the basis of one year. He’s been a force for the Ravens for a few seasons and the improved passing game makes him gold.
2. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons—Pitts was the top tight end drafted in 2021 and despite a difficult Falcons’ offensive situation he managed 68 receptions and 1,000 yards. Things aren’t getting easier for the Atlanta offense but Pitts is proving to be a generational talent.
3. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs—Kelce didn’t have his best year in 2021 but it was still incredible. Tyreek Hill is in Miami, meaning Kelce figures to be The Guy in the Chiefs’ passing game. There’s still some life left in him as a top end TE.
4. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers—There are questions about his durability and the 49ers’ offense at quarterback, but we’ve seen what Kittle can do. He’s an incredible talent. He has overall TE1 potential.
5. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions—Hockenson is a big part of the Lions’ passing attack and has quickly become one of the best options at the position. I wanted to put him higher, but I still have some questions about the Lions.
6. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders—Waller has been incredible the last two years. I still love the talent. I wonder what a receiver like Davante Adams will do to his target share.
7. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles—Goedert has been slowly making his way up. When Zach Ertz moved to the desert, it opened things up more for Goedert. There are questions about the volume in Philly but I love Goedert’s position.
8. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers—So much was made of Pitts last year it was easy to miss a strong rookie season from Freiermuth. He proved to be a weapon in the Red Zone, something that figures to continue. I like his potential to move into the Top 5 eventually.
9. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins—Gesicki had a fantastic 2021 season and followed that up by earning the Franchise Tag. The Dolphins have a new head coach and a new offensive scheme that helped provide plenty of opportunities for Kittle in San Francisco. Gesicki is poised for a big 2022 and beyond.
10. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills—Knox had a strong 2021, becoming a Red Zone target for Josh Allen. The team moved on from Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, and while Jamison Crowder and O.J. Howard are in, I believe Knox has chemistry with Allen and will continue to be a force in the Bills’ offense.
11. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys—Schultz entered 2021 competing for targets with Blake Jarwin at tight end. Now, he’s on the Franchise Tag and Amari Cooper is in Cleveland. That leaves Schultz and Gallup to fill the void behind CeeDee Lamb. It’s wheels up.
12. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears—Kmet hasn’t exploded in his first two years but the Bears’ offense is an enigma. I like the talent and situation, so maybe this is a bit of hoping we see him—and Justin Fields—step up in 2022.
13. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks—I like Fant’s talent but I have some questions about his situation after being traded to the Seahawks. The team has been a run-first team, has D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at receiver, re-signed Will Dissly and still have Drew Lock at quarterback. Volume is a question.
14. Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos—It was a big vote of confidence for Albert O. when Fant was dealt in the trade for Russell Wilson. I loved what I saw in 2021 from Albert O. and I think he’s going to take a HUGE step forward in 2022.
15. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots—The Patriots signed two tight ends last off-season and usage was a question. Henry developed some chemistry with Mac Jones was a big performer last season. Will it continue? Let’s say I’m not totally convinced, but I’m hopeful.
16. Irv Smith, Jr., Minnesota Vikings—Smith seemed poised for a big step up in 2021 after Kyle Rudolph left. Then he got injured. No one really filled the void so the potential remains, but it’s now or never for Smith.
17. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns—Njoku has talent. It was mildly surprising when he got the Franchise Tag, but the addition of Deshaun Watson and releasing Austin Hooper are promising.
18. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams—I’ve waited for Higbee to break out for years. It’s not going to happen. He has some big games but lacks consistency. He’s the quintessential TE2.
19. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals—Ertz became a reliable security blanket for Kyler Murray and his re-signing in Arizona is promising. The question remains volume and how long he will keep going.
20. Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans—Hooper is still a good receiver and moving to a system in Tennessee that’s used a tight end well in the past feels like an upgrade over the Browns.
21. Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints—The opportunity is there if Trautman can seize it. He’s got promise and upside.
22. Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots—Smith signed a huge deal with the Patriots last off-season but was hardly a part of the offense. Will that change? Smith seems to be constant potential and no break out. I remain skeptical 2022 will be his year.
23. Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders—Thomas had an injury-marred and frustrating 2021 campaign. Carson Wentz is in town and that could mean good things but it’s hard to know what his role will be in the offense.
24. Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans—Jordan was a Fifth-Round pick in the 2021 draft and only caught 20 passes for 178 yards. But I like his potential here.
25. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars—It never really happened for Engram with the Giants. A one-year deal in Jacksonville gives him a chance to prove it in a system that Doug Pederson used to boost the performance of tight ends in the past. It gives me some hope.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.