Food for thought! Should this position just be eliminated altogether for Fantasy Football purposes? Can they can some weird metric to track those Tight Ends who can block? We don’t know but we do understand that some of your leagues may not ask to start a TE weekly. With that being said, do you have a flex spot or two instead? USE IT! Sometimes the right TE is worth the start. Now presenting, early Top 10 Tight End Rankings for 2022 Fantasy Football!
- Rankings considered between PPR and STD scoring
- For the PPR fans, Mark Andrews poured in 301 points which led ALL TE last season in PPR scoring. To frame this, it’s about equal to a Tyreek Hill, Najee Harris, and Ja’Marr Chase scoring in 2021.
- Kyle Pitts played well enough as a Rookie landing in the top 10 of STD or PPR scoring rankings
- Our rankings: Love them? Hate them? Let us know!
- As always these opinions reflect solely on the research from the Baseline Times staff
- Every week until the end of August you can expect to find us ranking other positions and full coverage of the NFL 2022 Fantasy Football season
Top 10 Tight End Rankings for 2022 Fantasy Football
ADP 1 – Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
If he’s your 1B and Mark Andrews is your 1A then ok fine. No big deal in drafting him over Andrews. With Tyreek Hill out of the picture and Patrick Mahomes now turning to a slightly different receiving core, things will get interesting. His 8.4 targets per game led to 1,125 yards in 2021. Just a hair under what Andrews added on the board. Kelce and Andrew both caught 9 receiving Touchdowns in 2021. Yes, it’s that close in 2022!
It’s hard to hype up Kelce even more honestly. If you’re looking for some tea Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs with 159 targets last season. Kelce was a close second with 134 targets in 2021. Hill’s ability to catch and make plays after his catch is on par with Kelce but believe it or not Kelce won the YAC battle in 2021. Hill only put up about 4 yards after a catch per game while Kelce’s 6 could be more significant with the majority of targets headed his way in 2022. He’s the clear targeting favorite for Mahomes.
ADP 2 – Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
This is where you may have a 1A and 1B depending on who you’re talking to. You’re here with us and we’ll say it. Yes, Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce can go hand in hand. However, we give the slight nod to Andrews due to the potential he could see more targets and better yet a better per-game average than Kelce. Make no mistake though, he’s clearly late first-round or second-round draft value.
Last season, Andrews finished in some top-tier scoring rankings alongside Ja’Marr Chase, Najee Harris, and Tyreek Hill. If that doesn’t wake you up then hopefully his 9 targets a game and 1,361 yards in 2021 is also a key indicator. The Ravens’ offense relies heavily on Andrews and it’s clear as day. However, you’d think Andrews is the type of guy just to catch and run right? His 4.3 yards after a catch isn’t above-average so to say. Some advance metrics say Andrews will give you 8.4 yards a catch. This means he’s kind of the best option for a Lamar Jackson who is running like a chicken with his head off and dumping it to his reliable TE. Make no mistake again, Andrews is pure talent.
ADP 3 – Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys
Schultz may be the one-of-a-kind TE that can fall to you later in a draft but give you some boarder line star power scoring. You’ll notice that PPR is going to get reference a lot in the TE rankings. Well, that’s because these TE do nothing but block or catch. Making them more worthy of a PPR scoring league. Who would have thought that Schultz’s overall scoring would land him close to Dalvin Cook, D’Andre Swift, and Nick Chubb? Now granted the just mentioned did not play in all 17 games it did take Schultz the entire season to achieve this (he stayed healthy for 17 games!).
Let’s take a look back at 2020 for a second. Dak Prescott goes down 5 games in and here comes Andy Dalton to lead the Cowboys for the rest of the season. Schultz finished with 89 targets in 2020 behind Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Last season Gallup missed 8 games but Prescott saw some career-high numbers (per our QB rankings) in passing last season. The point here is Dallas feels comfortable playing Schultz and making him a prime target where matchups seem to favor them. Amari Cooper is no longer on the team and assumingly the target share will favor CeeDee Lamb but Schultz could be a close 2nd or 3rd again.
ADP 4 – Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Pitts had a Rookie season that paced 10.4 PPR points per game last season. With Calvin Ridley now suspended for the full 2022 season, Pitts becomes an attractive offensive focal piece for the Falcons. Marcus Mariotta is the new QB on the block in the post-Matt Ryan era. Pitts led the Falcons with 110 targets in 2022. Russell Gage was a close second with 94 but is no longer a member of the team.
The Falcons are full of question marks with Mariotta at the helm but a team nonetheless could tank by midseason. This is a case of the bad teams’ great fantasy player production rank. I would ASSUME Pitts can score more than one Touchdown like he did last season. With already year one in the books, he caught 1,026 yards which aren’t something to ignore about him. His 68 receptions out of the 110 targets is a little lower but here’s to hoping a vet like Mariotta can help out the young buck.
ADP 5 – Zach Ertz – Arizona Cardinals
On a serious note here is where we thank you for reading so far through what seems to be a boring sports lag before football season makes us crazy. Right? Anyways, this is where we leave a nice little gem in place. Zach Ertz is probably going to show up around here may be higher to a more woke blog or media giant.
Ertz seemed to be fitting in just nice last season when he was traded to the Cardinals. Out of Kelce, Andrew, Darren Waller, George Kittle, and Rob Gronkowski, Ertz sits within the reaching distance of those names from 2019-2021 when it comes to PPR scoring. Ertz played in 11 games in 2020 but there is something in the fog that looks to be trending up for him. He average 7.6 targets in 10 games as a member of the Cardinals last season and 5.1 in 7 games with the Eagles. His ceiling is similar to Hockenson’s of the 10 points per game but who would you rather have? The guy with the Lions offense or Cardinals? Sure, DeAndre Hopkins can come back after his six-game suspension, sure Kyler Murray might not like throwing to him, or Hollywood Brown eats up all the targets. But in between the lines, Ertz is a big upgrade over their previous years’ TE room worth throwing to especially on goal line situations.
ADP 6 – Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders
We’re not going to answer or address DaVante Adams but yes, I mean cmon people Adams is a generational talent that will demand more targets. Now, is this typically a bad thing for Waller? Perhaps Waller goes from a rather high-yardage TE to Touchdown dependent TE in the WORSE case? He’s put together a couple of solid seasons before getting injured last season. The fear here is that he certainly was a focus of the offense for the Raiders in those seasons. In 2019 he was targeted 117 times and finished with 1,145 yards. In 2020 he was targeted 145 times and finished with 1196 yards.
Enter in Adams, and the targeting should cool off but by how much is the question? Derek Carr now sits with Adams and Hunter Renfrow as his main WR and where can Waller fit in between all that? The Raiders offensive line isn’t among the best but does Waller provide more blocking in 2022 while running shorter routes? Shorter routes could be fun for a guy who can catch and run up the field. Waller shouldn’t be expected to boom into Travis Kelce this season.
ADP 7 – George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers
This one is tough but in 2021 we’ve reached our witts end. Kittle is continuously drafted high but will finish scoring about the same as a WR 3 on a high-scoring offense. Which is nice to do with Jimmy Garrapolo as your QB right? We can make funny jokes at times. But honestly, is he worth the high rankings and for blogs to consistently lie to you he’s worth it? Are the above-mentioned guys worth the pick over Kittle?
Here is food for thought, he’s absolutely an awesome pick should he turn out healthy and back to his prestigious worth to take in the second round. Kittle is the end of the road to Tight Ends that are worthy of drafting and not having to worry about that position for the season. You feel confident taking him and he’ll give you a great boost when he eats and the “just good enough” because the rest of the TE you’re up against can’t do what he does. Do we see Trey Lance at some point? Will Deebo Samuels play and dominate touches? All this is too much to say he’s worth the price tag maybe around 4th round at the EARLIEST.
ADP 8 – T.J. Hockenson – Detroit Lions
He’s one of the rare Lions players alongside D’Andre Swift ranked high for fantasy purposes. Now, last year you may have drafted him with high expectations. The disappointing 2021 season for Hockenson is that he missed 5 games due to injury. For Fantasy Football owners banking on him to produce mid-level production, you may want to tame expectations. But why is he so high?
In 2019 and 2020 Hockenson was trending to be a solid 10 PPR points per game kind of guy. Despite being the third most targeted on the Lions he’ll emerge with a Touchdown to push that 10 points to a nice 17-18 occasionally. The odds are you’ll beat the pack in the TE category almost every week or break even with Hockenson. Amon-Ra St. Brown now looks like a young athletic WR that will be the targeting focus for Jared Goff.
ADP 9 – Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles
Oh, the irony is here. Out goes Ertz from Philadelphia last year and Goedert’s production trends up? Yep, just like that. I’m starting to sip on this kind of tea. Mobile QBs are getting far too friendly with their TE (Jackson-Andrew in BAL, Hurts-Goedert PHI?). Perhaps the only guy who went unblocked and wide open is best for some short yardage than none right? Where is the i hAte aNaLyTiCs cRowd?
Ok we won’t hype him up as the next Mark Andrew but starting from Week 7 of last season, he averaged 5.7 targets a game until the end of the season. His slow start from Weeks 1-7 could be to blame for an average like TE production and separate him from an above-average. Basically, Goedert is ranked this high with the expectation that a full season’s workload will grant us to rank him here or higher in potential seasons to come. Could be a bust so round 8 or later is the best place to take him.
ADP 10 – Hunter Henry – New England Patriots
His 75 targets are a key number to keep in mind when it comes to the Tight End field. See you could assume he is Touchdown dependent too right? But what’s the hidden rule of “Touchdown dependent”? Are we saying any Tight End who can’t drop you at least 800 yards fits this category? If you’re a League Manager looking to hone in on a TE you can slot into the weekly slot, expect at least 10 points per game, you’ve got one of the most promising ones in Henry. He’ll do just that.
The Patriots did not make any major offensive moves in the offseason besides signing Devante Parker. Parker hasn’t been able to play a full season since 2019 and only played in 10 games for Miami last season. Without much changing in the offense, the targeting and pacing of the Patriots’ offense can be expected to include Henry. The great debate was how he would fit alongside Jonnu Smith. Henry saw 45.9 snaps per game to Smith’s 32.9. Henry saw 4.7 targets to Smith’s 2.8 targets per game. A nice 9 Touchdowns later and Henry can make you seem like a genius on a good day. With O.J. Howard now in Buffalo now and the Bills seem to keep an open mind about anyone but Diggs with targets. We say fade Knox this season.