As expected, several stud tight ends delivered last week, while several more came out of nowhere to produce solid fantasy outings. Putting together tight end rankings is a tall task, but we can look at matchups and last week’s results (without overreacting) to make educated guesses on who could help your fantasy team going forward. Our Week 2 fantasy TE rankings will look eerily similar to last week’s at the top, with some guys moved around in the middle and late parts of the list. As always, use them as a guide when deciding who to start and who to sit.
It’s still too early to really break down TE matchups. We’re not going to say the Browns are a bad TE defense because Travis Kelce roasted them, after all. That said, we have a good idea of generally weak pass defenses, and that’s probably the most important thing to go off this early in the season.
Dallas Goedert (vs. 49ers) and Rob Gronkowski (vs. Falcons) both look good after scoring in Week 1. Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry (@ Jets) saw a pretty even split in Week 1 against a tough Miami defense, but both are in play against New York this week. Gerald Everett (vs. Titans) produced a 2-20-1 line against the Colts, but he should be full-go against an awful Tennessee defense. His performance proved more fruitful in standard leagues, and perhaps he’ll be in line for red-zone targets with regularity. Jared Cook (vs. Cowboys) is another guy who had a solid Week 1 and has a highly favorable matchup in Week 2. We also expect Robert Tonyan (vs. Lions) to bounce back after a rough Week 1, though Mike Gesicki (vs. Bills) might not be so lucky.
In addition to Gesicki, TEs with tough roads ahead this week include Tyler Higbee (@ Colts), Darren Waller (@ Steelers), and Kyle Pitts (Buccaneers). Obviously, you won’t be sitting Waller or Pitts, but Higbee is a candidate to be replaced by a streamer listed above (though probably not).
Standard vs. PPR isn’t a huge difference at the tight end position, but we always want to target the guys with YAC ability or deep-threat acumen in standard. For example, George Kittle (@ Eagles) had four catches for 78 yards against the Lions. At tight end, 7.8 standard points isn’t that bad. In PPR leagues, 11.4 points is south of what you’d expect from Kittle. Of course, we only have a one-week sample size to look at, so we still don’t know which formats some guys will be better in. For instance, Noah Fant (@ Jaguars) has been more attractive in standard leagues in the past, but Teddy Bridgewater as his starting QB may make him transition to more of a PPR machine.
Per usual with tight ends, use all the available information you have, and pray for a touchdown if you don’t have one of the top-notch studs. Touchdowns carry a little more weight in non-PPR leagues, so looking at red-zone targets is always a useful tool in deciding who to play. In PPR, we’re looking more at targets in general, which is why someone like Dalton Schultz (@ Chargers) might have more appeal than Juwan Johnson (@ Panthers) in PPR (though both can work as potential streamers in both formats).
We’ll be updating these TE rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.
Fantasy TE Rankings Week 2: Who to start at tight end
Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring
|1||Travis Kelce, KC @ BUF|
|2||George Kittle, SF @ PHI|
|3||T.J. Hockenson, DET @ GB|
|4||Darren Waller, LV @ PIT|
|5||Mark Andrews, BAL vs. KC|
|6||Logan Thomas, WAS vs. NYG|
|7||Rob Gronkowski, TB vs. ATL. The Gronk is back inside the top 10 this week. He was always in the top five during his time in New England, and he looked like his former self in Week 1 vs. Dallas. This week, he faces Atlanta, who gave up six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown to the Eagles’ tight ends. That’s easily a stat line Gronk can hit this week.|
|8||Dallas Goedert, PHI vs. SF. Goedert looked good in Week 1, and T.J. Hockenson feasted against the 49ers to the tune of eight receptions for 97 yards and a score. Goedert isn’t quite as good as Hockenson, but a six-target game with a couple of red-zone targets feels pretty attainable.|
|9||Noah Fant, DEN @ JAX. Teddy Bridgewater targetted Fant eight times in Week 1 (@ Giants), and with Jerry Jeudy (ankle) sidelined, Fant could be in line for at least equal work this week. Fant is attractive in both formats, but his PPR prospects look better with Bridgewater under center. Jacksonville’s defense looked even worse than expected, so it’s full-go this week for all of the Broncos pass catchers. It was tough to see Albert Okwuegbunam steal two red-zone targets and one touchdown, but Fant still sits as the lead tight end. Both are now considered viable plays depending on how deep your league is.|
|10||Kyle Pitts, ATL @ TB. We warned that rookie tight ends often take time to develop, but Pitts did run 23 routes from the slot and 14 routes out wide. The Falcons will continue to try to get him favorable matchups, but if Buccaneers have any weaknesses, it’s at cornerback. Hopefully, Atlanta keeps him away from Devin White and Lavonte David.|
|11||Tyler Higbee, LAR @ IND. Higbee secured five-of-six targets for 68 yards and has early chemistry with Matthew Stafford. The Colts gave up a red-zone touchdown to Seahawks TE Gerald Everett in Week 1, so maybe Higbee can get in the end zone, too, but it was only a one-game sample size, so we can’t count on that. We do see Higbee continuing to be one of Stafford’s favorite weapons, as he only trailed Cooper Kupp (10) for the most targets on the team.|
|12||Jared Cook, LAC vs. DAL. Cook caught five passes for 56 yards in Week 1 (@ Washington) and looks like the de facto No. 3 receiving option behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. While Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer try to emerge as legit threats in this offense, Cook will take advantage of a nice target share. We all saw Dallas’ defense get shredded in the season opener at Tampa Bay, so it’s wheels up for Chargers’ players this week, too.|
|13||Robert Tonyan Jr., GB vs. DET. Tonyan had just four targets for two receptions and eight yards, but we might as well scrap anything that happened in the Packers’ offense against New Orleans. We can’t expect that abysmal performance to carry over into a matchup with Detroit, but we still aren’t ranking Tonyan very high. As we said in the preseason, his performance from last year just isn’t going to happen again. Last season felt fool’s gold with his numbers inflated by TDs. Against the Lions’ you have to hope for a touchdown, but we don’t expect fewer than three fantasy points again.|
|14||Jonnu Smith, NE @ NYJ. The matchup is strong (@ Jets), but we still don’t have a clear picture of who the lead tight end will be in New England. Sure, Smith had five targets to Hunter Henry’s three, but that doesn’t seem like a significant enough difference to make a declaration. They both have the potential to have nice showings, as they won’t face a defense like the Dolphins, who gave up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends a season ago. Keep your eye on the snap and target share between these two.|
|15||Hunter Henry, NE @ NYJ. See Jonnu Smith|
|16||Gerald Everett, SEA vs. TEN. Because the tight end position is so weak in fantasy football, Everett’s 2-20-1 stat line placed him inside the top-12 tight ends (currently at TE9 before Waller and Andrews play on MNF) in standard leagues in Week 1. Tennesee’s passing defense is once again terrible, so there’s potential for another big week. The only thing keeping Everett ranked as a TE2 is the other top-notch targets in Seattle’s offense.|
|17||Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. BUF. Gesicki had as bad a performance as possible with a goose egg for your fantasy team, but we knew he had an uphill climb against the Patriots’ defense. In Week 2, he should have a better chance to receive more than two targets, but he’s still not someone you should be starting unless you’re in a deep league.|
|18||Juwan Johnson, NO @ CAR. Johnson was out-targeted by Adam Trautman (six to three), but he got the most important looks — end-zone targets. The long receiver tight end looks to be a weapon in that area of the field this season, but we can’t expect it every week just yet. For now, he’s valuable purely because of his touchdown potential, especially in standard leagues. Trautman might. be the better play in PPR.|
|19||Zach Ertz, PHI vs. SF|
|20||Evan Engram, NYG @ WAS|
|21||Dalton Schultz, DAL @ LAC. Given the one game of Cowboys’ target share statistics we have, Schultz looks to have edged out Blake Jarwin early in the season. It’s important to note that Dak Prescott passed 58 times, so Schultz’s six targets only made up a hair over a 10 percent target share. That said, it’s not time to get over-excited about him yet, but we do like him somewhat in PPR leagues, especially while Michael Gallup (calf) is dealing with an injury that will sideline him three-to-five weeks.|
|22||Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN @ JAX. See Noah Fant.|
|23||Cole Kmet, CHI vs. CIN|
|24||Tyler Kroft, NYJ vs. NE|
|25||Blake Jarwin, DAL @ LAC|
|26||Anthony Firkser, TEN @ SEA. See Juwan Johnson.|
|27||Eric Ebron, PIT vs. LV|
|28||Jimmy Graham, CHI vs CIN|
|29||Tyler Conklin, MIN @ ARI|
|30||Pharoah Brown, HOU @ CLE|
|31||Adam Trautman, NO @ CAR|
|32||Dan Arnold, CAR vs. NO|
|33||C.J. Uzomah, CIN @ CHI|
|34||Jack Doyle, IND vs. LAR|
|35||James O’Shaugnessy, JAX vs. DEN|
|36||Austin Hooper, CLE vs. HOU|
|37||Pat Freiermuth, PIT vs. LV|
|38||Will Dissly, SEA vs. TEN|
|39||Dawson Knox, BUF @ MIA|
|40||Hayden Hurst, ATL @ TB|
|41||Mo Alie-Cox, IND vs. LAR|