We give you our Tight End Fantasy Rankings and Tiers for the top 15 leading up to the 2022 NFL season.
Today, we continue down our NFL fantasy football rankings series with our top 15 tight ends for the 2022 NFL season. The general assumption here is for single QB, half PPR leagues. Each tier should be considered as such, a tier. The individual ranking within each tier does not speak as loudly as the tiers themselves. All ADP and strength of schedule figures are sourced from PFF and Fantasy Pros. Additionally, do not forget to check out our YouTube page for NFL team-by-team breakdowns going into week one! Make sure you like & subscribe!
Tier 4 Tight Ends
These individuals are players we deemed to be “guys” rather than “dudes”. In other words, these players are not exactly starting caliber tight ends, but they can provide quality depth to your bench. This group has a good mix of consistency and upside.
Zach Ertz holds an ADP of 97, being drafted between picks 60 and 133. While the Cardinals TE might be the benefactor of DeAndre Hopkins suspension, he is now 31 years old with multiple nagging injuries over the last few seasons. After being traded to the Cardinals in 2021, he ranked as TE4 in the red and black. But one other question lingers for me. With the return of Maxx Williams and arrival of rookie TE Trey McBride, what will that mean for Ertz’ target share?
Cole Kmet has an ADP of 117 and is being drafted between picks 78 and 180. In his NFL career, Kmet’s upside has been limited by offensive scheme and QB play. While he is not the dynamic athlete in the mold of Kelce, Waller, or Andrews, Kmet does possess traits that tell us he should be more efficient than he has been. While his red zone efficiency has been poor, it has also been limited by the presence and usage of Jimmy Graham. Expect Kmet to see a large target share for the Bears with a new offensive scheme that should highlight his best traits more clearly.
Gerald Everett has an ADP of 171 and has gone in the range of pick #108 to pick #287. This player should be considered a late round bet on upside. While he has had stretches of solid play in his career, he has never become the threat that his athleticism points to. Last season, he ranked as TE9 after Russell Wilson returned from injury, but for the entire season he ranked as TE20. In 2022 he will be playing in an explosive Chargers offense that could afford him open field opportunities.
Tier 3 Tight Ends
Tier 3 tight ends provide a more stable floor and more upside than those found in tier 4. These are solid starting options, but not the rockstars you will find in tier 1 and tier 2.
Dallas Goedert has an ADP of 83 and a draft range between picks 49 and 127. In 2021, Goedert finally ran up that hill, ranking as TE6. Over the final 11 games, he averaged 11.8 fantasy points per game. His role in the Eagles’ offense is expected to expand in 2022.
Dalton Schultz has an ADP of 63 and is being drafted between picks 25 and 131. In 2021, the Cowboys TE ranked as the #4 fantasy football scorer at his position. Last season, he had the 9th highest target share among tight ends, and that figure stands to increase with the departure of Amari Cooper and the absence of Michael Gallup due to injury. It is on Schultz to continue to improve from last year to get off the franchise tag and earn a new contract, in Dallas or elsewhere.
David Njoku got a bag this offseason. The Browns handed their tight end a 4 year $55MM contract. Additionally, the Browns released their other tight end, Austin Hooper, opening the door for Njoku to be “that guy”. I think of this as a reflection on what Stefanski and the Browns think of Njoku’s growth over the years. However, it is not reflected in his ADP, sitting at 154. He is being picked between picks 92 and 282, making him a juicy sleeper pick among the group of tight ends. Njoku is one of the most athletic tight ends in recent memory. In 2021, he set career highs in multiple receiving categories on his way to a TE21 finish. In 2018, Njoku finished as TE9 before dropping off in a major way in 2019 and 2020. Last year was a major step in the right direction. Additionally, the Browns have been a TE heavy offense historically and Jacoby Brissett has been a TE heavy thrower.
Tier 2 Tight Ends
Tier 2 tight ends are locks to start. These players are premier tight ends to have in fantasy football and should be early targets (2nd-3rd round) in most scoring systems. These guys can max out as potential league winning players, but at the very least should be mainstays in your starting lineup.
Mark Andrews is as close as you can get to Travis Kelce. With an ADP of 23 and a draft range between 11 and 46, the Ravens TE is firmly cemented as one of the premier TE targets. He finished 2021 as fantasy TE1, above Travis Kelce. While I do not expect him to beat out Kelce again in 2022, I do expect his production to stay at the level he has proven to be capable of over the past three seasons. If you miss out on Kelce, do not fret. Just make sure you get Mark Andrews.
Kyle Pitts. Please, get this young man a quarterback. With an ADP of 32 and a draft range between 11 and 68, Pitts has generated some polarizing opinions. This is mostly because of his lack of touchdown production (1) in his rookie year. While he finished his rookie season ranking 3rd in TE receiving yards he ranked as fantasy football TE5. I expect a year two jump for the Falcons tight end despite the lack of reliable QB play.
Darren Waller has an ADP of 48 and is going between picks 25 and 72. Waller finished the 2021 season ranking as TE17 in fantasy points. However, he was limited to only 10 games, and ranked 5th among tight ends in points per game. While he will have to battle with Raiders teammates Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow for targets, he remains a high-end talent with built-in QB chemistry. Moreover, he plays in the AFC West where shootouts are expected to be a common occurrence.
George Kittle comes into draft season with an ADP of 40. He has been coming off the board between picks 25 and 69. Kittle finished 2021 ranking as TE3 after missing significant time due to injury in 2020. Over the last 4 seasons he has averaged 12.8 points per game (half PPR) which easily puts him amongst the top 5 tight ends over that span. Additionally, he has been one of the most productive tight ends in the deep passing game despite a lack of volume downfield. Expect that to change with Trey Lance starting for the 49ers.
Tier 1 Tight Ends
Travis Kelce (Jason Kelce’s brother) is a steal with an ADP of 14. He is coming off the board between the 11th pick and the 25th pick. But this man has been the most under-drafted player in fantasy football for years, as far as I am concerned. In 2021, Kelce was a little bit below his typical pace, but he still would have ranked as WR10 with an average of 12.8 points per game (half PPR). In 2020, he would have ranked as WR4 with an average of 16.3 points per game. That is at a position where the top 15 players average 8.9 points per game. And his target share should be increasing in 2022 after the Chiefs shipped Tyreek Hill to Miami. If Kelce is there for you in the back half of the first round, do not hesitate. That Kansas City offense will be just fine.
Let us know what you think of our NFL Fantasy Rankings for the wide receiver position. Our full reasoning and discussion for every player listed here can be heard on the podcast. We will be back next week with more, so make sure to tune in! And do NOT sleep on the Lions.