2018 Fantasy Football Tight End Half-PPR Rankings- Updated: Sunday, July 7th
Scoring: These rankings are based on half-PPR scoring formats -- one point per 10 rushing yards, six points per rushing touchdown plus a half point per reception, one point per 10 receiving yards and six points per receiving touchdown. These rankings are for the 2019 NFL season.
More tight end rankings: Kevin Hanson:
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
There is a good chance that Kelce finishes as fantasy's top-scoring tight end (AGAIN) as he has finished as the TE1, TE2 and TE1 over the past three seasons, respectively. Only one player had five-plus catches in 15 games last season and it was Kelce, who briefly held the single-season record for most receiving yards (1,336) for a tight end before George Kittle (1,377) passed him. Whether it was back in Rob Gronkowski's dominant days or with Kelce now, however, I tend to balk at the steep price of an elite tight end considering its impact to roster construction.
2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz now has four consecutive 800-yard seasons. While he has had some really productive stretches in previous seasons, the veteran tight end had a breakout season with 116 catches for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. At the most top-heavy fantasy position, Ertz is a consensus top-three option.
3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Breaking out in his second season, Kittle broke the single-season record for receiving yards (1,377) by tight ends on his 88 receptions. Even better in the second half of the season, Kittle had a stat line of 51/793/3 (15.5 Y/R) over his final eight games.
4. O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Injury has cut each of his first two seasons short, but Howard has averaged exactly 16.6 yards per reception in both of those seasons. Extrapolating last year's production over 16 games, Howard would have posted a 54/904/8 stat line. Howard is the clear-cut next-best option after the top three in my early 2019 fantasy projections. As Jameis Winston says, the "moon" is the limit for the third-year tight end.
5. Evan Engram, New York Giants
Even though Engram missed five games last season, he has been one of the best fantasy tight ends on a point-per-game basis in his first two NFL seasons. In terms of fantasy PPG, Engram has finished as the TE4 and TE7 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Coincidentally, Engram returned from injury just in time for the four games that Odell Beckham missed last season and Engram totaled 22/320/1 with a minimum of 75 yards per game over that four-game span to close the season. Among tight ends, only George Kittle had more fantasy points during that stretch.
6. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Before missing the 2018 regular season with an ACL injury, Henry ranked sixth (eighth in PPR) in fantasy points per game among tight ends in 2017. Returning for limited action in the playoffs, Henry will be fully healthy for the start of the 2019 season and only Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, George Kittle and O.J. Howard are ahead of him in my early 2019 rankings.
7. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Oakland's passing game had virtually nothing last season and Cook paced the team by leading the team in targets (101), receptions (68), yards (896) and touchdowns (six). Setting career highs across the board, Cook finished as fantasy's TE5 last season. Perhaps his year-over-year target share dips, but there is also a major offensive boost with Drew Brees and the Saints.
8. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
In his age-22 season, Njoku finished 2018 with 56 catches, 639 yards and four touchdowns to end the year as fantasy's TE8 (TE9 in PPR). While the offense continue to blossom as Baker Mayfield enters his sophomore campaign, Njoku (and all of the team's other pass-catchers) move down a spot in the target pecking order with alpha receiver Odell Beckham at the top.
9. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
The former top-10 pick, Ebron had a breakout season in his first with Andrew Luck and the Colts. Ebron turned his 110 targets into 66 catches for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. Ebron is a top-six option at the position, but his target volume may drop if Doyle stays healthy all season.
10. Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers
Missing multiple games in each of the previous four seasons, McDonald played 15 games last season and set career highs in receptions (50) and yards (610) and tied his previous career in touchdowns (four). A top-12 fantasy tight end (TE10 in PPR) last season, McDonald remains a viable back-end TE1 in all formats in 2019.
- MORE: Check out Kevin Hanson's way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft.
11. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
At such a shallow position, Hooper ranked fourth among tight ends in receptions (71), seventh in targets (88) and yards (660) and ninth in touchdowns (four). Certainly not a tight end that I will target, but someone that could very well outperform his current ADP (TE15 via FFC).
12. Trey Burton, Chicago Bears
Posting career highs across the board (54 catches for 569 yards and six touchdowns), Burton finished with the sixth-most fantasy points (eighth-most in PPR) at the position last season. That's the good news. That said, 11 other tight ends that played at least 10 games scored more PPR fantasy points per game than Burton. In fact, Burton exceeded 40 receiving yards in only three games last season with none after Week 7.
13. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Missing the final three games of the season, Reed has now missed multiple games in all six of his NFL seasons. Even though he stayed healthy for the first 13 games of the year, he wasn't great when he was on the field either. The TE12 (TE9 in PPR) through Week 14, Reed had 54 catches for 558 yards and two touchdowns last year. If he's able to stay healthy-ish (like last season), there's the potential for him to lead the team's pass-catchers in receiving.
14. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
Walker (ankle) played just one game in 2018, but he had more than 100 targets and at least 800 yards every year from 2014 to 2017. Entering his age-35 season and coming off a serious injury, Walker's days of 100-plus targets and 800-plus yards may be over, but he's a borderline TE1/TE2 in a weak position group.
15. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Now 34 years old and coming off two injury-riddled seasons, Olsen had 27 catches for 291 yards and four touchdowns in nine games last year. I have Olsen projected to finish third on the team in both targets and receptions behind Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, but he could turn in a top-12 performance at a weak position if he's able to maintain good health.
16. Chris Herndon, New York Jets
Fantasy's TE6 (TE7 in PPR) from Weeks 6 to 16, Herndon ranked 10th in receptions (33), fifth in yards (447) and fourth in touchdowns (four) among tight ends during that span. Herndon could face a two-game suspension for pleading guilty to DWI charges, but he's an excellent streaming option when active.
17. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph had a four-year low in touchdowns (four), but he still finished as fantasy's TE9 (TE7 in PPR) last season as his 64 receptions and 634 yards were both the second-most of his career. With the addition of rookie Irv Smith Jr. to the position room, Rudolph's target share may dip year over year, but he could also have more red zone success.
18. Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers
The 55 catches, 89 targets and 636 yards weren't the problem; the two touchdowns were. A year removed from double-digit touchdowns, Graham scored just two touchdowns. Aside from an 11-game season (2015), it was the only other time in his career that he finished with less than five scores.
19. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Missing 10 games last season, Doyle (hip) has resumed running routes at full speed. Doyle is essentially going undrafted based on his current ADP and is a excellent streaming option for someone that decides to punt the position.
20. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Productive on the field (12.08 Y/R with a TD per 9.9 targets over his career), Eifert has played just 28 games over the past five seasons. Eifert (ankle) has been "doing pretty much everything" this offseason, so if (a big if) he's able to stay healthy, Eifert has plenty of upside from his current ADP.
21. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Goedert had 33/334/4 as a rookie and Philadelphia's tigth ends coach described his development as "phenomenal." The presence of Ertz contains his breakout potential to a degree, but he would have top-five upside if Ertz were to miss any time. Either way, he's a high-upside TE2 entering 2019.
22. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
Only four tight ends have been drafted in the top 10 over the past 20 years including Hockenson this year with the No. 8 overall pick. If there's a concern with Hockenson, it's the difficult transition that the rookie tight ends have when making the jump from college to the pros.
23. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Howard misses any time, Brate would be a back-end TE1 option otherwise he's little more than a TD-dependent play (like most tight ends). The good news is that Brate has 22 touchdowns and a minimum of six per season over the past three years.
24. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens used a first-round pick on Hayden Hurst last season, but it was the third-rounder that was the most productive in 2018. Andrews, who posted a 34/552/3 line, remains the best bet among Baltimore's tight ends to be the most productive in 2019.
25. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
As a rookie, Gesicki converted his 32 targets into 22 scoreless receptions for 202 yards (9.2 Y/R). One of the most athletic tight ends in the league, the second-year tight end should make more (but how much more?) of a receiving impact in 2019 for the playmaker-deficient Dolphins.
26. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Coming out of retirement in large part to help mentor the team's young tight ends, Witten is a low-upside safety blanket for Prescott, who says that Witten has "gotten better, stronger and faster." In his season before retiring, Witten had 63 catches for 560 yards and five touchdowns, which could be a best-case scenario for the 37-year-old tight end although I have him projected for less.
26. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
An athletic mismatch at tight end, Fant gives the Broncos a passing-game upgrade over Jeff Heuerman and Jake Butt even though rookie tight ends tend to struggle to make large fantasy impacts.
28. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams
The problem with Everett (or Tyler Higbee) is that the team has four weapons -- Todd Gurley and their trio of wide receivers -- ahead of the tight ends in the team's offensive pecking order. So, at best, Everett is the team's No. 5 option in most weeks. ESPN's Lindsay Thiry recently wrote that "Everett was a clear standout as a target" for Goff and McVay said "[t]he game is slowing down for him."
29. Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
Over five December games, Thomas had 25 catches for 246 yards and two touchdowns. With Olsen returning for another season, fantasy owners will likely have to wait another season for a breakout from the sophomore tight end, but he'd immediately become a fringe TE1 if Olsen were to miss time again in 2019.
30. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins
Given Reed's durability track record, the 35-year-old Davis is likely to be the team's starting tight end in multiple games in 2019. Davis had just 25/367/2 last season, but he had a combined 1,231 yards over the two seasons before that.
Here are the next 20 tight ends in our rankings:
31. Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks
32. Jace Sternberger, Green Bay Packers
33. Jordan Thomas, Houston Texans
34. Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals
35. Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens
36. Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys
37. Ben Watson, New England Patriots
38. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
39. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
40. Josh Oliver, Jacksonville Jaguars
41. Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings
42. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
43. Adam Shaheen, Chicago Bears
44. Kahale Warring, Houston Texans
45. Tyler Kroft, Buffalo Bills
46. Geoff Swaim, Jacksonville Jaguars
47. Jordan Akins, Houston Texans
48. Luke Willson, Oakland Raiders
49. Demetrius Harris, Cleveland Browns
50. Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos
More Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Fantasy Football TE Rankings