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Weekly Fantasy Finishes - Tight Ends



By Doug Orth | 11/12/20 |

About this time every year, I like to shine a light on each position and focus on how they fared among their peers on a weekly basis. While I am very much a believer that fantasy football is a weekly game and play the matchups as much as anything when it comes to fringe players, knowing how each player ranked among his position group each week is a handy little tool - whether you want a quick reference guide in your redraft leagues to help set expectations for a certain player or need an idea on the range of a player's performances to help break a tie between two or three options in your DFS lineups.

For the sake of time and space (not to mention my sanity), not every player that has scored a point appears below. My qualifications at tight end: at least five games played and one top-18 finish. (I kept a non-qualifier such as Dallas Goedert below for the sake of reference.) "Best" refers to the player's highest weekly fantasy finish, while "worst" obviously refers to his lowest. "Aver" is the player's average weekly finish. Squares were left blank when the player was active but failed to register a fantasy point. Got it? Good.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
 Weekly Ranks for TEs
Rk Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Best Worst Avg
1 Travis Kelce 4 5 5 9 1 4 26 1 1 1 26 6.2
2 T.J. Hockenson 5 19 15 8 b 15 4 5 5 4 19 9.5
3 George Kittle 17 DNP DNP 1 16 2 13 22 DNP 1 22 11.8
4 Darren Waller 16 1 46 5 4 b 3 16 6 1 46 12.1
5 Noah Fant 3 9 14 14 b DNP 23 8 18 3 23 12.7
6 Hayden Hurst 23 8 26 12 29 7 8 10 6 6 29 14.3
7 Jonnu Smith 8 4 9 b 2 34 40 26 9 2 40 16.5
8 Jimmy Graham 14 34 1 22 9 17 19 32 2 1 34 16.7
9 Mo Alie-Cox 28 10 6 17 DNP DNP b 20 21 6 28 17.0
10 Evan Engram 36 14 34 11 13 26 12 7 3 3 36 17.3
11 Eric Ebron 37 24 3 b 19 33 11 3 9 3 37 17.4
12 Hunter Henry 12 11 13 28 9 b 28 18 21 9 28 17.5
13 Jared Cook 10 20 41 DNP 7 b 10 2 35 2 41 17.9
14 Robert Tonyan 17 4 2 b 25 29 6 45 2 45 18.3
15 Mark Andrews 2 32 34 3 3 30 b 21 28 2 34 19.1
16 Rob Gronkowski 35 11 37 18 6 2 4 47 2 47 20.0
17 Darren Fells 29 18 34 6 5 b 31 5 34 20.5
18 Austin Hooper 32 30 32 6 11 12 DNP DNP b 6 32 20.5
19 Dalton Schultz 44 7 19 4 40 19 32 9 14 4 44 20.9
20 Tyler Higbee 22 2 22 29 27 16 31 b 2 31 21.3
21 Zach Ertz 15 21 6 25 40 21 DNP DNP b 6 40 21.3
22 Greg Olsen 11 9 14 28 b 33 34 9 34 21.5
23 Trey Burton DNP DNP DNP 38 17 3 b 11 44 3 44 22.6
24 Mike Gesicki 24 3 21 44 5 b 41 23 3 44 23.0
25 Gerald Everett 49 33 27 8 24 8 14 b 8 49 23.3
26 Jordan Akins 13 14 37 21 DNP DNP DNP b 32 13 37 23.4
27 Logan Thomas 7 27 26 50 43 9 5 b 27 5 50 24.3
28 Anthony Firkser 39 22 b 23 1 37 24 29 1 39 25.0
29 Richard Rodgers 44 26 29 23 6 b 6 44 25.6
30 Irv Smith 44 49 12 11 b 36 4 4 49 26.0
31 David Njoku 6 DNP DNP DNP 40 37 16 34 b 6 40 26.6
32 Tyler Kroft 2 45 37 14 39 24 2 45 26.8
33 Kyle Rudolph 25 16 31 35 18 b 38 26 16 38 27.0
34 Harrison Bryant 51 38 25 19 35 1 30 b 1 51 28.4
35 Dallas Goedert 1 26 51 DNP DNP DNP DNP 37 b 1 51 28.8
36 Cameron Brate 22 14 41 42 25 14 42 28.8
37 Jacob Hollister 47 16 b 29 43 11 11 47 29.2
38 Tyler Eifert 48 13 45 33 24 DNP b 14 13 48 29.5
39 Drew Sample 49 16 55 19 26 15 b 15 55 30.0
40 Nick Boyle 40 40 24 49 46 10 b 16 10 49 32.1
41 Jesse James 8 34 b 41 32 50 8 50 33.0
42 Ian Thomas 31 50 14 36 39 23 41 14 50 33.4
43 Will Dissly 37 42 47 41 15 DNP 27 35 33 15 47 34.6
44 Jason Witten 54 49 10 31 b 45 28 50 10 54 38.1
45 Josh Hill 36 52 48 b 47 42 12 12 52 39.5

Travis Kelce (19.0) is averaging 6.1 points more than any other healthy tight end. George Kittle was giving him a slight run for his money at 16.4, but Darren Waller's 13.9 average is sadly the best the position has to offer after that. It's a bad scene when Robert Tonyan has scored more than six points once since his three-TD explosion in Week 4 and he still has a solid grip on fifth place at 12.2. Fantasy owners knew they were getting a significant weekly advantage at the position when they drafted him this summer, but seven top-five finishes in nine weeks are probably more than most of his fantasy owners could have asked for before the team's Week 10 bye.

Evan Engram has been a disappointment in fantasy by most accounts in 2020. While the bulk of his fellow tight ends not holding up their end of the bargain is giving him a low bar to cross, his fantasy owners have to be happy he has delivered three straight TE1 efforts. (He has been the overall TE13 or better in five of his last six.) Engram hasn't quite delivered a signature performance yet, but his 29 targets over the last three games is a good sign one might be coming soon. Acquiring his services for a relatively modest price via trade in the next week or so could be just the push a fantasy team needs to help offset the advantage Kelce's owner would have if the two teams meet in the fantasy playoffs.

One of the more bizarre things I've seen in my leagues lately is how often Austin Hooper has been dropped. He might as well be Engram from about three weeks ago. The biggest difference between then and now (besides the appendectomy) is the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. While it's reasonable to assume Cleveland isn't going to air it out very often, Baker Mayfield will probably still average about 30 attempts moving forward. Who is going to be on the other end of those throws, including the seven-plus targets Beckham was getting per game? Jarvis Landry has mustered only two games with at least nine targets for the season. Rashard Higgins has nine targets in two games combined if we include the week OBJ got hurt. Kareem Hunt has seven targets in the last two games. Harrison Bryant has eight. HC Kevin Stefanski sold Hooper on Cleveland this offseason in part because he suggested the former Falcon would have a Mark Andrews-like role in this offense. He will have that kind of opportunity now. Prior to OBJ getting hurt, Hooper scored three straight TE1 finishes, so we can assume more are coming with Beckham no longer in the picture. He could easily be the key to many fantasy owners winning their leagues down the stretch, especially those owners fortunate enough to get him off waivers as I did.

Even in a bad year for tight ends, Hunter Henry has made it hard for his fantasy owners to hold on to him. He's provided next to nothing since the bye after giving his fantasy owners four top-13 performances before it. Hang in there. Add another tight end to your roster and play him if you have to for now, but this is another situation where something should pop soon. He is seeing seven targets consistently and probably would have scored a touchdown in Week 9 had he not been held after he beat his defender at the goal line. Considering Donald Parham has scored on both of his catches this year and Virgil Green had one TD on his three catches before going on IR, we can probably assume Henry has been a bit unlucky. It's also worth noting Henry is tied with Mike Williams for the team lead with three targets inside the 10.

Of note: Kittle has been dropped in at least a couple of my leagues over the last two weeks. Based on the information most people seem to have received about his injury, it makes sense. However, there is at least one medical expert (Dr. David Chao) who believes there Kittle's injury timeline has been greatly exaggerated. If I find myself counting on players like Gerald Everett or Trey Burton to get by right now and I'm in a deeper league, I'd be willing to stash Kittle and have a little faith that I could be getting a surprise around Week 14. ... Along with Waller, T.J. Hockenson may be the only other tight end that has a chance to rival Kelce the rest of the way. His ceiling is nowhere near as high as Kelce's, but he has yet to finish outside the top 20 at his position. Thatís a nice floor to go along with five top-eight finishes.



Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”. Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.