Travis Kelce proved to be a cheat code for his fantasy managers
yet again in 2020, finishing as the TE1 for the fourth consecutive
year. Not only was Kelce the top tight end in both total points
and points per game, but his consistency score of 33.66 was also
twice as good as the No.2 tight end of the year, Darren Waller.
Just how good was Kelce? His 13.8 fantasy points per game would
have placed him third among wide receivers, just behind Davante
Adams and Tyreek Hill and ahead of Stefon Diggs.
He has been the model of consistency and enters 2021 with the
same coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterback from last season.
Assuming Kelce can continue to avoid the injury bug, he is worthy
of a first-round pick in all formats and will once again be the
steal of the second round if he falls out of the top-12 again
Below are my way too early tight end rankings for 2021. Keep
in mind that free agency, the NFL draft, injuries, and roster
moves over the next six months will significantly affect these
The peripherals are there for Kelce to smash again in 2021, and
he is the clear-cut No.1 TE. You could make the argument that
he should be ranked as high as 10th overall in drafts, but he
will likely go in the second round as owners continue to draft
running backs 6-12 over taking the more sure thing in Kelce. The
only concern is age and the fact that he has avoided injuries
every year since 2014.
Most rankings will have Waller ranked behind both Kittle and
Andrews, but I would prefer the volume that Waller presents over
those two, especially if Derek Carr is under center for the Raiders
in 2021. Waller led all tight ends in catches with 107 in 2020
and will once again be the primary target unless the Raiders make
a splash by adding Kenny Golladay in free agency.
Kittle is the No.1 all-around tight end in the league when you
combine his pass-catching skills along with blocking. No tight
end is better in the open field, and he is a beast when attacking
opponents with the ball in his hand. The problem is Kittleís
rough running style and relentless blocking lead to more injuries
than Kelce or Waller, as referenced by the fact that Kittle has
played just one full season in his four-year career. He also has
not caught more than five touchdowns in any season.
Where he lacks in volume, Andrews more than makes up for it in
receiving touchdowns. Assuming he can play the whole season, he
is a lock for around nine touchdowns and 800 yards. He lacks the
elite upside of the other three players ranked above, but he provides
a solid floor.
I donít typically chase breakout tight ends from one season
to another, especially when that tight end went from two combined
receiving touchdowns in 2018 and 2019 to 11 last year. But I make
an exception when that player has an elite quarterback like Aaron
Rodgers. I also like that the team has the same coach and coordinator,
and they will likely not add another big-name receiver to take
I have Hockenson a little lower than most people because of the
uncertainty surrounding changes to the offense and quarterback.
Goff has a history of targeting tight ends, and there is frankly
nobody else to throw to, but I am tempering my expectations based
on the unknowns with Anthony Lynn calling plays.
Gronk and the Bucs slow-played fantasy managers and NFL opponents
by slowly incorporating the future hall of famer into the Tampa
Bay offense. Gronk caught all of his eight touchdowns from Weeks
6 through the Super Bowl, including a pair of scores against the
Chiefs (He should have been the MVP and not Brady).
Henry is somewhat of a wild card as he could end up on a new
team in 2021. Henry continues to be an injury risk with no full
16-game seasons on his resume, but he has a nice floor as a red
zone threat and has the ability to jump into the top-5.
Assuming Zach Ertz is out, Goedert is primed to take over as
the starting tight end for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. The former
second-round pick from South Dakota State is 26 years old and
in the prime of his career. He is one of my favorite breakout
candidates, especially if the Eagles do not add a marquee free
agent wide receiver in free agency.
Fant has all of the physical tools to be a stud tight end, but
he is hampered by subpar quarterback play, and the Broncos have
a ton of talented young wide receivers surrounding him in the
passing offense. I donít see Fant getting enough volume
to be an elite fantasy tight end, but he could be in line for
Gesicki saw 85 targets last season with the Dolphins and posted
career-highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He has all
of the physical tools to be a stud, but the Dolphins are reportedly
in the market for a wide receiver or two in free agency and the
draft. I feel very confident Gesicki will once again finish as
a TE1, but I worry his upside may be tapped at what we saw in
The former quarterback turned tight end finished with a whopping
110 targets for the Washington Football Team in 2020. With 54
combined targets in his three previous seasons, his 2020 was a
breakout in the fullest sense of the term, as Alex Smith and the
other Football Team QBs opted for a ton of underneath passes to
Thomas and running backs. That could continue this year, but Washington
could add a QB and WR in free agency that could make them a more
down-field throwing offense.