By: Justin Holden
Lit Sports Online brings you fantasy football rankings for the 2019-2020 NFL season. Today’s article covers tight end rankings in a half PPR scoring format. Not only do we provide a ranked list of tight ends, but you will also see regular season stat projections for each player. Then, a brief summary will be written on a few players that we see as significantly more valuable or less valuable versus their average draft position (ADP). Without further ado, here are the rankings:
|Rank||Player Name||Team Name||Projected Stat Line|
|1||Travis Kelce||Kansas City Chiefs||97 catches, 1250 yds, 9 TDs|
|2||O.J. Howard||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||71 catches, 1070 yds, 9 TDs|
|3||George Kittle||San Francisco 49ers||82 catches, 1100 yds, 5 TDs|
|4||Zach Ertz||Philadelphia Eagles||85 catches, 1140 yds, 3 TDs|
|5||Vance McDonald||Pittsburgh Steelers||72 catches, 960 yds, 4 TDs|
|6||Jared Cook||New Orleans Saints||63 catches, 830 yds, 6 TDs|
|7||Hunter Henry||Los Angeles Chargers||65 catches, 800 yds, 6 TDs|
|8||Evan Engram||New York Giants||69 catches, 850 yds, 4 TDs|
|9||Chris Herndon||New York Jets||62 catches, 810 yds, 5 TDs|
|10||Jordan Reed||Washington Redskins||60 catches, 780 yds, 5 TDs|
|11||David Njoku||Cleveland Browns||56 catches, 720 yds, 5 TDs|
|12||Jack Doyle||Indianapolis Colts||54 catches, 660 yds, 5 TDs|
|13||Trey Burton||Chicago Bears||53 catches, 630 yds, 4 TDs|
|14||Austin Hooper||Atlanta Falcons||56 catches, 610 yds, 4 TDs|
|15||Kyle Rudolph||Minnesota Vikings||54 catches, 590 yds, 4 TDs|
|16||Eric Ebron||Indianapolis Colts||48 catches, 550 yds, 5 TDs|
|17||Delanie Walker||Tennessee Titans||51 catches, 580 yds, 4 TDs|
|18||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||57 catches, 550 yds, 3 TDs|
|19||Jimmy Graham||Green Bay Packers||50 catches, 510 yds, 4 TDs|
|20||Dallas Goedert||Philadelphia Eagles||39 catches, 400 yds, 6 TDs|
|21||Mark Andrews||Baltimore Ravens||44 catches, 490 yds, 4 TDs|
|22||Mike Gesicki||Miami Dolphins||42 catches, 470 yds, 4 TDs|
|23||Noah Fant||Denver Broncos||45 catches, 500 yds, 3 TDs|
|24||Tyler Eifert||Cincinnati Bengals||40 catches, 400 yds, 4 TDs|
|25||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||49 catches, 440 yds, 2 TDs|
|26||T.J. Hockenson||Detroit Lions||41 catches, 420 yds, 3 TDs|
|27||Gerald Everett||Los Angeles Rams||37 catches, 390 yds, 3 TDs|
|28||Matt LaCosse||New England Patriots||34 catches, 350 yds, 3 TDs|
|29||Ricky Seals-Jones||Arizona Cardinals||30 catches, 320 yds, 2 TDs|
|30||Jesse James||Detroit Lions||33 catches, 300 yds, 2 TDs|
|31||Jonnu Smith||Tennessee Titans||26 catches, 290 yds, 2 TDs|
|32||Jordan Thomas||Houston Texans||30 catches, 270 yds, 2 TDs|
|33||Luke Willson||Oakland Raiders||29 catches, 270 yds, 2 TDs|
|34||Dawson Knox||Buffalo Bills||30 catches, 250 yds, 2 TDs|
|35||Geoff Swaim||Jacksonville Jaguars||29 catches, 260 yds, 1TD|
|36||Nick Vannett||Seattle Seahawks||21 catches, 220 yds, 2 TDs|
|37||Hayden Hurst||Baltimore Ravens||30 catches, 230 yds, 1 TD|
|38||Charles Clay||Arizona Cardinals||20 catches, 200 yds, 1 TD|
|39||Jake Butt||Denver Broncos||18 catches, 190 yds, 1 TD|
|40||Will Dissly||Seattle Seahawks||19 catches, 180 yds, 1 TD|
O.J. Howard – ADP 4, our ranking is 2.
I have O.J. Howard penciled in as a safe, elite option at the tight end position. Not only was O.J. Howard one of the most efficient tight ends last year and one of the leaders in air yards at the position, but he’s a young, complete tight end that is just starting to enter his prime. We must also consider that Tampa Bay will have a poor defense and poor run game once again, which could lead to the Tampa Bay offense leading the league in pass attempts. O.J. Howard will have to compete for targets with the likes of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but at the end of the day, you can see from my projections that I’m predicting Howard to be a touchdown machine and make the most of every opportunity that comes his way.
Vance McDonald – ADP 10, our ranking is 5.
There is a significant difference between the value I see in Vance McDonald versus the value that the general mock drafting public sees in him. While Vance McDonald has been pegged as a popular sleeper pick this season, I go further than that by straight up predicting him to finish as a top five tight end. I don’t see McDonald scoring many touchdowns because of how run heavy this Pittsburgh Steelers offense will likely be in the red zone. However, I do expect McDonald to smash with a healthy serving of catches and yards between the 20’s. We must consider that Jesse James and Antonio Brown have both left town. That’s a lot of vacated targets. And I certainly don’t see them all going to Donte Moncrief or James Washington.
Chris Herndon – ADP 16, our ranking is 9.
It’s time to fade the public once again because they are straight up snoozin’ on Chris Herndon. Herndon was a usable fantasy asset last year as a rookie, despite the fact he had limited targets to work with. With Sam Darnold and the New York Jets offense on the rise, and Herndon now established as the unquestioned #1 tight end on the Jets’ depth chart, there’s no reason he shouldn’t exceed expectations this season. Herndon is likely to be Sam Darnold’s favorite target in the passing game. At this point, I believe that Herndon is significantly undervalued in both dynasty and seasonal leagues.
Jordan Reed – ADP 20, our ranking is 10.
Whether it be Duane Haskins or Case Keenum starting for the Washington Redskins this season, someone will have to be catching their passes. News flash: Jordan Reed is not dead yet. There seems to be a narrative floating around that Jordan Reed is washed. But the fact of the matter is, Reed is only 29 years old. Tight ends can be productive far beyond age 29, especially if they have the athleticism that Reed does. Reed has shown what he can do when healthy and in the starting lineup. Is there risk in drafting Jordan Reed? Absolutely. His injury history remains a valid concern. But if you’re in the final rounds of your draft and haven’t taken a tight end yet, it makes sense to take a flier on Reed. He should produce admirably as long as he stays healthy, and that makes him a high upside selection when compared to other tight ends that are available in the final rounds of your fantasy draft.
Jack Doyle – ADP 22, our ranking is 12 / Eric Ebron – ADP 7, our ranking is 16
People must be thinking that Jack Doyle died after last season. Granted, he only played 6 games due to injury, and finished last season with a poor stat line. In Doyle’s absence, Eric Ebron smashed expectations en route to a 13 touchdown season. In my view, both tight ends will be utilized this season in the Colts’ offense. And given that Andrew Luck could have a career year, this makes Jack Doyle an incredible value where he is currently being selected in fantasy drafts. Meanwhile, Ebron’s touchdown total from last year looks unrepeatable. I expect Ebron to receive less targets this year and for his efficiency to drop. Obviously, Ebron is still worth rostering in most leagues, but he should be going much later in drafts than he is.
Zach Ertz – ADP 2, our ranking is 4.
While I still expect Zach Ertz to have a top five finish this season, that is more of a testament to how low the bar is for tight end production compared to other positions. I’m projecting Ertz to only score three touchdowns this season, as teammate Dallas Goedert is emerging as a clear red zone threat that is a lock to vulture touchdowns. The Eagles will likely use their running backs in the red zone a lot as well. Ertz remains a beast between the 20’s, but a projected reduction in catches and touchdowns compared to last season has him lower in our rankings for this season.
T.J. Hockenson – ADP 13, our ranking is 26.
Shiny new toy syndrome is on full display here with T.J. Hockenson’s ridiculous ADP. I get that Hockenson is a complete tight end prospect and that the Lions’ offense will likely perform better this season. But come on. The dude is still a rookie. Rookie tight ends almost never produce enough to be relied on as a fantasy starter, especially at the beginning of the season. Drafting Hockenson as your starting tight end in a seasonal league is a mistake. Let’s not forget that Jesse James is now in Detroit and will get his targets as well. If you’re going to gamble on a rookie tight end this season, you’re better off taking a flier on Noah Fant, because he is a move tight end and Joe Flacco is notorious for targeting his tight ends.
Benjamin Watson – ADP 29, we have him unranked.
Benjamin Watson is on the New England Patriots now and will try to fill the shoes of retired Rob Gronkowski. However, Watson will serve a four game suspension due to performance enhancing drug use. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins cut from the team, Matt LaCosse is now the projected starter. As of right now, LaCosse could be selected in the final round of your fantasy draft. If you believe that Tom Brady won’t be able to avoid targeting his tight end heavily, then the recommendation is to draft LaCosse and pickup Watson off of waivers in the event that he eventually leapfrogs LaCosse on the depth chart. The more likely scenario, however, is that Tom Brady heavily targets his slot receivers in all areas of the field. Rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry will likely emerge as a preferred target for Brady when passing into the end zone.