Fantasy Football Week 3 Tight End Rankings: Pat Freiermuth, Gerald Everett among small group ascending
Every offseason, fantasy football analysts and players try to come up with reasons for why tight end will be better this season, and every season … we’re wrong. I’m using the royal “we” there, by the way, because after a dozen years writing about Fantasy Football, I know better than falling for that one.
Through two games, there are a whopping 10 tight ends with 20-plus PPR points. That includes names like Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, and Dallas Goedert, like we expected, but that still leaves six guys we didn’t necessarily expect to be there. And of those six, I’ll say Gerald Everett, Zach Ertz, and Tyler Higbee feel like they could keep it up – Logan Thomas is a maybe, but I don’t have much faith in Tyler Conklin.
Of course, Kyle Pitts will get there eventually, I’m pretty sure… but that might be the only player I can say that for sure about. Not TJ Hockenson, who has been clearly overshadowed by Amon Ra St. Brown and has the eventual debut of Jameson Williams to contend with. And not Dalton Schultz, at least not right now – he suffered a knee injury in Week 2 that could cost him multiple weeks.
Which is to say, after two weeks, tight end looks about as bad as it always does. That shouldn’t be a surprise, but if you’re looking at my rankings for this week, only those first nine are projected for double-digits in PPR scoring, and that number would only climb to 10 if George Kittle (groin) is cleared to play. Yep, the tight end position remains as shallow as ever.
Here are my top 24 tight ends for Week 3.
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- Travis Kelce @IND
- Mark Andrews @NE — A good sign for Andrews: He had a touchdown overturned by replay in Week 2, and the Ravens opted to go right back to him on the very next play for the score. That’s how you keep your no. 1 happy.
- Kyle Pitts @SEA
- Darren Waller @TEN — Waller seems to be benefiting from the defensive attention Davante Adams is drawing, with a 71% catch rate and 12.9 yards per reception through two games. That efficiency would help him overcome what he’s lost in volume, and it’s enough to keep Waller in the must-start
- Tyler Higbee @ARI — Higbee has been out there for all but a small handful of snaps, and he has 20 targets to show for it as the Rams receiving game options outside of Cooper Kupp continue to leave something to be desired. Given this workload, Higbee is looking like a must-start Fantasy option at the shallowest position on the board.
- Dallas Goedert @WAS
- Pat Freiermuth @CLE — Freiermuth is getting enough targets — 10 in Week 1, seven in Week 2 — that he’s going to be Fantasy relevant no matter what if he sustains that role. However, like with the rest of the offense, he’s being held back by Mitchell Trubisky’s inaccuracy, especially down the field. The role is enough to make Freiermuth worth starting, but whether he hits his ceiling projection in any given week is harder to say.
- Gerald Everett vs JAX
- Zach Ertz vs. LAR — Ertz saw his role grow in Week 2, a week further removed from his preseason calf injury, and he earned 11 targets while playing 84% of the snaps. He’s getting end zone targets, too, so Ertz remains a viable starting tight end for Fantasy.
- TJ Hockenson @MIN — I’d like to see what would happen if the Lions actually tried to target Hockenson down the field, but they’re comfortable just using him as a short-area target. That limits his upside, though given how bad the TE position remains, it’s hard to argue you shouldn’t be starting Hockenson.
- Logan Thomas vs PHI
- Irv Smith vs DET
- Albert Okwuegbunam vs SF
- Cole Kmet vs. HOU — Kmet is still playing nearly every snap — 83% or more in both games so far — but the Bears have barely thrown the ball. He’ll get more opportunities moving forward, but in a low-volume pass offense, even being the No. 2 option may not be enough to make Kmet a must-start Fantasy option. I’ll bet he has his best game of the season in Week 3, but that is damning with faint praise at this point.
- Dawson Knox @MIA
- Hunter Henry vs BAL
- Austin Hooper vs. LV
- Evan Engram @LAC — It was Engram’s turn to be featured Sunday, and I think we’ll see a different one of Engram, Zay Jones, and Marvin Jones step up alongside No. 1 option Christian Kirk most weeks. Engram’s eight targets in Week 2 mostly came in the short area of the field, which limits his upside, but at tight end, it’s still enough to make him a viable starter.
- David Njoku vs. PIT — Njoku has more or less had the role we wanted to see, as he ran a route on 81% of pass plays in Week 2. Jacoby Brissett just hasn’t looked his way enough, and I’m not sure that’s going to change enough to make him much more than a dice-roll start.
- Brevin Jordan @CHI
- Mike Gesicki vs. BUF
- Hayden Hurst @NYJ
- Tyler Conklin vs. CIN — Conklin has 16 targets through two games, which is pretty impressive. He’s turned them into 56 yards with a couple of fumbles, which is much less impressive, but the role is enough to make him an interesting streamer, given how few good options are out there.
- Noah Fant vs ATL