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2021 Fantasy Tight End Depth Charts: AFC East

For the first installment of Fantrax’s fantasy tight end depth charts, we’re going to delve into the AFC East. I’ve already ranked the top 30 fantasy tight ends in the NFL, but why not break this down by division (we’re in the clicks business, baby. Don’t ask questions!)? Between the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets, we’ve got an interesting set of options ahead of us.

Much like the running back, the tight end position is a scarce fantasy asset. It’s for this reason that my favorite strategy is to draft a running back with my first 4 picks…regardless of league style (redraft, dynasty, etc.). I aim to find value at other positions like WR and QB, because if I miss on a bet at those positions, I can always trade one of my RBs for a roster weakness during the season. With my 5th pick, that’s when I take the TE. You have to hit on your TE, or else your streaming one every week. After TE10, your options really fall off. Let’s get into it.

AFC East Tight End Depth Chart


TE18: Dawson Knox

Dawson finished last year at TE33, and to be honest, there’s a good chance that I have Knox rated too high if Ertz rumors come to fruition. The Bills have a two-headed running attack in Singletary and Moss. Then you have to worry about Josh Allen on the ground. After that, you’re going to the air where you have Diggs and Sanders. Dawson Knox is going to be 5th or 6th in the pecking order for targets. With only 3TDs last year, he’s also not really a red zone threat. This ranking is based on the fact that I think this Bills offense is explosive. Betting on explosive offenses tends to work out. I’d prefer to pick Knox up on the waiver wire.


TE13: Mike Gesicki

Now we’re talkin’. This is the kind of guy you can draft that has upside to his projections. He finished last year at TE6 with 700 yards and 6TDs. So, why the slide down to TE13? Well, packed into those numbers was the fact that DeVante Parker was really the only other person to take targets from him. Preston Williams got hurt last year and missed a lot of time. On top of Preston Williams being back, the Dolphins drafted Jaylen Waddle, who some teams (the Jags) had graded as high as Trevor Lawrence. Waddle, Williams, and Parker will all take targets from Gesicki, but at 6’6”, he’s an incredible red zone target for a likely improved Tua. Don’t reach for Gesicki, but if he falls to you, I’d feel comfortable rolling with him as my TE1.


TE9: Hunter Henry

TE10: Jonnu Smith

Throw last season’s numbers out the window. The Patriots spent a bunch of money this offseason, and with the way they distributed the money, it appears they’re bringing the two tight end sets back to the table. You don’t pay tight ends $36M and $50M because you need them to block. The days of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez bringing havoc to defenses are going to return with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Even if Cam has issues throwing again this year, it won’t be on short routes to tight ends. Even if Mac Jones is the starter at some point, he made his name by being accurate. The Patriots got no production out of their TEs last year. They’re going to make a point to feed them this year. I’d be happy trotting either of these players out as my TE1.


TE28: Chris Herndon

No. I won’t. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you, as well. Fool me thrice….can’t. Can’t get fooled again. I WILL NOT draft a Jets TE. I don’t care if shiny, new toy Zach Wilson is at the helm. I don’t care that a TE is a young QB’s best friend. Herndon has shown flashes of excellence, but the consistency is never there. He’s either hurt, or the team is bad, or both. Draft at your own risk.

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