It’s here, folks. The 2023 NFL season finally kicks off this week, and with it comes my Week 1 Tight End rankings. To help you with lineup decisions throughout the season, I’ll roll out these rankings every Wednesday. I’ll also include notes on some of the matchups. As you’re going over these, keep in mind that they’re based on half-PPR scoring.
The tight end position isn’t as shallow as in previous seasons. But if you didn’t invest in one of the top-seven options, you’re ideally looking to exploit favorable matchups or opportunities for target volume. Week 1 is no exception. Usage will get clarified as the weeks progress. But for now, start your studs and take advantage of those plus matchups.
Week 1 Tight End Notes
- Injuries are already wreaking havoc with some top-tier tight ends in Week 1. Travis Kelce missed Thursday night’s opener due to a hyperextended knee. George Kittle could be sidelined in Week 1 with a groin injury that he suffered in the preseason. Additionally, Darren Waller is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Both tight ends are must-starts if they play, so keep an eye on injury reports heading into Sunday’s games. Also, keep in mind the Giants play on Sunday night, so be sure to pick up a backup option if you roster Waller.
- Tyler Higbee is a strong play this week. With Cooper Kupp looking doubtful to suit up in Week 1, Higbee should see an uptick in targets. While Higbee has never had volume issues – he led the Rams in target share last season (20.9%), and his 108 targets ranked fourth-most among tight ends – Kupp’s expected absence is icing on the target cake. Combine that with a tasty matchup against a Seahawks unit that gave up the most fantasy points against tight ends in 2022, and Higbee could go off this week.
- Don’t overlook Gerald Everett in Week 1. The veteran tight end finished as TE13 last season and posted a career-high 58 receptions. This week, the Chargers face off against a Dolphins team that allowed the third-most receptions and touchdowns to tight ends in 2022. Everett plays on a pass-happy team and should benefit from new OC Kellen Moore, who helped Dalton Schultz become a top-10 tight end in Dallas for the past two seasons.
- Dalton Kincaid is my TE13 this week. The ranking is a tad aggressive for a rookie, especially since we’re not sure how he will be utilized. But if Kincaid sees significant snaps out of the slot, his upside is tough to ignore. Week 1 should give us a better indication of Kincaid’s usage moving forward, but I’m willing to roll the dice on him in Week 1.
- Logan Thomas is a solid dart throw in Week 1. He gets a cushy matchup against a Cardinals defense that coughed up the most touchdowns and second-most fantasy points per game to the position last season. Thomas could also benefit by being a safety blanket for quarterback Sam Howell and being in the mix for extra looks if Terry McLaurin is limited by his toe injury. Thomas could surprise this week.
Week 1 Tight End Rankings
Note: Ranks are based on half-PPR scoring
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Got a gnit to pick with Lauren’s Week 1 Tight End Rankings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.