The tight end is the single most unpredictable position in all of fantasy football. Few offer consistent target floors and even fewer can claim to be focal points of their team’s passing attacks. Because of this, pinning down who the best values are at TE year over year is a near-total crapshoot season to season. Outside of the top three volatility is the only rule so consider my dynasty TE Rankings an attempt to at least separate the group into workable tiers for dynasty.
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Dynasty TE Tiers for 2019
King of the Castle (1)
Travis Kelce is the way, the truth, and the light when it comes to the TE position even after the revelation that Tyreek Hill will be playing this season and beyond in full (barring injury). Between being attached to an excellent QB and play-caller, commanding the number one receiving role on a team, and still being young enough to retain value Kelce checks all boxes. Signed to a reasonable contract through 2021 Kelce is TE1 in all formats.
The Prince that Was Promised (2)
If Travis Kelce deserves his own tier based on sheer dominance then George Kittle can’t be far behind. Last season Kittle broke records with his outrageous YAC ability on display game after game. When one considers that, like Kelce, Kittle finds himself locked into his team’s number one receiving role the picture begins to come into focus. In a Shanahan offense, with a young and talented QB, and at just 25 years old Travis Kelce looks to be poised to take that number one spot the moment Kelce’s form dips. A pick invested in any of these top two players allows for savvy dynasty managers to focus away from TE until the last few rounds at the very earliest.
The Next Generation (3-7)
Ertz’ ranking outside of the top two may be a point of contention for some but he belongs in this tier. Along with Evan Engram, Ertz is one of only four TEs in the NFL to be locked into a consistently heavy target share. The others in this group all find themselves in excellent spots on teams with concentrated target distributions. Ertz is the class of the group but the presence of Goedert and his escalating contract should give the most detailed dynasty GMs pause. Ebron, who is likely to be resigned in IND at the end of the season, rounds out this tier.
Toss Ups (8-16)
This next tier of my dynasty TE rankings is populated by a number of tight ends that, while extremely talented, are held back from breaking into the group above for various reasons. Though the talent is there for everyone in this section the volume that most closely correlates with top-end TE production is less assured than it is for their compatriots. The next great breakout TE is likely one of the players listed here but picking out who that will be is a fool’s errand. It’s a safer roster construction strategy to roster two TEs in this group if possible to provide solid competition to the GMs who roster the top guys at the position.
Dallas Goedert is the class of these TEs as the only thing preventing him from fulfilling his top 10 upside is the guy in front of him. For the rest of these TEs either youth, age, or a limited target share will prevent them from being week to week performers at the position. There are values to be had who could bounce back like Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, and Darren Waller but rosters are best served not relying too heavily on any one of these players. Be careful if the intention is to start one of these TEs every week and disappointment will be the result more often than not.
Punt the Position (29-50)
The remaining players in this large tier consist of guys that shouldn’t be expected to contribute heavily to title-challenging squads this season. Everett, I. Smith, and J. Smith are still player’s who’s breakouts could be on the horizon but low usage will plague them. The best use for one of the guys picked at this range would be serving as a direct replacement for one of the top seven TEs, ready to fill in for a week or two in a pinch. Don’t attempt to fill out your TE group from this tier as most weeks you’ll be giving points to your opponent in the TE battle.
Dynasty TE Rankings
|14||Chris Herndon IV||NYJ||4|
|32||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||12|
Etan Mozia has been involved with sports as a whole for over two decades and has written about athletics in some capacity since 2005. Focused primarily on the NFL and EPL, Etan has seen his work featured on sites like FantasyPros, Advanced Sports Logic, and FFD260 among others. Currently, his work is housed on FantraxHQ and FantasyPros. An avid lover of dynasty leagues specifically, you can also listen to him on his podcast, The Dynasty Diagnostic (@DynoDiagnostic), as he breaks down rosters and provides pertinent and practical advice for dynasty squads looking to give their team an edge. Follow him on twitter @EtanMozia.
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