Fantasy Football Rankings 2022: Top 15 TEs

By Team on August 9, 2022

An era for one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history has come to an end with Rob Gronkowski's retirement (for the time being).

It also marks the beginning of a slightly more equitable era at the job.

The "haves" and the "have nots" have dominated the tight end landscape in fantasy football in recent years: The majority of the league's tight ends struggle to remain fantasy-relevant based on how frequently they reach the end zone, while stars like Travis Kelce, Gronk, and Darren Waller put up stats resembling those of wide receivers.

However, more tight ends are acting like full-time wide receivers as the NFL grows more pass-happy: In 2021, six tight ends recorded at least 70 receptions, compared to just three in 2015. What high-volume tight ends are in this new group, and when should you consider drafting them?

The top 15 tight ends in fantasy football for the 2022 season are shown here, with rankings based on a PPR scoring system of 0.5 fantasy points for each reception.

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Last season, Mark Andrews broke Kelce's three-year run as the top tight end in fantasy football scoring. But Kelce is by much the most reliable bet at the position, having at least 90 catches and 1,100 yards in four straight seasons. In the wake of Tyreek Hill's departure, he could see an increase in targets and is practically guaranteed to produce at WR1-level levels. He merits a second-round selection.

2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Before going on a tear for 107 and 1,361 receptions in 2021, Andrews had never surpassed 60 catches or 900 yards in a season. Although a little outlier is certainly to be expected, Andrews remains the centerpiece of Baltimore's passing attack and has a knack for scoring in the end zone (26 TDs in the past three seasons). Do not overthink it.

3. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Pitts led a Falcons team that ended tied for 25th in the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 1,026 receiving yards in his rookie season. Desmond Ridder, a rookie, has potential, and either quarterback should be able to score more than once on Pitts in 2022. Marcus Mariota isn't exactly a step up from Matt Ryan. If he can increase his touchdown totals, the incredibly agile tight end is a lock for the top five.

4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Josh McDaniels is skilled at making use of tight ends. Just ask Hunter Henry, who caught nine touchdown passes for the New England Patriots last year, or even Rob Gronkowski. With Davante Adams in the mix, Waller is no longer Las Vegas' top option, although he did miss five games last year due to injury. But now that McDaniels is in charge, it's not hard to imagine Waller attempting 1,000 yards once more.

5. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

When healthy, Kittle is unquestionably a top-three tight end. He dropped to No. 5 in our rankings due to the potential of injury, though: Over the previous three seasons, the 28-year-old has missed a total of 12 games. He would be a complete steal in the fourth or fifth round if he plays all 17 games this season. But you'd better have a fallback strategy.

6. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

Schultz, who had 808 receiving yards on 104 targets in 2021, has established himself as CeeDee Lamb's No. 2 target for Dak Prescott. He can safely expect to receive approximately 100 targets in 2022 now that Amari Cooper is out of the picture. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a top-tier tight end, Schultz is a very good alternative.

7. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Hockenson is talented and has had 185 targets over the last two seasons. The key is determining whether Jared Goff's offense can perform well enough to give the fourth-year tight end a chance to post respectable stats. Hockenson is one of the Lions' top overall weapons, so at the very least, they should be throwing a lot as they try to catch up.

8. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

Zach Ertz was traded to the Eagles for a purpose, as Goedert amassed 41 receptions and 614 yards in just 10 games following the deal. A.J. Brown's acquisition adds another mouth to feed in Philadelphia, but it may also encourage more passing play calls, which should be good for Goedert. We wouldn't be surprised if in 2022 he leads Philadelphia in receptions.

9. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

In the final four games of the Cardinals' season, all with DeAndre Hopkins out due to injury, Ertz found his rhythm, averaging seven receptions. Ertz is a strong TE1 in half-PPR and full-PPR leagues because he appears like a sure bet to average five receptions per game, especially with Hopkins suspended for the first six games of 2022.

10. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Although Pitts was the NFL's top rookie tight end last season, Freiermuth also possesses a lot of talent. Do you think quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, both selected in the first round, can be successful enough to provide their receivers enough targets? Because tight ends have historically dominated Pittsburgh's offense, we believe in Freiermuth's potential and rank him among the top 10.

11. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

Knox has the fewest catches (49) and yards among the four tight ends who caught nine touchdown passes last season (the most in the NFL at the position) (587). That's a roundabout way of stating that Knox, who had a touchdown total of five in each of his previous two seasons, was somewhat touchdown-dependent in 2021 and might be headed for a decline. He obviously poses a threat in the red zone, but anticipate his exit from the top 10.

12. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

If you think Mac Jones has potential, you may argue that he should be preferred above Knox given that Henry's 2021 stats were almost identical to Knox's. So why is Henry ranked 12th? After a lackluster 2021 season, we expect fellow tight end Jonnu Smith to play a bigger role, and we anticipate that new wide receiver DeVante Parker will take some of Henry's red zone targets away.

13. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Gesicki ended as the No. 11 tight end in fantasy football last season, well exceeding career highs in targets (112) and catches (73) Gesicki's target share is anticipated to decrease now that superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill and 2021 first-round pick Jaylen Waddle are both part of the Dolphins' receiving group, making it difficult to justify selecting him as a TE1 in 10- or 12-team teams.

14. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks

In each of the previous two seasons, Fant had at least 60 catches and 600 yards. That's quite admirable. The fact that Geno Smith is his current starting quarterback is not good. Fant ought to be on the TE1 radar if the Seahawks sign a player like Jimmy Garoppolo. Look elsewhere whether Smith or Drew Lock will be his quarterback in Week 1.

15. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

The biggest criticism of Kmet, who has two touchdowns in 33 career games, is his lack of performance in the red zone. Kmet is good enough to develop into a fantasy starter tight end if new Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor can get his 23-year-old tight end more engaged inside the 20-yard line.