Fantasy TE Rankings Week 3: Who to start, sit at…


You’re probably not reading Week 3 fantasy TE rankings if you own Travis Kelce (against. Chargers) or Darren Waller (vs. Dolphins), but we’re here to break down the players who come after him.

We always want to include a defense’s fantasy points allowed against the position and red-zone touchdowns allowed at tight end, but with only three weeks left in the season, we can only do so much.

We’ll keep it in mind, but we’ll need to look at matchups and quarterback play to figure out who to start and who to bench, especially in a year with few breakouts or sleepers (yet).

Any defense that has faced T.J. Hockenson or a player ranked higher than him in the rankings has given up a lot of fantasy points to tight ends.

That doesn’t mean we can anticipate Cole Kmet to be a TE1 against the Browns just because Travis Kelce had a field day against them in the past, but we can look at similarly ranked tight ends and how they performed in the early stages of the regular season. Tight ends who make a lot of receptions and are frequently end-zone targets are constantly in demand in standard leagues.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

This week, both Noah Fant (against. Jets) and Jared Cook (vs. Chiefs) are TE1 candidates, but for different reasons. Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target continues to be Fant, and we always seek to play players against the Jets.

Cook should see a lot of targets as the Chiefs force opponents to pass to stay in the game and tend to target wide receivers. Tyrann Mathieu is in Kansas City, but we expect him to be more concerned with keeping Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in check than with Cook.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker

A high-pass volume game is sometimes all we can ask for at tight end. Gerald Everett (against. Vikings) and Evan Engram (if he plays vs. Falcons) have some appeal as well, but unless you’re in deep leagues, they’ll likely sit on the bench.

It’s worth noting that, despite the fact that George Kittle (against. Packers) has only eight catches for 95 yards in the first two weeks, it’s not yet time to give up on him. However, you’re still starting him, despite the fact that he may not be the exceptional tight end we’ve seen in the past this season. Keep an eye out for updates.

Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, two tight ends who were sent down this week, have been ineffectual thus far in the regular season. It appears that neither will be able to totally remove themselves from the other, so while the offensive benefits from their presence, their ceilings are capped.

If you had to pick one, Smith would definitely get the nod, but considering the scarcity of quality at this position, they’re still in the running for a starting berth. Despite done almost nothing so far, Mike Gesicki (@ Raiders) is in a similar situation.

Again, our rankings are very boring because there are no obvious breakouts and there isn’t enough vital information to make any matchup-based shake-ups. It will be much easier to project streamers as we move past the bonafide studs after another week or two of data, but potential sleepers like Juwan Johnson (@ Patriots), Jack Doyle (@ Titans), and Maxx Williams (@ Jaguars) are difficult to trust for a variety of reasons, regardless of how bad your drafted starter (or backup) has been.

We’ll be updating these TE rankings throughout the week as needed, so come back for the most up-to-date information and analysis.

Fantasy TE Rankings Week 3: Who to start at tight end

Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring

Rank Player
1 Travis Kelce, KC vs. LAC
2 Darren Waller, LV vs. MIA
3 T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. BAL
4 Rob Gronkowski, TB @ LAR. The Gronk is back. Enough said.
5 George Kittle, SF vs. GB. Kittle at No. 5 feels wrong, but it isn’t. He’s currently the TE12 in PPR leagues (8.8 FPPG) and in standard (5.2 FPPG). Until he puts on a vintage Kittle performance, he can’t move above Hockenson or Waller.
6 Mark Andrews, BAL @ DET. Andrews has been a downright bust through two weeks, but a matchup with Detroit could mean big performance. It’s tough to move him lower than No. 6 at such a scarce position, but we might have to if he busts in Week 3.
7 Kyle Pitts, ATL @ NYG. Pitts caught five-of-six targets for 73 yards in Week 2, a respectable performance out of a tight end. However, it’s looking apparent that he won’t join the elite group at the top, as we wanted in the preseason. The Giants’ defense is hot and cold, so we’ll see what happens here.
8 Noah Fant, DEN vs. NYJ. Fant is the de facto No. 2 WR behind Courland Sutton in Jerry Jeudy’s absence because of an ankle injury. He drew six targets in Week 2, catching four passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. Again, that seems like an average stat line, but it’s a top-10 game at the tight end position. He faces the Jets’ defense in Week 3, so we love as many Broncos as you can get in your lineups.
9 Logan Thomas, WAS @ BUF. In his first full game with Taylor Heinicke, Thomas drew seven targets for five catches and 45 yards. This was a promising start, but Buffalo’s defense is no easy match. He’s a better option in PPR leagues, but he does have the potential for touchdowns, which is of course better for standard leagues,
10 Dallas Goedert, PHI @ DAL. The entire Eagles’ offense took a step back in Week 2, but they should rebound in a bout with Dallas in prime time. Raise expectations for him this week, as he should be the No. 2 option for Jalen Hurts behind DeVonta Smith. Zach Ertz still carries some appeal in PPR leagues, though our hope is running thin with him.
11 Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. TB. Higbee was a bust in Week 2, as well, catching just one pass for eight yards on one target. While he’s gained a lot of hype heading into this season, those kinds are games are inevitable. This goes for any tight end after the elite of the elite. In a matchup with Devin White and Lavonte David, he still ranks as a TE1. It’s just tough to justify moving him below anyone he’s currently ranked ahead of.
12 Jared Cook, LAC @ KC. Cook only had three catches of five targets, but he had two touchdowns called back due to penalty. Justin Herbert looks his way often, so he’s attractive for that reason if nothing else. The Chargers should be pass-heavy in this game, so he’s a solid option across any format.
13 Robert Tonyan Jr., GB @ SF.
14 Mike Gesicki, MIA @ LV. Gesicki caught three passes for 41 yards last week, so while he wasn’t the total bust he was in Week 1, he’s still not the sexiest play at tight end. The good news is Jacoby Brissett seems more willing to target him, so if he’s starting, Gesicki should see more work. Last year, he did most of his damage when Ryan Fitzpatrick was at the helm, so maybe it’s just Tua who is holding him back.
15 Jonnu Smith, NE @ NO. We still have no clear winner of this position battle, and we might never ever see the conclusion. This is a low-volume passing attack, so neither Smith nor Hunter Henry can be expected to come up big in any week. One of them will flash at some point, but there’s almost no way to tell when that will be, especially this early in the year.
16 Hunter Henry, NE @ NO. See Jonnu Smith.
17 Gerald Everett, SEA @ MIN. Everett was one of our sleepers picks last week, but he had just one catch for three yards in what looked like a great matchup against Tennessee. He now just has three catches on the season on four targets, so it’s time to lower expectations. At this spot in the rankings, we just hope for touchdowns. With Russell Wilson as his quarterback, the potential is obviously there.
18 Evan Engram, NYG vs. ATL. Engram is yet to play in a game this season because of a calf injury, but he has to be considered in a game against the awful Falcons defense who has surrendered three touchdowns to tight ends so far. Plus Daniel Jones isn’t playing all that bad.
19 Jack Doyle, IND @ TEN. We’ll see if Carson Wentz plays, but we know Tennessee’s defense is bad. Mo Alie-Cox had some momentum heading into this season, but Doyle seems to have kept his grip as the primary tight end in the Colts’ passing attack.
20 Zach Ertz, PHI @ DAL. See Dallas Goedert.
21 Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. PHI
22 Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN vs. NYJ
23 Cole Kmet, CHI @ CLE
24 Maxx Williams, ARI @ JAX
25 Eric Ebron, PIT vs. CIN
26 Austin Hooper, CLE vs. CHI
27 Pat Freiermuth, PIT vs. CIN
28 Tyler Kroft, NYJ @ DEN
29 Juwan Johnson, NO @ NE
30 Dawson Knox, BUF vs. WAS
31 Blake Jarwin, DAL vs. PHI
32 Anthony Firkser, TEN vs. IND
33 Tyler Conklin, MIN vs. SEA
34 Jimmy Graham, CHI @ CLE
35 Pharaoh Brown, HOU vs. CAR
36 Adam Trautman, NO @ NE
37 Dan Arnold, CAR @ HOU
38 C.J. Uzomah, CIN @ PIT
39 David Njoku, CLE vs. CHI
40 Will Dissly, SEA @ MIN
41 Hayden Hurst, ATL @ NYG
42 Mo Alie-Cox, IND @ TEN

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