Fantasy Football Tight Ends Preview: Favorites, Sleepers, Busts

  • Travis Kelce is projected for 252.96 points in the 2020 NFL season.
  • George Kittle is projected to score 223.16 points.
  • Zach Ertz is projected at 200.83 points.

NEW YORK – With Week 1 of the NFL regular season just two weeks away, it is time for fantasy football general managers to begin doing their research on the tight ends of the league.

Looking at the current tight ends in the league, there isn’t much premier talent surrounding the position. With that being said, it is only right to separate the players at the position from favorites, sleepers and busts.

Favorites are the players that are a must-have on any fantasy football team.

Sleepers are those that are overlooked but offer great value for a team and busts are the players that are projected to do great but end up not living up to their value.

Tight End Favorites

Being that the position is such a hard one to come by, there are only a handful of elite-level tight ends in the league.

Tight End Favorites Projections

  • Travis Kelce 252.96
  • George Kittle 223.16
  • Zach Ertz 200.83
  • Mark Andrews 198.94
  • Darren Waller 187.17

There is no doubt that Travis Kelce is the top tight end in the league. He is the go-to option for Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs and serves as a security blanket for them.

Mahomes led all tight ends in the 2019 season with 254.3 and is projected to have similar numbers at 252.6. After coming off of a Super Bowl win, it is clear that Kelce will be looking to follow up the 2020 season as the top tight end once again.

Like Kelce, George Kittle is not far behind as the number two tight end in the league. He serves a similar role as a security blanket when running out for the San Francisco 49ers.

He muscled in 222.5 fantasy points and is projected to follow that up with 223.16 in 2020. Kittle plays a key role on a slow-paced offense in San Francisco and can be trusted no matter what.

Looking at Zach Ertz, he is not one to miss the opportunity of drafting as he serves as one of the only bright spots on a Philadelphia Eagles group that has struggled in recent seasons.

Ertz has stayed consistent no matter who is lining up on the field with him and absolutely terrifies opposing defenses. Ertz put up 215.6 points in 2019 and online betting sites have a similar projection for 2020 at 200.83.

Tight End Sleepers

Being that there is only so much talent available at the scarce tight end position, looking for sleeper tight ends would serve any team great.

Tight End Sleeper Projections

  • Hunter Henry 145.88
  • Hayden Hurst 143.32
  • Noah Fant 141.85
  • Jonnu Smith 115.1

Leading the sleepers is Hunter Henry. Henry proved to be a great tight end last year considering that he played the least amount of games in his career.

He put up a solid 150.2 in just 12 games and is looking a similar number in 2020 in 145.88 but could very well outdo those numbers if he is not dealing with injuries. He plays a big role on an explosive offense that likes to move the ball downfield quickly and will continue to do so.

Hayden Hurst is the man to watch out for in 2020.

Hurst is third year in the league and first as a starting tight end. Hurst served as the back up tight end for the Baltimore Ravens and will now be joining the Atlanta Falcons as the TE1 on a team that is struggling to find their identity.

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Hurst put up just 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2019 which was good for only 76.9 fantasy points, as a starter his numbers should burst on a Falcons team that is top ten in tight end targets.

Noah Fant has a great rookie season as he averaged just over 14 yards per reception and will likely play a larger roll on a Denver Broncos team that is looking to get the ball rolling with their younger talent.

Being that he will play a larger role, fantasy GM’s should jump at the opportunity to take him if he does slip in the draft as he offers great upside potential.

Of the sleeper tight ends mentioned here, Jonnu Smith has the most to offer as the Titans have proven to have an explosive offense.

Smith is sure to get more targets as well now that Delanie Walker is no longer with the team. Also, Tennessee Titans quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, has been known to target the tight end position often.

Smith put up 104.7 points last year but is now expected to be the number two receiving option for the Titans.

Tight End Busts

When looking at these tight ends, it would be beneficial not to jump the gun too quickly here as they could end up not living up to their projected value.

Tight End Bust Projections

  • Jared Cook 149.96
  • T.J. Hockenson 142.65
  • Rob Gronkowski 138.06
  • Austin Hooper 130.46

Starting with Jared Cook, Cook is listed as the TE1 on an absolutely stacked New Orleans Saints offense. Cook’s projections are just way overboard as he is not even the second receiving option on the team anymore after they brought in Emmanuel Sanders.

Those who will argue that he put up 167.5 last year also need to remember that this was without Drew Brees who usually likes to air out to Michael Thomas. That being said, fantasy GM’s should not waste an early pick on Cook.

T.J. Hockenson is another tight end that is not worth taking the risk on.

Hockenson had fantasy owners fooled last year as he had a great first couple of weeks and just completely fell off before suffering a season-ending injury. Not only is he coming back from injury but he has not lived up to his potential since his 2019 Week 1 phenomenon.

Good ole’ Gronk, coming out of retirement to play with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Those fantasy owners thinking he will be returning to his prime form are truly mistaken.

This is not the New England Patriots offense we’re looking at here.

This is a fast-paced offense that has lethal receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who will draw the majority of targets. Although he is not that old, he will be seen as the third receiving option on this offense.

Looking at the Cleveland Browns new TE1, Austin Hooper. There is no taking away the talent that Hooper has but this Cleveland offense is just too stacked.

Last year with the Falcons, he saw his touches being that they were top ten in tight end targets but in Cleveland, it’ll be a different story as he will have to fight for targets with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Also, let’s not forget that this Browns team also has another talented tight end in David Njoku as well and two running backs that can dominate some touches.