Tight ends have largely been undervalued in fantasy football. Outside of a premier group of tight ends, this position group can largely screw over players who don’t capitalize on picking the best of the bunch. Whereas most tiers of different position groups are fluid from season to season, it is significantly harder to switch between the tiers for tight ends.
With the recent trend towards a pass-heavy NFL, tight ends have received more and more attention in the passing game. The TE position has gotten increasingly more important because of this. In fact, most fantasy football rankings have the highest tight end, Travis Kelce, sitting at an ADP of 2.04, and for good reason.
In this article, we will be discussing the three top TE options for fantasy football. “Start,” means they have the highest value relative to their average draft position (ADP). On the opposite end, “cut” means this particular player has the lowest value of the bunch, while “sit” is somewhere in the middle. ADP on this list was taken from Fantasy Football Calculator PPR data.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit/Cut: Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts
Start: Mark Andrews Fantasy Value
As of last season, Mark Andrews cemented himself into the top three tight ends in all of fantasy. While he was always regarded as one of the better tight ends, even since his rookie season, he had a truly phenomenal last season. Playing in all 17 games, he racked up 1,361 yards on 153 targets with nine touchdowns as well. In addition, his durability is tremendous and tested, as he has suited up for 62 out of his 65 career contests.
To put it into perspective, Mark Andrews had more receiving yards than Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown last season, to name a few. We have even heard the hot take that multiple notable receivers have been available via trade or free agency, and yet, none have gone to Baltimore to play with Lamar. In other words, until the Ravens find someone to take the ball away, Mark Andrews is their number one receiver.
In conclusion, Mark Andrews finished with career highs in every category for fantasy football last season. His current ranking is the second-best tight end in fantasy football, and his ADP is the first pick of the third round. If you are able to get cornerstone players in the two rounds prior, it’s a no-brainer to let Mark Andrews fall in your lap and reap that tremendous value for his ADP.
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Sit: Kyle Pitts Fantasy Value
It’s pretty notorious that tight ends have a harder time adjusting to the NFL, as they have to learn both the blocking assignments of the offensive line and the receiving route trees of the offense. Despite this, Kyle Pitts came out of the gates running with a great campaign that amassed 1,026 yards in his inaugural season.
Additionally, while the Falcons did address their need at the receiver position by drafting Drake London, they still don’t possess much offensive firepower. Cordarrelle Patterson will still demand the ball on the ground, and any other way they can find for him, but London already got hurt in preseason action. We don’t know the severity of the injury, but let’s hope this isn’t a sign or crumbling of his durability for his future. Even so, until London can establish himself as a contributor to the offense, the Kyle Pitts fantasy football value will be at an all-time high.
Currently, Kyle Pitts is being drafted as the third-best fantasy tight end, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. While we hope he will improve his touchdown production, he only scored one during his rookie year, it is safe to say he will see increased volume for the team. He was drafted fourth overall to be a franchise player in the new era of the Atlanta Falcons, and since they have made a shift to the future, his certainly looks bright.
Cut: Darren Waller Fantasy Value
As Darren Waller has established himself as one of the better tight ends in the league, he finds himself on an offense that has shifted beyond his control. While he still may be a contributor to the potent Las Vegas offense, he is now competing for touches from Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams. Both receivers had over 1,000 yards receiving last season, and given the rapport between Adams and Derek Carr, we expect the two to pick up where they last left off.
With all this being said, Darren Waller, a great player, now finds himself rationed for touches between a rock and a hard place. Waller is a tremendous player on a team that got better offensively. While that is significant for the Raiders’ championship prospects, the Darren Waller fantasy value has taken a noticeable hit.
Lastly, Darren Waller’s current ADP sits at 49th overall. While having a good tight end is always a good option, other notable players will be available before and after him. Fantasy managers have made notice of his “buyers beware” sticker placed on him, as he fell from his previous ADP of 3.01 last year.