I love seeing folks complain about the tight end position in fantasy football. It is a difficult position, after all. And their disdain for it combined with their willingness to dismiss it entirely creates a massive advantage for us in fantasy football drafts. We put in the work starting with stars like Travis Kelce and Sam LaPorta all the way down to rookies from the 2024 NFL Draft like Ben Sinnott and JaTavion Sanders. 

That’s why our 2024 Fantasy Football Best Ball Cheat Sheet is the best in the industry - especially when it comes to the tight end rankings and sleepers.


Maybe if fantasy gamers actually took a moment to consider how often we have a breakout tight end finish top five from outside the top 12, they would reconsider the value of sleeper tight ends. Whether it’s Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, or Dalton Schultz, we routinely have tight ends come from deep in ADP to create difference-making upside. It’s our goal every season to find them and this year is no different.

 And, after doing a bunch of early Best Ball Mania V drafts on Underdog, we’ve already identified value quarterbacks, we have the sleeper running backs, and we highlighted the breakout wide receivers. So it’s time to hit on our favorite late tight ends!



Juwan Johnson, TE New Orleans Saints

There were some concerns that the Saints might draft a tight end - specifically a two-way tight end that blocks to fit the scheme. There were a lot of them available in the draft. And a lot of them got drafted. Not by the Saints though. The Saints actually waited and signed Dallin Holker as an undrafted free agent - who is essentially a converted wide receiver that does what Juwan Johnson does except worse. They basically just solidified Johnson’s role in the offense and threw an undrafted free agent in the mix that will likely end up on the practice squad.

But that’s not all. We expected they might draft a wide receiver - specifically a split end with Michael Thomas gone. But they didn’t do that either. They didn’t sign anyone and they didn’t take a wide receiver until the fifth round where the hit rates are atrocious. So it’s Chris Olave as the top dog then you have Rashid Shaheed, AT Perry, and Juwan Johnson after that. We don’t know how the targets will be divvied up but we do know how valuable that TE eligibility is so I’ll take my chances at TE22 off the board in round 15. 

Darren Waller, TE New York Giants

Here’s the honest truth with Darren Waller. Folks are too busy worrying about “will he retire?” or “will he get hurt?”. That might be a problem in your dynasty league or your redraft leagues (which you shouldn’t draft until August). Here in best ball land we are doing a bunch of drafts and building a portfolio of players to try to crack the sweet spot that wins us millions of dollars. When it comes to tight end 30 at pick 214 (which is last pick territory) you shouldn’t be asking about the downside. You should ONLY be asking about the upside.

The upside for Darren Waller is this. He got hurt in Week 8 after only 17 snaps. He returned Week 15 to close out the season. In the 11 games where he played more than 40% of the snaps, he got 72 targets. That’s a pace of over 110. Even in the four games at the very end of the season when he never played more than 66% of the snaps, he got six, five, six, and six targets. No one being drafted in that range is doing that. No one being drafted in this range is Darren Waller. George Kittle last year was a top five tight end on 90 targets which is 5.3 targets per game - Waller averaged 6.5. He’s tight end 30. The closer and closer we get to the season without him officially retiring, the more his ADP will rise. And, if he retires, who cares? It’s your last-round pick and most last-round picks do nothing anyway. You have MANY more teams to draft.

Greg Dulcich, TE Denver Broncos 

This offseason Broncos GM George Patton specifically said that the Broncos need to improve over the middle of the field in regards to a question on the tight end position. And what did they do this offseason? Well, they didn’t sign or draft a tight end. In fact, they traded away slot receiver Jerry Jeudy. And then they traded for Zach Wilson and signed Bo Nix, two quarterbacks known for short, quick throws. Which makes sense with Sean Payton and Joe Lombardi calling the shots. For instance, no team targeted the running back more than Denver last year.

Last offseason Sean Payton specifically mentioned that Greg Dulcich could be a mismatch in the “joker” role that he used Jimmy Graham in. And Dulcich started the first game catching two passes on the first three drives before getting hurt and missing virtually the entire season. They used Adam Trautman at blocking tight end but, down the stretch from Week 13 on, Lucas Krull actually ran more routes than Trautman. Trautman will likely still be the inline blocking tight end but that pass-catching tight end role is Dulcich’s for the taking. And right now he goes off the board at pick 215 as the TE34 so you can quite literally take him with your last pick in drafts. If it’s not Waller for me it’s Dulcich and I already have some leagues where I wait and take them BOTH with my last two picks. Works great in a three tight end build if you are waiting.