Alright, folks, it’s playoff time! There will be ZERO messing around. Just writing an intro paragraph feels like wasting PRECIOUS moments but we do need to give a quick explanation since we’ve changed things up and added more info this week. So take two seconds to read. I put the info into bullet points to make things easier.

  • The rankings below are for the rest of the season. They try to encapsulate the next three weeks (don’t worry, we will post weekly rankings for Week 18 as well for you sickos that play through the very end of the year). 
  • The weekly specific rankings for just Week 15 will be posted on Thursday on Twitter as always (and sometimes updated Sunday if there are big changes) 
  • We have included some info on matchups to help you attempt to mix and match where need be. 
  • Players in orange have injury issues. Keep an eye on the weekly rankings for updates on that.
  • Notes on each player are below. 
1Travis KelceHOUSEADEN
2T.J. HockensonINDNYGGB
3Dalton SchultzJAXPHITEN
George KittleSEAWASLV
Pat FreiermuthCARLVBLT
4David NjokuBLTNOWAS
Dallas GoedertCHIDALNO
5Greg DulcichARILARKC
Chigoziem OkonkwoLACHOUDAL
6Gerald EverettTENINDLAR
Darren WallerNEPITSF
Daniel BellingerWASMININD
Hunter HenryLVCINMIA
Tyler ConklinDETJAXSEA
Hayden HurstTBNEBUF
8Logan ThomasNYGSFCLE
Juwan JohnsonATLCLEPHI
Austin HooperLACHOUDAL
Tyler HigbeeGBDENLAC
Robert TonyanLARMIAMIN
Mike GesickiBUFGBNE
Jordan AkinsKCTENJAX
Cameron BrateCINARICAR
Will DisslySFKCNYJ
Kylen GransonMINLACNYG
Isaiah LikelyCLEATLPIT

Tier 1: Travis Kelce

Tier 2: Just Start Them

  • Mark AndrewsI know he didn’t produce much this week but it’s simply too late to get cute here. This guy continues to run virtually every route (44 of 48) and he hasn’t pass-blocked on a single play all season. He still did get six targets after all. No one else outside of Kelce has his usage and no one has his weekly upside so you really need to just ride this one out, for better or worse.
  • T.J. HockensonSince trading for TJ Hockenson, the Vikings have seemed adamant that they were going to get their money’s worth. And they have been. The only concern for Hock was where he would fall on the pecking order. Justin Jefferson is obviously first. But, since arriving, Hockenson has actually out-targeted Adam Thielen (46 to 41). This Vikings team is the perfect combination of good offense and meh defense that leads to shootouts so you just start him every week.

Tier 3: Almost Certainly Starting Them

  • Dalton SchultzDalton Schultz is one of the “safest” options out there and the signing of TY Hilton shouldn’t change that. So, for you to bench Schultz, you better have another great option WITH a great matchup. You are starting Schultz vs. the Jaguars in Week 15 and the Titans in Week 17 so the only time you might consider someone else would be in Week 16 vs. the Eagles. And even they might not be that bad of a matchup these days with CJ Gardner-Johnson out. 
  • George Kittle - Kittle has the talent, he has the usage, and he has the scheme. We were worried about two things; target competition and Brock Purdy. Well, Deebo Samuel is now banged up and Brock Purdy actually looks pretty solid. So now the only thing we are worried about is a Week 16 matchup with the Commanders. But he has great matchups vs. Seattle and Las Vegas.
  • Pat FreiermuthThis section isn’t “bulletproof” so there are a couple of minor things bothering us with Muth. The first is his quarterback. Kenny Pickett had only thrown two touchdown passes in five games and now we might be stuck with Mitchell Trusbisky (though Trubisky did find Muth for the TD this week). The other is that Freiermuth has quietly only played about 55% of the snaps in the last two weeks. With that, he only ran 21 of 35 routes this week. Yet he continues to produce and it’s incredibly difficult to find consistent production out here.

Tier 4: Great Players, Bad Schedule

  • David NjokuDavid Njoku made his triumphant return and boy, was it triumphant. He played 69 of 72 snaps and caught seven of nine targets. Glorious. In all likelihood, you are going to start him (especially this week against the Ravens) but he, unfortunately, gets New Orleans and Washington the last two weeks of fantasy playoffs who are literally the top two defenses vs. the tight end. The reality is that there aren’t a lot of widely available guys with good Week 16 matchups but might want to stash someone just in case. Then check the weekly rankings. Possible pairing: Greg Dulcich, Evan Engram, Tyler Higbee
  • Dallas GoedertIf Dallas Goedert were fully healthy with a better schedule, he’d obviously be a tier higher. But he’s coming off IR with a bad schedule. Even if activated, you have to be concerned about conditioning. Not to mention, AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith have clearly upped their rapport with Jalen Hurts in his absence. All three of the teams Goedert plays in the playoffs are top-five vs. the tight end so there might be a better option in any given week. If I have someone with a good matchup in Week 15 (like a Greg Dulcich) I’m going there to avoid potential heartbreak. 

Tier 5: The Hot Boys

  • Greg DulcichThese are the hottest names at the tight end position and getting hot at the right time can win you leagues (see 2020 Logan Thomas who was TE26 through six weeks and finished as a top-five tight end in all formats). These guys are also pretty terrifying to start for one reason or another. Dulcich is at the top of this tier because his usage has been great in terms of lining up at WR (especially with Courtland Sutton out) and he has one of the better schedules of any tight end (especially in Week 15 vs. ARI if you are in the wild card). The real wild card though is how he will look if Russell Wilson is out and Bretty Rypien is the QB. Check back in with the weekly rankings when we have more info on that. 
  • Evan Engram - I did a full write-up on the potential upside for Evan Engram and he’s shown us what that looks like in the last couple of weeks. Even before the last two weeks, he was running 80%+ of the routes every game but a minor back injury seemed to derail him briefly. The problem here is two-fold. One, he has a terrible matchup in Week 15 vs. Dallas. Two is that he’s Evan Engram. I’ll be starting him in some leagues but this player has broken my heart so many times now that I’m no longer ever shocked when he pulls the rug on me with a terrible game. Possible pairing: David Njoku, Greg Dulcich, Gerald Everett 
  • Cole KmetCole Kmet has quietly played 90%+ of the snaps in virtually every game and literally 100% of the snaps in the last two games before his bye week. Justin Fields is back, and Darnell Mooney is out, so it should be wheels up right? Well, his playoff schedule starts out pretty poorly with the Eagles and Bills before a dream matchup in the championship with the Lions. With his usage, you might be able to just roll with him but just keep in mind that guys like the Bills’ Matt Milano have been a matchup nightmare for tight ends. Possible pairing: Greg Dulcich, Chig Okonkwo, Gerald Everett, Hunter Henry
  • Chigoziem Okonkwo - All about the hype train my friends! There is a lot to like about Chig outside of the production we’ve seen over the last three weeks. The biggest is his athleticism - at his size, he has legit 95th-percentile speed and athleticism across the board. The real problem here for him is that he doesn’t quite play a full snap share because that pesky Austin Hooper also plays (and gets targets). Last four weeks Chig has played 45%, 33%, 58%, and 49% of the snaps. We know he will continue to be involved because the offensive coordinator basically told us he was but that caps his upside a bit. He also has a tough matchup in championship week with the Cowboys. Possible pairing: Cole Kmet, Greg Dulcich, Evan Engram, Daniel Bellinger 

Tier 5: Matchup Based Only

  • Gerald Everett - Even when fully healthy, Gerald Everett has only played more than 70% of the snaps one time. That is scary. Now Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler are all fully healthy. Even scarier. The saving grace is his good schedule but he just had a great matchup this week and didn’t really set the world on fire. He’s very difficult to depend on the rest of the season so he’s more of a spot-start option to me.
  • Darren Waller - Waller is banged up and we don’t know when he will be back. He honestly also has a pretty tough schedule - I wouldn’t start him against Kyle Dugger and the Patriots even if he were active this week. But he’s still Darren Waller and that monster upside is still in there somewhere.
  • Daniel Bellinger - This guy really cannot catch a break. He smashes his eye up, comes back, played 64 of 66 snaps in Week 13, then hurts his ribs in Week 14. He has a terrible matchup in Week 15 vs. WAS so we aren’t using him there but he’s a stash candidate for his matchups with the Vikings and Colts. That’s why he’s in this tier.
  • Hunter Henry - Anyone who has started Hunter Henry knows how scary that can be. They also know he’s capable of popping a big play down the seam or scoring a touchdown at any moment. He SHOULD have had two TDs vs. the Vikings, he got five targets in a tough matchup with the Bills, and he gave you 70 yards this past week. His schedule is good but he’s unfortunately not much more than a plug-and-play if someone gets hurt (or you really are scared of a matchup). He has three straight good matchups so pairs well with anyone.
  • Dawson KnoxDawson Knox is playing the snaps and running the routes but, like Hunter Henry, he’s just not really a focal point of the offense. What he does have going for him is a great matchup this Week vs. Miami. After that his matchups aren’t that good and he might be contending with Cole Beasley as well so he’s more of a one-week guy if you are waiting on Goedert or someone.
  • Tyler ConklinIn a vacuum, Tyler Conklin is not that good. But there is a world where he can produce and we saw that world when Joe Flacco was the quarterback. That could potentially happen again here if Mike White isn’t ready to go. Not to mention, Corey Davis could be out. But the real reason Conklin is in this tier is his schedule. He has the best schedule of any tight end in the playoffs and it’s not even close. 
  • Hayden HurstWe haven’t liked Hayden Hurst all year. And he’s hurt. And his only good matchup is Tampa Bay which is this week so he might not even play. Really, the only reason you stash Hurst is in the off chance Tyler Boyd and/or Tee Higgins miss Weeks 16 and 17. But I’m not that interested in him, honestly. 

Tier 5: Taysom Hill

  • Taysom HillNot sure why I even included the matchups for this guy because he’s not a real tight end. You know what situation calls for using Taysom Hill or not and only you can make that call for yourself. 

Tier 8: Serious Problems

  • Logan Thomas - Hard to trust and has brutal matchups outside Week 15.
  • Juwan Johnson - Literally in the same situation as Logan Thomas above except he’s also banged up.
  • Austin Hooper - Not even the best tight end on his own team.
  • Tyler HigbeeCrazy low aDot, blocks on a ton of pass plays, and now he’s not even getting the targets. 
  • Noah FantFant would be ranked a lot higher if he wasn’t splitting snaps with Will Dissly. But he is. Not like you’d start him vs. the 49ers anyway. 

Tier 7: How Are You In The Playoffs If This Is Your Tight End? 


Weekly Rankings

Follow Andrew Cooper on Twitter @CoopAFiasco to see the weekly rankings once they are available later this week!

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