We are two weeks into the 2022 NFL season and, although it’s not the biggest sample size, we have enough actionable data to really shuffle around our fantasy football tight end rankings. I figured now would be a good time to update the Yin & Yang Tight End chart with some notes on how we got here. That way you can make the necessary adjustments before your waivers run tonight.

As a reminder, here is the full write-up on how the strategy works. The short and sweet is that, if you don’t have an elite tight end, you should roster two: the safest possible play (Yin) to start each week and the highest upside bench stash (Yang) to see if we can catch lightning in a bottle. The rankings themselves are based on years of research we have done on the position which is all compiled into this one article on What Makes An Elite Tight End. Without further ado, here are the updated rankings.

Tight End
Travis Kelce
Mark Andrews
Darren Waller
Kyle Pitts
George Kittle
Pat FreiermuthEvan Engram
Zach ErtzLogan Thomas
TJ HockensonJuwan Johnson
Tyler HigbeeCole Kmet
Dallas GoedertHunter Henry
Gerald EverettDavid Njoku
Dalton SchultzRobert Tonyan
Dawson KnoxKylen Granson
Tyler ConklinIsaiah Likely
Irv Smith JrHarrison Bryant
Hayden HurstBrevin Jordan
Cameron BrateAustin Hooper
Albert OkwuegbunamJonnu Smith
Mike GesickiNoah Fant
Free Agents
Rob Gronkowski
Eric Ebron
Jared Cook


As the concept article suggests, the elite standalone tight ends are highly athletic guys who are top two targets on their team running high aDot routes, rarely blocking on pass plays, and playing a lot of snaps at wide receiver. Bonus points if they are part of a high-volume pass attack. These are the players closest to entering the elite tier:


  • Pat FreiermuthMuth so far has an elite target share, route participation, and targets per route run which are the most important factors at the end of the day. Would be nice to see him play more snaps at WR (only 36.2% so far) and run higher aDot routes but, if he continues to prove he is the second target on that team behind Diontae Johnson and ahead of guys like Chase Claypool and George Pickens, he could move up as soon as next week.
  • Evan Engram - Engram has always had the athletic profile we like and now he finds himself on a team where he can compete to be a top two target. Christin Kirk is first with 18 followed by Zay Jones (13), Engram (12), then Marvin Jones (11). He’s been criticized for drops in the past but he currently has a catch rate of 91%. He’s got a solid route percentage per dropback (73.5%) and WR rate (62%) so would really just like to see him take command of that 2nd target spot. Until then, he’s more reliable in PPR than standard or half PPR as his average depth of target isn’t super high (4.4 yards). 
  • Tyler HigbeeWe have not liked Higbee historically - mainly because his career pass block rate is over 20% and you need to be under 15% to have upside. But this year he’s got that number down to 8.3% and he’s currently the second target on the team (and leading all tight ends in targets). He’s oddly trustworthy for once but Allen Robinson might not be dead in the water and Van Jefferson should be back at some point.
  • Dallas GoedertIt’s a tale as old as time with Goedert. We like virtually everything about this guy but target competition keeps getting in the way. They moved Zach Ertz but then brought in AJ Brown. If Goedert can separate himself from DeVonta Smith, he will move up to that top group.


  • Logan ThomasHis snaps progressed from 62% to 73%. Last year in the first three games he was playing literally 100% of the snaps. That’s the kind of upside with this guy and, despite slowly being ramped up after the knee injury, he’s quietly tied with Terry McLaurin for targets (and ahead of Jahan Dotson). They have a ton of pass catchers there with the RBs and Curtis Samuel too though so he still has his risks.
  • Juwan JohnsonThe concepts love this guy but the reality isn’t quite there yet. He’s a converted wide receiver which brings some excitement right off the bat - especially since he’s lining up at WR for 73.7% of his snaps which is only behind both Ravens tight ends (Andrews and Likely), Darren Waller, and Travis Kelce.  He has a high target share (top 10) and a rock solid route participation at 73.5% as well.  The problem is, that he is still fourth on the pecking order. Needs an injury to a wide receiver most likely. Or two.
  • Cole KmetCall me crazy, but I don’t think the Bears can continue this absurd offense they’ve been running. They only ran 41 snaps last week and threw 11 times. Joe Flacco has attempted 103 passes through two weeks and Justin Fields has attempted 28. Kmet legit has not caught a pass but he is actually playing a big snap share and running routes whenever they throw (he’s technically top 10 in route participation and he rarely pass blocks). If this offense ever becomes normal, he could surprise some people. Big if there.



  • Kyle PittsYikes. Despite getting fewer targets, Kyle Pitts actually had better usage in Week 2 than Week 1. The stats on that are here in this tweet below but obviously, we have to be concerned with the lack of targets and production considering where he was drafted.
  • Dawson Knox - In week one, Dawson Knox blocked on 21.9% of his pass plays. We hoped that that was just because the Rams have a strong pass rush. But this week he blocked on 27%. We need that number under 15% maximum. If he is going to spend all season being Dawson Blox, we might need to make other plans.
  • Tyler ConklinConklin is going to be a popular add for many but he could be fools gold. First off, the Jets are averaging 77 snaps over the first two games while the league leader last year averaged 69. Not every game will be a 31-30 shootout with the Browns. Because of that, his target share of 12.6% is actually only 17th amount tight ends and his targets per route run is 35th. He also blocks on 10% of his pass plays and has a very low aDot (4.2 yards) so perhaps not the exciting player you think he is. He has 16 targets and his longest play so far is 13 yards. Fourth in targets, 17th in yards.
  • Dalton SchultzThings looked great for him. Then his quarterback got hurt. Then he got hurt. Now Michael Gallup is returning. A huge turn of events like that will cause this kind of slide in the rankings.
  • Zach ErtzHe’s a great start for now but every day we get closer to the return of DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. Gerald Everett is in a similar boat with Keenan Allen coming back at some point.

Tight End Handcuffs

  • Isaiah LikelyThe microcosm of his usage has been awesome - he’s actually playing wide receiver on 90% of his snaps and he’s third on the team in targets. If anything were to happen to Andrews (or even Rashod Bateman) he would be viable fairly quickly. 
  • David Njoku/Harrison BryantBryant actually has a bigger target share than David Njoku on a lot fewer snaps. If either tight end gets hurt, the targets could go up for the other one here behind Amari Cooper.
  • Joe Fortson - Despite usage for Noah Gray and more actual production, Joe Fortson’s usage is more comparable to Travis Kelce. He’s played WR on 75% of his snaps compared to Gray (31.4%) and he pass blocks far less often (12.5% vs. 0%). He would be the guy with a Kelce injury. 

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