With each week of the 2022 NFL season that passes our sample size grows. More conclusions can be drawn in regards to who we can give up on and who still has hope for fantasy football glory. As always, we’ll draw what information we can from the Week 3 NFL games and adjust our tight end rankings in hopes of finding that league-winning darling on the waiver wire. It’s a long NFL season so we can’t give up hope after only three games here!

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.

Tight End
Mark Andrews
Travis Kelce
Darren Waller
Kyle Pitts
George Kittle
Pat FreiermuthEvan Engram
Zach ErtzLogan Thomas
TJ HockensonDavid Njoku
Tyler HigbeeJuwan Johnson
Dallas GoedertCole Kmet
Gerald EverettRobert Tonyan
Dalton SchultzHunter Henry
Tyler ConklinIsaiah Likely
Cameron BrateJonnu Smith
Irv Smith JrWill Dissly
Dawson KnoxAustin Hooper
Hayden HurstJelanie Woods
Albert OkwuegbunamHarrison Bryant
Mike GesickiPeyton Hendershot
Rob Gronkowski
Eric Ebron
Jared Cook

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Mark Andrews 

Through these three games, Mark Andrews has arguably the best usage I’ve seen for a tight end. He hasn’t been asked to pass block a single time. He is at or near the top in nearly every category including target share (36.4%), routes per drop back (86.4%), aDot (11.7), percentage of snaps at WR (83.9%) 

Travis Kelce 

In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter who is ranked one and who is ranked two between Andrews and Kelce. They are the clear top two right now.

Darren Waller 

Waller’s usage is arguably better than it’s ever been in terms of alignment - no tight end has run routes lined up outside than Waller’s 90.1%. All he needs to do is maintain his spot ahead of Hunter Renfrow in the pecking order. 

Kyle Pitts 

We mentioned last week that Pitt’s usage changed for the better after Week One. This week showed why you follow the numbers behind the scenes. The targets are starting to trickle in and the team actually won. 

George Kittle 

George Kittle is back and he played a full snap share. If you have him, roll him out.


Safe Plays (YIN)

Pat Freiermuth 

What separates Freiermuth from some of the other guys in this category is that his offense is fairly set. His usage is good and he doesn’t have to worry about the impending return of someone like Keenan Allen or DeAndre Hopkins

Zach Ertz

Ertz has at least a couple more weeks of being a very reliable play. The concern of course is that it could get crowded when DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore get back. Start him then stash someone else with upside if you can.

T.J. Hockenson 

Hock is quietly 8th in both routes per drop back and target share. Would like to see him block on fewer pass plays (13.8% is a little high) but he’s a fairly safe option given his usage. 

Tyler Higbee 

He’s playing an absurd amount and he has a 21.6% target share but he’s not doing much with it. Big part of that is the low average depth of target at 3.9 yards but at least he’s not blocking on one of every four pass plays like he did in years past.

Dallas Goedert 

If one of AJ Brown or DeVonta Smith gets hurt, Goedert would move into the standalone section. But a lot of these guys have that predicament. 

Gerald Everett 

Like Zach Ertz, Everett is a fine start - for now. But Austin Ekeler essentially had the same number of targets as Tyler Boyd last year. So he’s realistically the fourth target one the team when Keenan Allen returns.

Dalton Schultz 

If he returns healthy he could find himself moving up this list - especially when Dak Prescott gets back. But we need to see what it looks like with Michael Gallup back as well.

Tyler Conklin 

If the Jets kept this pace they would absolutely obliterate the pass attempt record by well over 100 attempts so it likely won’t happen. Even then Conklin isn’t that good. 


Upside Plays (Yang)

Evan Engram 

If you like to live on the edge like me you are not only rostering Evan Engram but starting him over guys like Tyler Conklin and potentially Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee etc. This week was a brutal matchup with Derwin James but Engram is 7th in routes per drop back, he’s lining up at WR for two thirds of his snaps, and he’s almost never asked to pass block. He was a judgment call away from scoring this week as well. 

Logan Thomas 

The bet here is simple - that Logan Thomas will eventually get ramped up to the snap shares we saw the last two years in the 90-100% range. Right now he’s still hovering around 60-70% after the knee injury. He’s lining up at WR ~75% of the time and running high aDot routes so the upside is there.

David Njoku 

We had moved Njoku down because he was blocking on 17% of his pass plays over the first two weeks and actually had fewer targets than Harrison Bryant. But you can’t ignore what he did this week. Could be the second target. 

Juwan Johnson 

He is essentially a converted wide receiver that is playing a lot of wide receiver (76.2%) that we can start at tight end. The problem is, they have other good wide receivers. Pay close attention to the injuries to Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas.

Cole Kmet 

In theory the usage for Cole Kmet is good. He’s run a route on 76.1% of the drop backs which is the sixth-highest of any tight end. The team has only dropped back 67 times and Justin Fields has only thrown it an absurd 45 times. Need a serious change but worth a stash on deep benches. 

Jelani Woods 

This might be no different than the OJ Howard game Week 1 where he also caught two touchdowns.He only played 16 snaps. Can’t trust him unless that goes way up.

Tight End Handcuffs

Isaiah Likely 

They are using him like Mark Andrews but just on a much smaller snap share (only 40% of drop backs). But he’s played WR for 88% of those which is actually higher than Andrews himself. If you have Mark Andrews, you need your eye on Likely.

Peyton Hendershot 

He seems to be the best pass-catching option if Schultz were to miss additional time. More of a DFS play than anything. 


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