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Fantasy Football Tiers: Tight End Rankings 2022

Tight End Rankings Week 13: Darren Waller

After last year's injury-plagued, disappointing season and the addition of Davante Adams as the new No. 1 target in the Raiders' offense, where does Darren Waller fall in the fantasy TE pecking order for 2022?

Often, the tight end position is the hardest one to draft for fantasy managers. A few tight ends are elite, and the rest will typically offer weeks with solid production and weeks of disappointment. For the most part, fantasy managers should not expect a lot from their tight end. Touchdowns are often a fluke, and they typically do not see as many receptions as starting wide receivers.

Related: 2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

However, when it comes to draft day, some managers will grab an elite tight end early (perhaps a reach?) and others will wait and just hope for the best. Whichever strategy works for you, here are the tiers of tight ends. Note that they are listed alphabetically within each tier, not ranked.

2022 Fantasy Football Tiers: QB I RB I WR I TE

Tier 1: The studs

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Nearly all fantasy managers may agree that Kelce, Pitts, and Andrews are the top three tight ends heading into the 2022 season. Kelce has been a stud for years and, even at 32, still is one of the top tight ends. He's surpassed 1,000 receiving yards each of the past six seasons and double-digit touchdowns in three of the past four seasons. Pitts' rookie season wasn't as explosive as some might have hoped, but he did have over 1,000 yards. He only scored one touchdown, which was disappointing, but with the holes in the offense, he should be a focal point this year. Andrews had a great season in 2021, posting career highs in targets (153), receptions (107), and receiving yards (1,361). He had nine touchdowns and doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

Tier 1.5: Just below stud level

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

This mini-tier for Kittle and Waller is because they are top-tier tight ends, but they are also both injury concerns. Kittle dealt with a calf strain in 2021, which cost him time. He also missed OTAs because of a lower-body injury. When healthy, he is a solid TE1 option, but be sure you have another tight end on your roster. Waller suffered a knee injury in November that cost him the rest of the fantasy season in 2021. He also had an ankle injury, but he didn't miss any time with that. Waller should be a solid TE1, but he does carry more risk than the players in Tier 2.

Tier 2: Solid options

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

For fantasy managers who don't reach on a tight end in the early rounds, the tight ends in Tier 2 have the ability to be TE1s for fantasy owners, but they aren't going to be consistent. Knox did well for Buffalo last season, scoring nine touchdowns in an offense that focuses on passing the ball. He should continue to have success in 2022. Freiermuth and Hockenson are likely going to be large parts of their respective offenses as well. The Steelers have said they are looking to reduce Najee Harris' workload, and while that does not necessarily translate to more work for Freiermuth, they are going to have to pass the ball to someone. Given their quarterback woes, short passes might be the key to that offense. Hockenson is a proven player in an offense that needs pass catchers, and he should find the end zone again this season.

Tier 3: High TE2

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos
Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings

In Tier 3, the tight ends are high TE2s, with the potential to be a TE1 on any given week based on match-up. Okwuegbunam is someone to look at on draft day, as he should have a bigger role after Tim Patrick's injury. It's still a mystery of how Denver's offense will look with Russell Wilson, but that tight end position should be utilized. Smith is somewhat of a sleeper after missing the 2021 season with a knee injury. He is dealing with a thumb injury but should be good for Week 1.

Tier 4: Low TE2

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers
Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

The five players in Tier 4 are possible TE2 options. Fantasy managers can draft these tight ends to either be a second tight end option for their team or a bye-week fill-in. Engram in Jacksonville is an interesting option. He wasn't successful in New York with the Giants, but with Doug Pederson as the head coach, his role should be improved. In Green Bay, Robert Tonyan is coming off a torn ACL last season. He should be ready by Week 1, but it may take a few games for him to be truly fantasy relevant.

Tier 5: Possible fill-in options

Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts
Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals
Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans
Kyle Rudolph, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots
Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
C.J. Uzomah, New York Jets

The tight ends in Tier 5 are those that are likely going to go in the late rounds of most drafts. These are tight ends who may see playing time if the starting tight end has to miss time. Out of this group, Brevin Jordan may have the easiest route to playing time, but it remains to be seen if Davis Mills can get him the ball. Hayden Hurst will also likely be the starter, but the Bengals have so many top wide receivers, targets may be hard for him to come by.

Tier 6: Filling out fantasy benches

John Bates, Washington Commanders
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns
Tyler Conklin, New York Jets
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
Anthony Firkser, Atlanta Falcons
O.J. Howard, Buffalo Bills
Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals
Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders
Donald Parham Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
Ricky Seals-Jones, New York Giants
Tommy Tremble, Carolina Panthers

The tight ends in Tier 6 are those who are likely only being drafted in leagues that start two tight ends. Even in leagues where a tight end can be used in multiple flex spots, managers can likely find better options at the end of their draft. These players are not going to be the starter for their respective team and do not have a high ceiling. Rookie Greg Dulcich is someone to keep an eye on in the light of Patrick's injury. His role may expand, but it is hard to count on that right now.

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