Perhaps no position group in fantasy football is weighed as differently by individual owners as tight ends. Do you go early for premier talent? Do you want for a plug and play? It’s tough to know. On the bright side, the top of the league is fairly straightforward. Here are the best tight ends for fantasy football in 2019.
#10 Austin Hooper, Falcons
Hooper accumulated the second-most fantasy points last year and posted career-highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns (71/660/4). If the touchdown number grows, he’ll be a steal for those owners who don’t particularly value the position. The upside here does seem to have real limitations as his 9.3 yards/reception isn’t inspiring and he failed to eclipse four points in nine games last year. Still, the overall Falcons offense should be a juggernaut and Hooper plays a lot of snaps.
#9 Evan Engram, Giants
Engram’s value went way up last year when Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t on the field. And OBJ won’t be on the field for the Giants this year. Neither will any other high-ceiling wide receivers after Golden Tate was suspended and Sterling Sheppard remains hobbled by a thumb injury. Eli Manning will have precious few options and Engram may be the best because Saquon Barkley can’t do all the lifting.
#8 Delanie Walker, Titans
Walker is 35-years-old but that’s like the new 25 for tight ends. He’s somewhere between 12 and 13 on most ADP and is even being pegged as a bust. But when the market zigs, it sometimes pays to zag. Walker was targeting over 100 times in the four seasons before last year, when he played a single game.
#7 Eric Ebron, Colts
Ebron exploded for career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns during his first year with Indianapolis. Banking on him matching his 13 trips to the end zone could be a tall order, but if Andrew Luck is upright and locked-in, it is within reason. One thing to consider before taking him super, super high is the return of Jack Doyle and maybe that pesky drop bug on display during Ebron’s Detroit tenure. And Luck’s myositis ossificans.
#6 Hunter Henry, Chargers
Yet another player on this list who missed last season and whose production will be a question mark. He will be getting the lion’s share of Antonio Gates’ snaps, and was effective in 2017, when he grabbed eight touchdowns. Philip Rivers has long been reliant on his tight ends so there’s incredible upside here and Henry may turn out to be the top overall at the position when the dust settles.
#5 Jared Cook, Saints
Cook has always had the talent, it’s just that he never put the points on the board. Until last year, in Oakland, where he had a bit of a breakout year. Moving to New Orleans to team up with Drew Brees has to be good news as the position has been a dependable source of fantasy output in that offense for a long time.
#4 George Kittle, 49ers
Kittle is a stud who averaged almost nine targets per contest last season and reeled in 85 catches. The one question mark is the touchdown figure, which has to go up from just five. A full year of Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan pulling the strings will be just what the doctor ordered.
#3 O.J Howard, Buccaneers
The Bucs love to throw the football. They’ll continue to throw the football with Bruce Arians now at the helm. Howard has averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game over his past 16 games. Continuing that pace in 2019 would bring a mighty return. Yes, the touchdown figure needs to come up from the 5.5/season he’s averaged in his young career.
#2 Travis Kelce, Chiefs
It’s a tough call between Kelce and Zach Ertz for top spot on this list. The two are head and shoulders better than everyone else in the league. This guy was targeted an obscene 150 times and amassed 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. Another huge season is on tap but there is a small fear opposing defenses may be able to key a bit more on him with a less explosive running game. Still, a no-brainer if he’s available, especially with the prolific Chiefs offense to lead him to glory.
#1 Zach Ertz, Eagles
Part of this is trusting Carson Wentz to be in play, which is always a bit iffy. But Ertz is good for double-digit points each and every single week and has a nose for the end zone. Again, flip a coin between he and Kelce but we’re predicting the Philadelphian is special once again, and consistency plays a big role in a position that has been notoriously lacking in that regard.