Tight end had been a nightmare for most fantasy owners through the season’s first two weeks, but the return of George Kittle and breakout of David Njoku last week might be the start of big things at this position. Or it might be nothing. We try our best to figure it out with our Week 4 fantasy TE rankings.
Despite finishing with just four catches (five targets) and 28 yards in his 2022 debut, Kittle (vs. Rams in Week 4) remains a top-five threat at this position whenever he’s on the field. Dallas Goedert (vs. Jaguars) isn’t far behind the “Big Five” who head up this position most weeks, but a shin injury has him in doubt ahead of Week 4. We were at the point where Kyle Pitts (vs. Browns) was in danger of losing his spot in that elite, top-tier fraternity, but a five-catch, 87-yard Week 3 eased his owners’ concerns.
Regardless of what Pitts did last week, he’d be a sure starter this week. The bigger questions are further down the list where guys like Dawson Knox (@ Ravens), T.J. Hockenson (vs. Seahawks), and Tyler Higbee (@ 49ers) reside. Higbee has been great to start this season, but a matchup against San Francisco’s notoriously difficult TE defense puts him right on the start/sit bubble. Knox and Hockenson have much better matchups against relatively soft TE defenses, so both should safely be in starting lineups, as difficult as that might be for bitter Hockenson owners who were barely able to celebrate a TD last week because of lackluster yardage totals.
Sleeper-wise, Njoku (@ Falcons) and Hayden Hurst (vs. Dolphins) both face teams allowing double-digit fantasy points per game to TEs, while breakout Tyler Conklin (vs. Steelers), Albert Okwuegbunam (@ Raiders), and Evan Engram (@ Eagles) are also facing teams that have struggled against tight ends in the early going. It’s tough to really trust any of these guys, but Hurst, Conklin, and Engram have seen fairly consistent, if unspectacular, targets, while Albert O and Njoku always have above-average TD potential, if nothing else.
On the flip side, Irv Smith Jr. (vs. Saints), Logan Thomas (vs. Cowboys), and Hunter Henry (@ Packers) are facing teams in the bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed to TEs. Thomas is probably the most difficult “sit” in this group, but there certainly appear to be much safer options out there.
We’re getting closer to the point where we can more confidently highlight sleepers and busts in a given week. Matchup data is still highly volatile, as one game against Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews can really skew a defense’s TE stats (which is why the Patriots look like a favorable matchup for Robert Tonyan this week). Perhaps just as important, we’re more confident about which players look legit and which look permanently droppable. All TEs — yes, even Cole Kmet — will have good weeks at some point — but finding ones who do it consistently is what this position is all about. For many, that means matchup-based streaming, but it’s entirely possible that Njoku, Hurst, Conklin, or someone yet to emerge is going to be an every-week starter the rest of the way. We’ll do our best to have you ready no matter what type of TE you’re looking for.
We’ll be updating these standard TE rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.
Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring
Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
Mark Andrews, Ravens vs. Bills
Darren Waller, Raiders vs. Broncos
Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Browns
George Kittle, 49ers vs. Rams
Dallas Goedert, Eagles vs. Jaguars
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers vs. Jets
Zach Ertz, Cardinals @ Panthers
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys vs. Commanders
T.J. Hockenson, Lions vs. Seahawks
Dawson Knox, Bills @ Ravens
Gerald Everett, Chargers @ Texans
Tyler Higbee, Rams @ 49ers
Tyler Conklin, Jets @ Steelers
David Njoku, Browns @ Falcons
Evan Engram, Jaguars @ Eagles
Logan Thomas, Commanders @ Cowboys
Hayden Hurst, Bengals vs. Dolphins
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos @ Raiders
Robert Tonyan, Packers vs. Patriots
Noah Fant, Seahawks @ Lions
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins @ Bengals
Hunter Henry, Patriots @ Packers
Irv Smith Jr., Vikings vs. Saints
Cole Kmet, Bears @ Giants
Juwan Johnson, Saints vs. Vikings
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers vs. Chiefs
Geoff Swaim, Titans @ Colts
Mo Alie-Cox, Colts vs. Titans
Jordan Akins, Texans vs. Chargers
Ian Thomas, Panthers vs. Cardinals