The difference between our standard and PPR tight end rankings is going to be minimal most weeks, but in Week 1, they’re almost identical. Sure, we’ll slide down the more big-play/TD-dependent guys like Mark Andrews and Rob Gronkowski, but only a couple spots at the most. They still have more upside than most sleeper TEs, especially when we only know so much about offensive roles and matchups.
Looking at last year’s fantasy points per game (FPPG) allowed to TEs can only help us so much. After all, a lot has changed since last year. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any of those changes on the field yet, so we’re pretty much flying blind. Most of the top matchups belong to tight ends who are already safely locked into starting lineups (George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Andrews), but a few sleeper TEs (Jared Cook, Noah Fant, Ian Thomas) get slight matchup-related boosts. However, in PPR, it’s easier for “good” TEs to make up for bad matchups with volume, so there’s no need to take any chances if you don’t need to.
WEEK 1 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Gronkowski (@ Saints) and Austin Hooper (@ Ravens) were likely drafted as “starters,” but they’re outside our top 12. The reasoning is simple: Their respective roles in their new offenses is unclear. Hooper also has what figures to be a difficult matchup. Gronk is always a candidate to catch a touchdown (or two), so like we said before, if he’s your best option, he’s still a decent play. We just think his “bust” potential is higher than it will be most other weeks.
WEEK 1 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker
We’ll know more about tight ends after this week (or at least we think we will), so there’s no need to do anything too crazy with this position right out of the gates. There will be surprises, but in PPR leagues, taking the best bets at targets and catches is the probably the way to go in Week 1. If you were one of the last two or three people in your league to draft a starter, you’re flipping a coin no matter you have, so you can try to play matchups with the limited knowledge we have of defenses, or you can go all-in on a particular player you have a good feeling about. Sometimes, fantasy football is just that simple.
We’ll continue to update our tight end PPR rankings to throughout the week, so check back for updates.
These rankings are for full-point PPR leagues.