The tight ends that ranked fifth (Darren Waller, 13.4) through eighth (Hunter Henry, 12.1) in PPR Fantasy points per game last year were within 2.0 points per game of the fourth-ranked one (Zach Ertz, 14.0) and 3.5 points per game of the top-ranked one (Travis Kelce, 15.4). That difference is smaller than the one in 2018 and 2017, which is a possible sign that the tight end position is getting stronger. That's excellent. 

And if you liked that, then you'll like this: There seems to be enough players with attractive upside to kind of, sort of de-prioritize drafting a tight end. It's not like you'll be forced to pick up tight ends off the waiver wire each week if you don't get one of the top-four tight ends. 

Then again, those four do have the potential to get at least the equivalent of a top 15 wide receiver from the tight end spot. That's a cool edge to have over the guy streaming a tight end he's praying for a touchdown from. The downside is you'll miss out on a good player at another position by splurging on a tight end by the end of Round 4. Though, if you draft with idiots or are in a smaller league, that shouldn't be as big of a problem. 

More tiers and strategies:

The second thing to know is that the tight ends that will follow are thick with top-five upside and can be found as soon as Round 7 or as late as Round 9. So if you're not into spending a big draft pick on a tight end, nor do you like taking one off the waiver wire each week, then plan on being a part of the tight end run that'll start after 70th overall and finish by 100th overall. Plenty of time to grab one. 

We haven't had something like this in Fantasy in a long while. It's kind of nice, like a not-too-firm, not-too-soft pillow for your lower back. 

So don't rush to take a tight end. Seek out value. There are about 10 good start-worthy tight ends and another 10 who have appeal as early-season streamers. Seriously, it's that deep. 

Finally, remember that seven non-PPR points and 11 PPR points are passable from a tight end. Basically any tight end who can catch three passes and score in a given week has Fantasy appeal. There won't be a shortage of those guys at any point this season, so even if you whiff on your tight end through the first three or four weeks, you can find one off waivers to save your tush. 

The bottom line

  • The talent pool at tight end is better than it's been in the past two years, and maybe ever. 
  • The best values can be found when you can draft a top-four tight end in Round 5, or if you can get one of the next five consensus tight ends (Tyler Higbee, Darren Waller, Hunter Henry, Evan Engram, Hayden Hurst) as late as Round 8 or 9
  • The intriguing names you'll see late on Draft Day should make you strongly consider putting two tight ends on your typical re-draft roster. Noah Fant and Mike Gesicki are the blue-chip headliners.

More Draft Day help:

So which Fantasy football busts should you completely avoid? And which running back going off the board early should you fade? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that called Baker Mayfield's disappointing season, and find out.