Fantasy Football: Early look at our top 10 TE rankings for 2020

Now that the 2019 NFL season is over, we can start looking ahead. It's already time to turn the page and start planning for Draft Day in 2020.

We're going to spend the next several months working on plenty of things to preview next season, including rankings, mock drafts, sleepers, breakouts, busts and many other cool features. But for now, here's a preview of the preview.

This is our first run of the top-10 rankings in PPR at tight end for me, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, Ben Gretch and Adam Aizer. These rankings will change hundreds of times between now and August, but our job is start planning now.

You can see our full rankings here, but this is a sneak peek at our top 10 tight ends heading into 2020.

Jamey Eisenberg 

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. George Kittle, SF
3. Zach Ertz, PHI
4. Darren Waller, OAK  
5. Mark Andrews, BAL  
6. Austin Hooper, ATL
7. Hunter Henry, LAC
8. Evan Engram, NYG
9. Tyler Higbee, LAR
10. Noah Fant, DEN

Dave Richard 

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. George Kittle, SF
3. Zach Ertz, PHI
4. Darren Waller, OAK
5. Mark Andrews, BAL
6. Austin Hooper, ATL
7. Evan Engram, NYG
8. Hunter Henry, LAC
9. Tyler Higbee, LAR
10. Noah Fant, DEN

Heath Cummings 

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. George Kittle, SF
3. Darren Waller, OAK
4. Mark Andrews, BAL
5. Zach Ertz, PHI
6. Austin Hooper, ATL
7. Hunter Henry, LAC
8. Evan Engram, NYG
9. Dallas Goedert, PHI
10. Tyler Higbee, LAR

Ben Gretch 

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. George Kittle, SF
3. Zach Ertz, PHI
4. Mark Andrews, BAL
5. Evan Engram, NYG
6. Hunter Henry, LAC
7. Austin Hooper, ATL
8. Darren Waller, OAK
9. Noah Fant, DEN
10. Mike Gesicki, MIA

Adam Aizer 

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. George Kittle, SF
3. Zach Ertz, PHI
4. Austin Hooper, ATL
5. Hunter Henry, LAC
6. Darren Waller, OAK
7. Mark Andrews, BAL
8. Evan Engram, NYG
9. Jared Cook, NO
10. Tyler Higbee, LAR

Tight end is the only position where we all have the same two guys at the top of the rankings with Kelce and Kittle. You can make an argument that both are worth drafting in the first round in PPR, and they stack up favorably to most receivers. In PPR points per game, Kelce (15.4) and Kittle (15.2) would be the No. 10 and No. 11 receivers in 2019.

Ertz comes in at No. 3 for all of us except Heath, who has Ertz at No. 5. He was the No. 4 tight end in PPR points per game at 14.0, but he's still an elite player, even with the increased production from Goedert in 2019. And Heath likes Goedert as the No. 9 PPR tight end as of now. We'll see what Philadelphia does to enhance its receiving corps in 2020, but I'm still taking Ertz as the No. 3 tight end in Round 3.

Aside from Kelce, Kittle and Ertz, the rest of the top eight tight ends are similar for all of us, just in a different order, with Waller, Andrews, Hooper, Henry and Engram. This should be a fun debate this summer of which guy is better.

Waller had a breakout campaign in 2019 and finished at 13.44 PPR points per game. He was third in targets at the position (117), second in receptions (90) and second in yards (1,145) but scored just three touchdowns. The hope is that his touchdowns rise in 2020 while he stays on the same level with the rest of his production, and he should continue to be a go-to target for the Raiders next year.

Andrews was the No. 6 tight end in 2019 at 13.4 PPR points per game, and I expect him to keep improving as the best receiving option for Lamar Jackson. Both are entering their third season in 2020, and there's still room for Andrews to develop, especially after he led all tight ends with 10 touchdowns. He was fifth in targets with 98, and I expect him to be around 100 targets again, which is awesome given his potential.

Hooper is a free agent this offseason, so his Fantasy outlook can change depending on where he plays. If he stays with the Falcons, it's easy to draft him as a top five tight end. He was on pace for 100 receptions, 1,080 yards and 11 touchdowns through the first 10 weeks of the season before dealing with a knee injury, but he still finished with respectable stats in 13 games (75 catches, 787 yards and six touchdowns on 97 targets).

Henry's season can be broken up into three different sections. The first part of the year was marred by a knee injury that kept him out for four games prior to Week 6. From Week 6 to Week 11, he posted a 35-427-3 receiving line, scoring at least 13 PPR points in five of those games, so he was a star. But in his final five games, he scored at least 11 PPR points just twice, including his best game of 15 PPR points in Week 17. He's a free agent this offseason, so where he plays will determine his Fantasy outlook. And if he returns to the Chargers, he could also have a new quarterback since Philip Rivers is a free agent as well.

Engram finished No. 7 in PPR points per game (13.1) in 2019, but he missed eight games due to injury, including the final seven outings of the year with a Lisfranc tear in his left foot. He has now played just 19 games in the past two seasons, and he was OK with Daniel Jones in the six games they played together. Over that span, Engram averaged just 11.2 PPR points per game, but hopefully they are better together over a full season -- if Engram is able to stay on the field.

The other tight ends we have ranked in our top 10 include Higbee, Fant, Cook and Gesicki. It's going to be fun to debate if all of these guys are worth drafting as starters this year.

Higbee actually finished No. 8 in total PPR points for the year at 155, and the majority of his production came in the final five weeks of the season. He had either a touchdown or 100 receiving yards in each of those five outings, scoring at least 18 PPR points in each game over that span.

It's hard to expect that level of production on a consistent basis going into 2020 since the Rams have so many talented options on offense, but if you combined what Gerald Everett did in the first 11 games of the season (85 PPR points) then the production for Higbee and Everett would be the No. 2 tight end in PPR, behind only Kelce. I'll gamble on that with Higbee, who is clearly ahead of Everett now, with a mid-round pick in all leagues.

I love the upside for Fant, who will be a popular breakout candidate in 2020. While Fant had some good moments in 2019, he only scored double digits in PPR in just four games. It appears like the Broncos found their quarterback with Drew Lock, and that should be promising for Fant next season.

Gesicki finished as the No. 12 tight end in total PPR points with 129, but he didn't become a consistent producer for the Dolphins until Week 9. Over his final nine games, however, Gesicki averaged 11.1 PPR points per games, which would have put him at No. 11 for the season.

Cook might be the forgotten man in all of this, and only Adam has him ranked in the top 10 as of now (he's No. 11 for me). He averaged 11.5 PPR points per game for the Saints, and he was at 12.1 PPR points per game last year with the Raiders. If Drew Brees returns to the Saints as expected, Cook could be a steal with a mid-round pick this year.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

Fantasy Football Today Podcast

Our Latest Stories