If you own Travis Kelce (vs. Chargers) or Darren Waller (vs. Dolphins), you probably do not even read Week 3 fantasy TE rankings, so we’re here to break down the guys who fall in line after him. In the close end, we will always consider a defense’s fantasy points allowed against the position and red zone touchdowns allowed, but since it’s only week 3, we can only do so much of it. We will still consider it as some, but we have to look at matchups and quarterback games to decide who to start and who to sit, especially in a year with virtually no breakouts or sleepers (yet) .
Any of the defenses that played against TJ Hockenson or a name listed above him on the rankings have given up plenty of fantasy points to tight ends. That does not mean we can project Cole Kmet to be a TE1 against Cleveland, simply because Travis Kelce previously had a field day against the Browns, but we can look at similarly ranked tight ends and how they fared in this early part of regular season. As always, standard leagues require tight ends that do a lot with their receptions and are often goals in the end zone.
WEEK 3 PPR RANKINGS: Quarterback | Ran back | Wide receiver | Close end | D / ST | Kicker
Noah Fant (vs. Jets) and Jared Cook (@ Chiefs) are in the TE1 series this week, but for different reasons. Fant is still one of Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite goals, and we’re always looking to play guys vs. guys. Jets. Cook should be in line for many goals as Chiefs force teams to pass to keep up and tend to focus on taking away wide receivers. Tyrant Mathieu is there for Kansas City, but we can expect him to be responsible for keeping people like Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in check more than Cook.
WEEK 3 STANDARD RATINGS: Quarterback | Ran back | Wide receiver | D / ST | Kicker
At a close end, a high-pass volume game is sometimes all we can ask for. Gerald Everett (vs. Vikings) and Evan Engram (if he plays against Atlanta) also have an appeal, but they are probably still sitting on the bench unless you are in deep leagues. It’s worth mentioning that even though George Kittle (vs. Packers) has only made eight catches in 95 yards through the first two weeks, it’s not time to stop with him yet. That said, you’re still starting him, but he may not be the elite tight end we’ve seen earlier this season. Stick around.
Among tight ends moving down this week, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry prove to be ineffective so far in the early weeks of the regular season. It seems that neither of them will completely differentiate from each other, so even though the attack is better with them in that they cover each other’s ceilings. If you were to start one, Smith is probably taking a small advantage, but no matter what the lack of talent at this position, they are still at least in the conversation about starting places. Mike Gesicki (@Raiders) is in a similar boat despite having done almost nothing.
Again, with no obvious breakouts and not enough critical information to make huge matchup-based shakes, our rankings are pretty boring. When we get another week or two of data, it will be much easier to project streamers as we move past bonafide studs, but potential sleepers like Juwan Johnson (@Patriots), Jack Doyle (@Titans), Maxx Williams (@Jaguars ) are hard to trust for a variety of reasons, no matter how bad your draft starter (or backup) has been.
We update these TE rankings as needed during the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.
Fantasy TE Rankings Week 3: Who should start at the close end
Rankings based on standard, non-PPR score
Requirements vs. Travis Kelce LAC
Darren Waller, LV vs. MIA
TJ Hockenson, IT vs. PROM
Rob Gronkowski, TB @ LAR. Gronk is back. Enough said.
George Kittle, SF vs. GB. Kittle at No. 5 feels wrong, but it’s not. He is currently TE12 in PPR leagues (8.8 FPPG) and in standard (5.2 FPPG). Until he has a vintage Kittle show, he can’t move over Hockenson or Waller.
Mark Andrews, BAL @ DET. Andrews has been downright busty for two weeks, but a matchup with Detroit could mean great performance. It’s hard to move him lower than No. 6 in such a tight position, but we may have to if he breaks in week 3.
Kyle Pitts, ATL @ NYG. Pitts caught five of six goals on 73 yards in Week 2, a respectable performance out of a tight end. However, it looks like he will not join the elite group at the top as we wanted in the preseason. The Giants’ defense is hot and cold, so we’ll see what happens here.
Noah Fant, DEN vs. NYJ. Found is de facto No. 2 WR behind Courland Sutton in Jerry Jeudy’s absence due to an ankle injury. He scored six goals in Week 2, where he got four passes in 33 yards and a touchdown. Again, it seems like an average stat line, but it’s a top 10 game in the close position. He’s facing the Jets’ defense in Week 3, so we love as many Broncos as you can get in your lineups.
Logan Thomas, VAR @ BUF. In his first full game with Taylor Heinicke, Thomas scored seven goals for five catches and 45 yards. This was a promising start, but Buffalo’s defense is no easy battle. He’s a better option in PPR leagues, but he has the potential for touchdowns – even better for standard leagues,
Dallas Goedert, PHI @ DAL. The entire Eagles’ offense took a step back in Week 2, but they were to return in a game @ Dallas in prime time. Create expectations for him this week as he should be No. 2 for Jalen Hurts behind DeVonta Smith. Zach Ertz still has some appeal in PPR leagues, though our hopes are running low with him.
Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. TB. Higbee was also a bust in Week 2, catching just one pass in eight yards on a goal. Although he’s got a lot of hype on his way into this season, that kind of game is inevitable. This applies to any tight end after the elite of the elite. In a matchup with Devin White and Lavonte David, he still ranks as a TE1. It’s just hard to justify moving him to someone he’s currently placed in front of.
Jared Cook, LAC @ KC. Cook had only three catches on five goals, but he got two touchdowns called back due to penalties. Justin Herbert often looks, so he is attractive for that reason if nothing else. Chargers should be pass-heavy in this game, so he is a solid option across any format.
Robert Tonyan Jr., GB @ SF.
Mike Gesicki, MIA @ LV. Gesicki caught three passes for 41 yards, so even though he was not the total bust he was in Week 1, he is still not the sexiest game at a close end. The good news is that Jacoby Brissett seems more willing to target him, so if he starts, Gesicki should see more work. Last year, he did most of his injury when Ryan Fitzpatrick was at the helm, so maybe it’s just Tua holding him back.
Jonnu Smith, NE @ NO. We still have no clear winner of this position battle and we can never ever see the conclusion. This is a low passing volume attack, so neither Smith nor Hunter Henry can be expected to come up big every week. One of them will flash at some point, but there is almost no way of saying when it will be, especially so early in the year.
Hunter Henry, NE @ NO. See Jonnu Smith.
Gerald Everett, SEA @ MIN. Everett was one of our sleepers picks last week, but he only had a catch of three yards in what looked like a good matchup against Tennessee. He now has just three catches on the season on four goals, so it’s time to lower expectations. At this point in the rankings, we are just hoping for touchdowns. With Russell Wilson as quarterback, the potential is obviously there.
Evan Engram, NYG vs. THAT YOU. Engram is yet to play in a game this season, but he should be considered in a game against the awful Falcons defense, which has surrendered three touchdowns to tight ends so far. Plus Daniel Jones is not playing so badly.
Jack Doyle, IND @ TEN. We’ll see if Carson Wentz plays, but we know Tennessee’s defense is bad. Mo Alie-Cox had some momentum heading into this season, but Doyle seems to have kept his grip as the primary tight end in the Colts’ passing attack.