Fantasy Football

Ranking the top 15 TEs in fantasy football for 2023

Travis Kelce is once again No. 1, but there are plenty of good options after him.

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The importance of tight ends ends in NFL passing attacks has grown in importance for several years now.

These players still need to block, but those who can be reliable pass catchers and create matchup nightmares in the middle of the field and the red zone will be most effective.

Once again, Travis Kelce is the best at the position entering the 2023 fantasy football season. The Kansas City Chiefs star is making a strong case to be the best tight end in league history, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down at age 33. But for fantasy managers who don't get Kelce in their drafts, there are plenty of other good options to choose from.

Let's take a look at the 15 best fantasy tight ends entering the 2023 season, assuming a half-point PPR scoring format.

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye week: 10)

Kelce is entering his 10th season and he's still at the top of his game. He tallied career highs with 110 receptions, 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. His 152 targets ranked No. 1 among tight ends and No. 6 among all players. Kelce is one of the safest players in all of fantasy football based on his production and the fact that Patrick Mahomes -- the best quarterback in the world -- is throwing him the ball.

Projected draft round: First

2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (Bye week: 13)

Andrews ranked third among tight ends with 847 yards and 113 targets last season. He also tallied 73 receptions and five touchdowns. Now that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is healthy again, Andrews could return to the form he showed in 2021 when he posted 107 receptions for 1,361 yards and nine scores.

Projected draft round: Third

3. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings (Bye week: 13)

Hockenson ranked No. 2 among tight ends with 86 receptions and 914 yards, along with six touchdowns in 2022. He also benefits from being in a very talented Vikings offense that features the league's best wide receiver in Justin Jefferson. Hockenson doesn't get a ton of touchdowns, but his production is pretty consistent and he gets the ball thrown his way quite often (129 targets last season).

Projected draft round: Fourth

4. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (Bye week: 9)

Kittle's receptions (71 to 60) and receiving yards (910 to 765) decreased last season compared to 2021, but he did set a career high with 11 touchdowns. His 20 receptions of 20-plus yards were the second-most among tight ends. It wouldn't be surprising at all if Kittle reaches the 70-reception mark and 1,000-yard level in a full season with Brock Purdy as the 49ers quarterback.

Projected draft round: Fifth

5. Darren Waller, New York Giants (Bye week: 13)

Waller is very productive when healthy, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field in recent years. He missed eight gams in 2022 and six games in 2021. His last healthy season was 2020 when he tallied career highs of 107 receptions for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns. Waller is now on a new team and could become Giants quarterback Daniel Jones' most trusted target. Waller is a high risk/high reward fantasy tight end because of his durability concerns.

Projected draft round: Fifth

6. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye week: 10)

Goedert is a productive tight end when healthy. He posted 55 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. The issue with drafting him is durability. He missed five games last season and has missed a total of 12 games over the last three years. But Goedert is still worth drafting because he is very talented and plays in a loaded offense highlighted by star quarterback Jalen Hurts and the elite wide receiver duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

Projected draft round: Fifth

7. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (Bye week: 11)

Pitts had a disappointing sophomore season and tallied just 28 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns. But in fairness, he was hampered by injury and missed seven games. If healthy, Pitts should have a bounce-back year. However, the Falcons offense might be a little more run-heavy this season after they drafted Texas star Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Desmond Ridder has the potential to be a good starting quarterback, but he has only four games of NFL experience, so it's unknown whether he'll be able to get the ball to Pitts consistently. Pitts is a boom or bust play among fantasy tight ends.

Projected draft round: Sixth

8. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye week: 6)

Freiermuth increased his receptions to 63 and receiving yards to 732 last season, but his touchdowns decreased from seven as a rookie to just two in 2022. The former Penn State star has a pretty high floor, but his ability to be a top-five fantasy tight end will be largely dependent on how often he finds the end zone.

Projected draft round: Seventh

9. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye week: 9)

Engram enjoyed a good first season with the Jaguars and tallied career highs of 73 receptions and 766 yards, in addition to four touchdowns. He turned that production into a three-year, $41.25 million contract extension earlier this week. The Jaguars have a tight end friendly offense, a very good quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and an offensive guru in Doug Pederson as the head coach. It's a good situation for Engram, and he should continue to thrive in it as a result.

Projected draft round:

10. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (Bye week: 5)

Njoku is entering his seventh season as Browns tight end. He posted a career high 58 receptions last season, along with 628 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. Assuming he stays healthy, his production should increase with Deshaun Watson entering his first full season in Cleveland. Nkoju and Amari Cooper are the top targets for Watson.

Projected draft round: Eight

11. Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans (Bye week: 7)

Okonkwo surprised as a rookie with 32 receptions for 450 yards and three touchdowns in 17 games. The 2022 fourth-round pick is poised for an even better sophomore season, and with the arrival of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in Tennessee, the speedy Okonkwo might get some favorable matchups in the middle of the field. His 14 receptions of 20-plus yards ranked fourth among tight ends last season.

Projected draft round: Ninth

12. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos (Bye week: 9)

Dulcich put up decent stats for someone who played only 10 games because of hamstring injuries. He tallied 33 receptions for 411 yards and two touchdowns. Dulcich actually led all tight ends in average yards per target from Week 7 through Week 18. If new head coach Sean Payton is able to fix Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, Dulcich should be among the players to benefit the most.

Projected draft round: Ninth

13. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (Bye week: 13)

Kmet has put up back-to-back seasons of 50-plus receptions and at least 500 receiving yards. He also tallied seven touchdown passes last season, which was five more than he totaled in the previous two years combined. If Bears quarterback Justin Fields takes another step (or two) forward in his development, Kmet should be among the main beneficiaries.

Projected draft round: 10th

14. Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans (Bye week: 7)

Schultz has posted 57-plus catches with at least 577 receiving yards and four touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. It shouldn't take him long to become a trusted target of Texans rookie quarterback CJ Stroud. His ceiling isn't super high, but he's a pretty reliable option for fantasy managers who wait until the later rounds before scooping up a tight end.

Projected draft round: 10th

15. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (Bye week: 10)

Higbee set career highs with 72 receptions and 620 yards, along with three touchdowns, in 17 games last season. And he put up those stats despite Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford missing eight games. Higbee doesn't post huge yardage or touchdown numbers, but he does catch a lot of passes. He has averaged 60.5 receptions over the past four seasons. A healthy Stafford should result in Higbee maintaining his status as a reliable fantasy tight end in 2023.

Projected draft round: 11th

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