Fantasy Football Rankings 2024: Tight end tiers

2RWP4KD Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) breaks the tackle of Seattle Seahawks safety Julian Love (20) during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

• A passing of the torch, perhaps: Has Sam LaPorta completely taken the TE1 crown from Travis Kelce or is it still up for debate in 2024?

• A strong group of capable options emerge in the second and third tiers: With more talent at the position and younger players with upside, the tight end position offers more fantasy-worthy starters this season.

• Get a head start on fantasy football: Use PFF's fantasy football mock draft simulator to create real live mock draft simulations to get ready for your live draft!

Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

Breaking fantasy football rankings down into tiers helps fantasy managers better understand what separates each group and how to value each player at the position for this coming season.

Tier 1: Head-to-head for the TE1 crown

Rank Player Team
1 Sam LaPorta DET
2 Travis Kelce KC

After several consecutive seasons of there being one clear fantasy TE1, a new contender emerged in 2023 with rookie Sam LaPorta dethroning Travis Kelce, potentially signaling a passing of the torch to the young Detroit Lions tight end. However, while Kelce’s 2023 season was a decline in production from years past, it’s still among the best at his position that he can still be considered for TE1 draft capital in 2024.

While Kelce is likely into the final stretch of his NFL career, he’s remained among the most dominant tight ends in the league, leading the position in PPR points per game (14.8) and PPR points per snap (0.29). Kelce missed one game in 2023, which cost him the TE1 crown to a worthy contender in LaPorta. While Kelce isn’t in first-round conversation anymore for fantasy drafts, he’s still among the best bets at the position to see high-volume targets and touchdown production in 2024.

LaPorta had a historic rookie season in 2023, posting 889 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns as the overall PPR TE1 for the year. His 118 targets and 7.6 targets per game were top-five marks for the position as well. LaPorta’s 23 red zone targets were also a top-five mark and resulted in nine of his 10 total touchdowns in the regular season. Expect LaPorta’s high-end usage in the Lions offense to continue into 2024 while gaining another year of NFL experience, making him a strong candidate for a repeat TE1 season.

Tier 2: Showcasing the newfound strength of the position

Rank Player Team
3 Mark Andrews BLT
4 Evan Engram JAX
5 Trey McBride ARZ
6 Dalton Kincaid BUF
7 Kyle Pitts ATL
8 George Kittle SF
9 David Njoku CLV

Thanks to strong showings across the board at the position in 2023, this second tier is about as deep as it’s ever been, and there are several candidates who aren’t included in Tier 2 that could push for a spot here next season. 

Mark Andrews leads the Tier 2 pack as his combination of talent and usage in the Ravens offense allowed him to be the only other tight end to surpass Travis Kelce as TE1 over the past six seasons prior to last. Andrews missed time due to injury in 2023, appearing in just 10 games, but still ranked top-five at the position in receiving grade (80.7), touchdowns (six), and yards per route run (1.96). Andrews was the Ravens' top receiving target in games that he played last regular season, averaging a higher target rate than Zay Flowers in that span (21.6% versus 18.6%) and dominating the receiving touchdowns as well, six to one. 

Evan Engram was the most targeted tight end in the NFL last season (140), allowing him to finish as the PPR TE4 overall on the year. Jacksonville’s reliance on Engram in the passing game also resulted in top-five finishes in points per game (13.2) and points per snap (0.25), despite seeing a lower volume of redzone usage at just 0.9 red zone targets per game (tied for 14th). Calvin Ridley saw the fourth-most red zone targets in the league last year (40), and as he heads to Tennessee, there’s a lot more scoring potential left on the table for Engram to absorb after scoring just four touchdowns last season.

As long as we’re discussing larger roles to inherit, Dalton Kincaid might be one of the best bets to do so after the departure of Stefon Diggs from Buffalo. Diggs vacates 159 targets from last season — the fifth-most in the league — from one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Kincaid, of course, won’t inherit all of those targets, but he’s among the best bets to see a strong uptick in usage this coming season, even after ranking top-10 last season in targets (90) and receiving yards (673).

Much has been made about Kyle Pitts potential to get back to delivering as the high-end fantasy tight end that we all expected him to be when he was drafted fourth overall in 2021. Pitts is one of the most talented receiving tight ends in the league, and now gets a significant quarterback upgrade combined with what should be more consistent usage in the offense as Raheem Morris takes over as head coach.

Tier 3: Top-10 contenders

Rank Player Team
10 Jake Ferguson DAL
11 Dallas Goedert DAL
12 Brock Bowers LV
13 T.J. Hockenson MIN

Jake Ferguson has a strong shot at repeating as the second-best receiving option in Dallas’ offense this season after a strong first year as a full-time starter in 2023. Ferguson ranked top 10 at the position in targets (96), yards (761), touchdowns (five) and receiving grade (73.4) last season, and with the Cowboys not adding significant target competition this offseason, he should be heavily involved once again.

Rookie first-round pick Brock Bowers is a difficult projection for 2024 as the Raiders offense is unlikely to be an above-average unit while he’ll also likely split time with 2023 second-round pick Michael Mayer. That being said, he’s arguably the best tight end prospect of the PFF era, which points to significant upside to bank on for the position, especially at this point in drafts. If Bowers hits the ground running and can be a focal point of the offense like his college profile suggests, he’ll be drafted much higher than this spot in 2025.

T.J. Hockenson is one of the biggest question marks at the position at this point in the offseason after tearing his ACL late last season. It’s looking unlikely that Hockenson will be ready for the start of the year, though not impossible, while there’s also the concern that it will take him time to get back up to speed once he is on the field. This would typically be an easy avoid at the position for most players, but Hockenson offers legitimate top-five upside when healthy so fantasy managers may want to take the swing here once the rest of this tier comes off the board. 

Tier 4: Fantasy starting lineup hopefuls

Rank Player Team
14 Pat Freiermuth PIT
15 Luke Musgrave GB
16 Dalton Schultz HST
17 Cole Kmet CHI
18 Zach Ertz WAS
19 Taysom Hill NO

Pat Freiermuth is a personal favorite for a bounce-back season in 2024 after a really disappointing 2023 where he just wasn’t involved in the offense at all. His fit in Arthur Smith’s offense will be the key as Smith’s offenses since 2021 ranked top-three in tight end target rate, and specifically when it came to tight ends lined up from an in-line alignment, they were top-three once again, which is what makes Freirmuth’s fit in the offense different than Kyle Pitts. Freiermuth spent 67.9% of his offensive snaps from an in-line alignment since 2021 while Pitts spent just 29.5% of his, which should help Freiermuth stay on the field for more consistent and reliable production.

Luke Musgrave is another favorite in this tier after unfortunately missing a lot of time in his rookie year with injuries. There’s enticing potential for a strong receiving tight end to emerge in what should be one of the better offenses this season. Musgrave was an intriguing receiving tight end prospect coming out of Oregon State but also dealt with injuries. He flashed some of that receiving potential last season as the top target-earning tight end on the team (16.4%) over Tucker Kraft (13.2%), and he was better in yards per route run (1.28) than Kraft (1.20) as well. Kraft is dealing with a pectoral injury that he suffered in camp which could cost him time, and being tied to a good young rookie quarterback like Jordan Love, Musgrave could have true breakout potential if he’s healthy this season.

Tier 5: NFL starters to serve as fantasy depth

Rank Player Team
20 Tyler Conklin NYJ
21 Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN
22 Juwan Johnson NO
23 Hunter Henry NE
24 Cade Otton TB
25 Mike Gesicki CIN

There’s potential among this tier for the odd top-12 finish on any given week if they can find the endzone but those will likely be few and far between on the year as a whole, keeping them from being too interesting for fantasy. Starting snaps helps their case for a fine production floor that will at least give fantasy managers something should they need to start them, but the upside is questionable at best among this group.

Tier 6: Deep sleepers

Rank Player Team
26 Ja’Tavion Sanders CAR
27 Ben Sinnott WAS
28 Isaiah Likely BLT
29 Hayden Hurst LAC
30 Jelani Woods IND
31 Tyler Higbee LAR
32 Theo Johnson NYG
33 Daniel Bellinger NYG
34 Michael Mayer LV
35 Jonnu Smith ATL
36 Colby Parkinson SEA
37 Noah Fant SEA
38 Dawson Knox BUF
39 Greg Dulcich DEN
40 Gerald Everett CHI

The deeper sleepers at tight end are low-risk, and likely low-reward plays but not an impossible group to find some fantasy relevance from. There is always the possibility that capable rookie receiving tight ends like Ja’Tavion Sanders or Ben Sinnott earn consistent roles in their respective offenses, allowing them to get steady work in the passing game. They have the talent to emerge, but it’s always going to be more difficult for rookie tight ends, especially on lower-caliber offenses. 

Isaiah Likely stands out as one of the only real handcuff options at the position, should something happen to Mark Andrews causing him to miss time, Likely has proven to be a capable starter in his stead over the past two years. In eight games that Andrews has been inactive and Likely filled in for him, he averaged 5.5 targets per game, 56.6 receiving yards per game, and 1.74 yards per route run to go along with six receiving touchdowns. For reference, these are better efficiency numbers than what last season’s PPR TE10 Dalton Schultz produced over a 14-game span. 


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