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McFarland: 2021 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings & Tiers

Flowery Branch, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (8) catches a pass during mandatory minicamp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking players by position is an integral part of fantasy football preparation. But grouping them into tiers is crucial to identifying the value you might be leaving in the draft room. For example, if you’re on the clock and looking at several quarterbacks in the same tier, it could make sense to wait for a round — someone equally as worthy will probably be available with your next pick.


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Tiers can also help group players with similar expectations based on upside and floor. Most importantly, we don't want to pay more than the next drafter for a similar player.

ADP = PPR (Fantasy Pros based on ESPN, Fantrax, MFL and RTSports)

Last Updated: Aug. 25, 2021

Tier 1

Rank Player Team ADP 2020 Top 12 Weeks 2020 Top 3 Weeks
1 Travis Kelce Chiefs 8 14 9
2 Darren Waller Raiders 24 11 6
3 George Kittle 49ers 26 3 2

Given Travis Kelce‘s consistent track record, he probably belongs in a tier alone. However, Darren Waller and George Kittle are the two players who theoretically offer a similar range of outcomes as talented mismatches serving as target hogs in their respective offenses. The Tier 1 trio consists of the only tight ends to top two yards per route run in 2020 (minimum 200 snaps). Think of them more as alpha-receivers than tight ends.

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