Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Fantasy Football: Tight ends playing wide receiver and Week 4 rankings

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) reacts during the game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tight ends who line up as wideouts: Eleven “tight ends” have lined up in the slot or out wide on more than 50% of their snaps this season.

Pseudo wide receivers include: Darren Waller, Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews and more.

Top fantasy football tight ends for Week 4: Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce and George Kittle lead the way.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In 2014, Jimmy Graham filed a grievance arguing that he should in fact be designated as a wide receiver under the franchise tag as opposed to a tight end. Graham's reasoning was simple: He spent more of his time in the slot or out wide as opposed to inline at the end of the line of scrimmage with his hand in the ground like a traditional tight end.

Technically, Graham was correct. In 2013, he lined up in the slot or out wide on 67% of his snaps and ran an even higher 78% of his routes from this alignment. Unfortunately, arbitrator Stephen Burbank concluded that Graham was aligned close enough to the line of scrimmage (four yards) for a majority of plays to be disqualified from this designation. This distance prevented Graham from serving “one or more of the three roles that a tight end may perform on a given play: run-blocking, pass-protecting, and route-running.” Additionally, Burbank noted that Graham called himself a tight end on social media, while head coach Sean Payton didn’t help his All-Pro “tight end’s” cause by noting that he’s covered like a tight end — not a wide receiver — regardless of where he lines up.

Click here to sign up and try PFF+ for free!

Fast forward to 2022, and there still isn’t really a clear definition for what constitutes tight end eligibility other than each team’s respective preference. Overall, there have been 11 “tight ends” who have lined up in the slot or out wide on more than 50% of their snaps this season:


Unlimited Fantasy League Sync
Fantasy Start/Sit Line-Up Optimizer & Waiver Wire
WR-CB & OL-DL Matchups, PFF Player Grades, & Premium Stats 2.0 Tools
Nathan Jahnkes Rankings - #1 Most Accurate Last 70 Weeks
PFF Best Bets, Player Props, & Power Ranking Tools
NFL Mock Draft Sim with Trades & Draft Grades

Already have a subscription? Log In


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit