The 2021-22 NFL season is about to begin which means that fantasy football is back! Usually in the first week of the season fantasy football players tend to play the players they originally drafted to be their starters. However, since every week is important it would be irresponsible to start a player with a rough matchup over a player with a more favorable one because he was drafted to be a starter. Here are fantasy football week 1 tight end rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out the section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)
Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. They Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting TE1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup, this player has a solid floor.
TD Dependent Starter- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not because of depth at the position. Their production is based on whether they can get in the end zone or not. It can be the difference between a top 10 performance or top 25 performance
Deep League Starter- a player whose ceiling isn’t high but should put up enough production to be started in deep leagues. When a player like this is started it is because their production though it will likely be low, will be better than a few options.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
|Must Start||Travis Kelce||vs Cleveland Browns||TE1|
|Must Start||George Kittle||vs Detriot Lions||TE2|
|Must Start||Mark Andrews||vs Las Vegas Raiders||TE3|
|Must Start||Darren Waller||vs Baltimore Ravens||TE4|
|Starting TE1||Kyle Pitts||vs Philadelphia Eagles||TE5|
|Starting TE1||T.J. Hockenson||vs San Fransisco 49ers||TE6|
|Starting TE1||Logan Thomas||vs Los Angeles Chargers||TE7|
|TD Dependent Starter||Robert Tonyan||vs New Orleans Saints||TE8|
|TD Dependent Starter||Dallas Goedert||vs Atlanta Falcons||TE9|
|TD Dependent Starter||Noah Fant*||vs New York Giants||TE10|
|TD Dependent Starter||Mike Gesicki||vs New England Patriots||TE11|
|TD Dependent Starter||Jonnu Smith||vs Miami Dolphins||TE12|
|TD Dependent Starter||Tyler Higbee||vs Chicago Bears||TE13|
|TD Dependent Starter||Hunter Henry*||vs Miami Dolphins||TE14|
|TD Dependent Starter||Rob Gronkowski||vs Dallas Cowboys||TE15|
|Deep League Starter||Anthony Firkser||vs Arizona Cardinals||TE16|
|Deep League Starter||Austin Hooper||vs Kansas City Chiefs||TE17|
|Deep League Starter||Jared Cook||vs Washington Football Team||TE18|
|Deep League Starter||Jack Doyle||vs Seattle Seahawks||TE19|
|Deep League Starter||Zach Ertz||vs Atlanta Falcons||TE20|
|Deep League Starter||Adam Trautman*||vs Green Bay Packers||TE21|
|Deep League Starter||Evan Engram*||vs Denver Broncos||TE22|
|Deep League Starter||Cole Kmet||vs Los Angeles Rams||TE23|
|Leave on the Bench||Hayden Hurst||vs Philadelphia Eagles||TE24|
|Leave on the Bench||Eric Ebron||vs Buffalo Bills||TE25|
|Leave on the Bench||Gerald Everett||vs Indianapolis Colts||TE26|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Rudolph||vs Denver Broncos||TE27|
|Leave on the Bench||Mo AIe-Cox||vs Seattle Seahawks||TE28|
|Leave on the Bench||Dan Arnold||vs New York Jets||TE29|
|Leave on the Bench||Christopher Herndon||vs Cincinnati Bengals||TE30|
|Leave on the Bench||Jimmy Graham||vs Los Angeles Rams||TE31|
|Leave on the Bench||Jordan Akins||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||TE32|
|Leave on the Bench||Pat Freiermuth||vs Buffalo Bills||TE33|
|Leave on the Bench||Will Dissly||vs Indianapolis Colts||TE34|
|Leave on the Bench||Blake Jarwin||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TE35|
|Leave on the Bench||C.J. Uzomah||vs Minnesota Vikings||TE36|
|Leave on the Bench||Dawson Knox||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||TE37|
|Leave on the Bench||Tyler Kroft||vs Carolina Panthers||TE38|
|Leave on the Bench||O.J. Howard||vs Dallas Cowboys||TE39|
|Leave on the Bench||Albert Okwuegbunam||vs New York Giants||TE40|
|Leave on the Bench||Dalton Schultz||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TE41|
|Leave on the Bench||Foster Moreau||vs Baltimore Ravens||TE42|
|Leave on the Bench||Donald Parham Jr.||vs Washington Football Team||TE43|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
TE10 Noah Fant & TE40 Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos
Both Broncos tight ends Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam were limited in practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. Fant is expected to be ready for the Broncos’ Week 1 matchup against the Giants. However, if he was to miss that game Okwuegbunam would be the TE16 on the week between Anthony Firkser and Austin Hooper. If Okwuegbunam misses this week’s game, there is no major fantasy impact for the rest of the Broncos’ tight ends.
TE14 Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots signed two tight ends two major contracts this offseason in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. It is unclear to this point which of the two will be the 1A of the team’s tight end group and receiving core as a whole. Smith may have a head start on Henry because he missed the whole preseason due to a shoulder injury. This also puts some doubt into whether Henry will be ready for Week 1 or not. At this point, Henry appears to be on track to play in the team’s opener against the Miami Dolphins. However, if Henry were to miss this week Smith would jump up to TE10 on the week between Dallas Goedert and Noah Fant.
TE21 Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints
A popular sleeper to emerge out of the New Orleans Saints offense this upcoming season is 2020 third-round pick Adam Trautman. Now that Jared Cook is a member of the Los Angeles Chargers, Trautman appears to be the next in line to be the Saints starting tight end. Also seeing that the Saints receiving core is depleted of high-end talent he could very well emerge as the team’s second or third most targetted player in this offense. During the preseason Trautman avoided a major ankle injury that could have had him missing up to three weeks. Instead, he appears to be on track to play Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. If the Saints were to rest Trautman Juwan Johnson would start for New Orleans. There has been a lot of chatter about Johnson’s performance in camp. If given the opportunity he could steal the starting tight end job. So if Trautman were to miss this week Johnson would slot in at TE29 between Dan Arnold and Christopher Herndon.
TE22 Evan Engram, New York Giants
The New York Giants loaded up on weapons this offseason bringing in Kenny Golladay, Karadius Toney, and Kyle Rudolph to their offense. Rudolph signed a two-year $12 million deal with the Giants. This created the belief that he could be the 1B tight end instead of the TE2 in New York. It appears that the Giants are ready to move off of Engram and next season Rudolph make take his spot at the team’s number one tight end. But for right now the two will be sharing the field together. Engram did not practice both Wednesday or Thursday because of a calf issue. This likely means that he could miss the season opener against the Denver Broncos. If that is the case Rudolph becomes the TE21 between Zach Ertz and Adam Trautman.