Tight ends rarely make headlines in the offseason. The moves that affect fantasy TE rankings are generally under-the-radar compared to other free agency news. For instance, Philip Rivers signing with the Colts is always going to be much bigger news that Hayden Hurst getting traded to the Falcons, but when it comes to fantasy football, the latter move is just as important. After all, with Hurst becoming an instant sleeper, there’s a good chance he’ll actually be starting for fantasy teams in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season while Rivers will be on fantasy benches.
Hurst was the biggest riser from our first set of offseason TE rankings, as he essentially replaced Austin Hooper, who dropped a few spots after signing with Cleveland. Hooper has proven to be a capable TE, but his QB, offense, and competition for targets all just got downgraded. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith (good bye, Delanie Walker), Indy’s Jack Doyle (good bye, Eric Ebron), and Pittsburgh’s Eric Ebron (hello, Ben Roethlisberger). All are in much better positions than they were for most of last season, and all should see big bumps in targets. You can also add Carolina’s Ian Thomas to that list after Greg Olsen left for Seattle.
2020 FANTASY RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | D/ST | Kicker
Just as important is all the quarterback movement. Doyle gets a QB in Philip Rivers who has always loved throwing to TEs while with the Chargers; O.J. Howard is in a similar spot with Tom Brady now in Tampa, but Bruce Arians’s offense has never utilized the tight end much, so it’s unclear how much that really matters. Thomas also gets a new, more efficient QB in Carolina with Teddy Bridgewater.
Perhaps the biggest “loser” of the offseason so far is Jared Cook in New Orleans. The addition of another highly capable possession receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, figures to eat into his target total. Given all the positive changes for the players mentioned above and Cook’s already inconsistent nature, we moved him down several spots. On the flip side of that, Kyle Rudolph moves up after the loss of Stefon Diggs, but sophomore Irv Smith Jr. could eat into his target total, so it’s tough to get too excited about Rudolph.
There are several other potential sleepers who could gain momentum this offseason (Blake Jarwin, C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Eifert), but with TE looking as loaded as it’s been in years, those players can’t crack the top 25 — for now. There will be plenty of changes as we get closer to training camp, so check back for the latest updates.
2020 Fantasy Football TE Rankings
Rankings based on non-PPR scoring formats
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