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2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends for Week 13

Heath ranks the safety blankets.

Chicago Bears v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

If you’re late to the party, be sure to check out all our fantasy football content for Week 13. I’m trying something different today. What follows is more of a “newsy” and tiered-based approach to ranking tight ends. We’ll see how it goes...

1 Travis Kelce vs DEN

2 George Kittle @ SEA

3 Mark Andrews @ PIT

Kelce has the toughest matchup on paper, but we don’t concern ourselves with matchups when it comes to Travis Kelce.

4 Rob Gronkowski @ ATL

5 Pat Freiermuth vs BAL

Gronk was eased in two games ago and still totaled a 6-71 line on eight targets. Last week he did not score, but he exploded for 123 yards on nine targets (7 receptions). Freiermuth is out of concussion protocol and draws an elite matchup for tight ends—Baltimore ranks bottom 5 or worse in targets, receptions, yardage, and touchdowns allowed to enemy tight ends.

6 TJ Hockenson vs MIN

7 Dawson Knox vs NE

I could see siding with Knox in standard formats, but as our default here is half PPR, Hockenson gets the slight edge for me.

8 Zach Ertz @ CHI

It’s not a great matchup and I’m off the beaten path here compared to the industry consensus, which has him as a high-end streamer (TE14 at FantasyPros). But Ertz has been solid even with Colt McCoy under center. He had a huge game last time out (8-88-2) and should be fresh coming out of a bye.

9 Kyle Pitts vs TB

Pitts has only one touchdown all year (back in Week 5) and he’s averaging 2.8 receptions per game since Week 8. So yeah...go crazy. His spike weeks of nine and seven targets in the middle of the season look like the anomaly, not the rule.

10 Dallas Goedert @ NYJ

The Jets are bottom third or worse in receptions, yards, and touchdowns allowed to enemy tight ends...but Goedert has been an abject disaster since Zach Ertz left for Arizona. He hit a new low last week, catching only one ball for zero yards. If he doesn’t rebound in a big way this week—even with Gardner Minshew under center—I think you’ll need to look elsewhere for your fantasy football playoff matchups.

11 Logan Thomas @ LV

12 Foster Moreau vs WAS

These two represent some of the last hope for actual receptions and yardage one can slightly bank on at this crummy position. Thomas is another week removed from injury (so hopefully healthier) and Moreau takes over for an injured Darren Waller. This looks like a potentially sneaky game for fantasy production, so I think you have to find a way to get these guys into your lineups.

13 Tyler Higbee vs JAC

14 Hunter Henry @ BUF

15 Noah Fant @ KC

I call this grouping “touchdown hunting.” Don’t ignore Higbee, as he leads all tight ends with 16 red zone targets and the Rams are implied for over 30 points today. Meanwhile, the Patriots (19.00) and Broncos (18.75) lag well behind. Of course, those guys could make it up with target volume, but none of these three are seeing many targets. So, Higbee it is.

16 Gerald Everett vs SF

17 Cole Kmet vs ARI

In these two, we have a pair of guys whose teams have made a move to get them the ball recently, so they are coming in hot. Everett has target counts of 8, 4, and 9 over the last three weeks—and has finished as the TE8, TE21, and TE6 over that stretch. Volume pays the bills, folks.

As for Kmet, his outlook is a bit less exciting given that the Bears still want to involve Jimmy Graham. Both of these matchups are also tough on paper, with both the Niners and the Cardinals ranking top 5 in the league at limiting tight end targets, receptions, and yardage. The Niners have allowed four scores to enemy tight ends, and I like Everett’s target quality a bit better than Kmet’s (I’m not giving up on Russell Wilson just yet).

18 Jack Doyle @ HOU

He’d be 16th for me if he wasn’t coming in banged up (knee). He’s seen target counts of 5, 5, and 7 over the last three weeks and “erupted” for 6-81-1 against the Bucs in his last time out.

19 CJ Uzomah vs LAC

The Chargers have allowed 10 scores to enemy tight ends, tied with the Eagles for most in the NFL. They also tend to funnel targets inside, so are bottom third in the league in receptions and yardage allowed.

20 Mike Gesicki vs NYG

I’m not certain why Gesicki is automatically slotted in as the TE11 on FantasyPros despite the emergence of Durham Smythe and the return of DeVante Parker. The Dolphins run a lot of two-TE sets, sure—but Gesicki has put up two absolute duds in his last three games. I just don’t see the upside’re hoping for one or two big plays.

21 Ryan Griffin vs PHI

The Eagles are an elite tight end matchup, allowing the most targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns to the position. Griffin is a legitimate TE2 streamer this week.

22 Jared Cook @ CIN

23 Tyler Conklin @ DET

You’re hoping for a few grabs in PPR leagues, is all.

24 Jonnu Smith @ BUF

I’m looking for anyone to play over the next guy, and Jonnu had his best game of the year last week (3-49 receiving, and one rush for nine yards). It’s not much, but it’s beating what Engram typically gives you...

25 Evan Engram @ MIA

Do we really expect Mike Glennon to elevate him? I suppose it’s possible.

After these guys you can look to Durham Smythe (vs NYG), Cameron Brate (@ ATL), Donald Parham Jr. (@ CIN), or Brevin Jordan (vs IND). There’s also James O’Shaughnessy, but you’re really playing with fire there, gamers.

Let me know thoughts on the new format! And fire any big questions towards us here at Fake Teams dot com here this morning. Ciao.