The top 12 scoring TE’s in 2019 have a clear tier break, with the position having an elite few, a few middling talent players and then a number of options that are plug and play options. We take a look at how they finished in 2019, and their outlook for 2020.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to use the scoring in the default version of the Stats Database (0.5 PPR). That is available in our shop. Remember if you want to chat about any of the player values for next year- reach out! You can find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #1 Travis Kelce
Receiving Stats: 97 recs, 1,229 yards, 5 TDs
Kelce is simply the best TE in the league, the way he is used is more akin to a WR. Even with TD regression, he finished as the top scorer for the third time in four years.
2020 Outlook: Kelce is again likely to finish at the top of the position for next season. It is entirely likely that he regains a number of red-zone targets for next season, making him even more valuable.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #2 George Kittle
Receiving Stats: 85 recs, 1,053 yards, 5 TDs
Kittle had a great 2019 season, and would have nearly taken the top position if he had played all 16 games. Simply if you want a top TE, it is Kelce or Kittle
2020 Outlook: Kittle is a big part of the passing game in San Francisco, and announced he played injured last season. Kelce is likely the top drafted TE next season, but Kittle could be a great option for fantasy owners.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #3 Darren Waller
Receiving Stats: 90 recs, 1,145 yards, 3 TDs
At a position that typically requires touchdowns to be successful for fantasy, Waller is the exception. Waller only scored 3 all season, but his receptions and yardage allowed him to be a constant fantasy threat.
2020 Outlook: Waller is in the next tier after the elite two at the position. While he may struggle to get the same number of receptions and yards as last season, he should get positive touchdown regression. Making him a good option for fantasy owners.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #4 Mark Andrews
Receiving Stats: 64 recs, 852 yards, 10 TDs
On the opposite end of the TD spectrum, there was the Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews. Andrews seemed to be a constant injury worry last season but only missed one game.
2020 Outlook: Andrews likely suffers TD regression next season, given the total he had in 2019. However, Andrews was targeted heavily in the Ravens’ offense- making him an effective option even with the regression.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #5 Zach Ertz
Receiving Stats: 88 recs, 916 yards, 6 TDs
What a difference a year makes. This time last season Ertz was looked at as one of an elite tier but struggled last season until there were no more receivers on the team.
2020 Outlook: One of the biggest question marks surrounding Ertz going into next season is the emergence of Dallas Goedert, who impressed last season. With a healthy receiving corps, it is hard to trust Ertz as a top TE option in 2020.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #6 Austin Hooper
Receiving Stats: 75 recs, 787 yards, 6 TDs
Hooper was incredible at the start of the season, seeming like he couldn’t stop scoring. However, in the middle of the season, he suffered an injury that kept him out for a number of weeks. But upon his return, he had a number of impressive performances.
2020 Outlook: Hooper would have been a great draft steal going into 2020 if he had stayed with the Falcons. Instead, his outlook is murky, with Hooper signing to play for Cleveland. The passing attack is stacked with talent, including fellow TE David Njoku.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #7 Jared Cook
Receiving Stats: 43 recs, 705 yards, 9 TDs
Cook was a surprisingly consistent performer last season. He didn’t have many games that really helped or hurt your fantasy team- perfect for the volatile TE position. His opening first four weeks was awful, but after that, he became a solid contributor.
2020 Outlook: Cook is likely going to be a good late-round pick for fantasy owners, with Drew Brees returning to the team he should once again be a great contributor.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #8 Tyler Higbee
Receiving Stats: 69 recs, 734 yards, 3 TDs
Higbee‘s finish really just highlights the struggles at the position- he wasn’t even the starter until Week 10! From then Higbee grabbed his opportunity and became a consistent fantasy player.
2020 Outlook: Higbee was an effective player last season down the stretch, but whether the offense changes next year after overcoming their struggles remains to be seen. At this point, he is the definition of a lottery ticket in the draft. You could have your season-long option, or be looking for a new TE after the first quarter of the season.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #9 Hunter Henry
Receiving Stats: 55 recs, 652 yards, 5 TDs
Henry again missed a quarter of the season, but when he was available he was a big part of the offense. As a Phillip Rivers TE, he was given plenty of red-zone opportunities, enabling him to score the TDs that he did.
2020 Outlook: Henry was due to be a free agent until the team opted to franchise tag him. Clearly, the team has a plan for him, but with the change at QB and the other competing players, he may struggle for targets- capping his ceiling.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #10 Dallas Goedert
Receiving Stats: 58 recs, 607 yards, 5 TDs
Goedert started the season slowly but picked up pace after (literally) all of the receivers went down injured. There was a time during the season where you could start either Goedert or Ertz and be happy.
2020 Outlook: Goedert much like Ertz was fantasy viable last season, due to the way that the Eagles suffered from injuries. While he has the physical attributes and skill set to be a constant red-zone threat, his potential is capped behind Ertz.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #11 Mike Gesicki
Receiving Stats: 51 recs, 570 yards, 5 TDs
Gesicki was another TE who struggled at the start of the season. In his opening half of the season, he had 24 receptions for 276 yards, which he essentially repeated in his final seven games. The difference was TDs, as he scored all five in the second half of the season.
2020 Outlook: Gesicki certainly finished the season well, once the offense started becoming a better unit. Clearly he is one of the teams better players on offense, but with the team having a choice between Ryan Fitzpatrick and a (likely) rookie QB, he seems more like a streaming option than one that can be trusted week to week.
2019 Top 12 TE’s: #12 Jason Witten
Receiving Stats: 63 recs, 529 yards, 4 TDs
Witten returned from the booth to be the starting TE for Dallas, with mixed results. Witten basically looked like a player that was nearing the end of his career, used sparingly by the offense in games, but enough to be fantasy relevant on the whole.
2020 Outlook: Witten signed for the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason, which spells the end of his career. If Dallas didn’t see enough to bring him back, then a team that already has a dynamic TE option in Waller is unlikely to give him the required volume to be effective.
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