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DraftHustle 2022 Draft Manifesto: Tight Ends

Fantasy drafts are starting to ramp up as we get closer to the start of the 2022 NFL season. Having done over 200 bestball drafts so far this season, I believe I have a pretty good idea on how I plan on drafting in my season long leagues, as well as what the good and bad values are for all your favorite players. Over the next few days, I will be giving my overall strategy and other bits of advice on drafting the 4 Primary Fantasy Football positions in 2022. For more tools to help you during your draft, including, rankings, tiers, and Depth charts, be sure to check the Draft Hustle Season-long One Stop Shop here.

General Thoughts

Travis Kelce has been on top of the TE mountain for half a decade, and it looks like that will remain the same in 2022. Whatever age-related reservations I may have had were negated by the departure of Tyreek Hill. There is no scenario outside of injury where I don’t see 150+ targets, 100+ catches, and 10+ TDs for Kelce. Mark Andrews is close to Kelce for me, and they make up the top tier TE. Kyle Pitts will eventually get there, but his QB situation and experience keeps a notch below. Darren Waller and George Kittle make up the rest of the top 5, but changes in their offense puts them clearly below the top 3. After that, it’s literally a crap shoot who can finish as TE6.

Draft Strategy

Studs or duds is my preferred approach to the TE position this season. If I am picking at the end of round 1, there is strong chance of me drafting Travis Kelce either before or after the turn. If I pick at the beginning of 1st round, there’s a strong chance Mark Andrews will be on my squad in round 2. Round 3 in too early for me to take Kyle Pitts, so I won’t own much of him in managed leagues. Kittle and Waller are possible targets for me in round 5 if I have 2 RBs & 2 WRs on my squad after 4 rounds. If I pass on those guys, chances are I’ll be taking Cole Kmet in round 11 and Gerald Everett in round 12 and playing the matchups.

How Many TEs do I feel comfortable starting in week 1? - Eleven

My top 10 TEs have either the talent, expected target share, or favorable matchup for me to feel comfortable starting week 1. Cole Kmet (TE11) is my favorite late round TE target this year, so I’ll bite the bullet if he burns me, and won’t feel bad replacing him if he struggles early based on the price.

Earliest I will draft Travis Kelce? - 1.08

After my top 4 RBS and top 4 WRs, Travis Kelce is on the table for me in any format. In TE Premium leagues where TEs get extra points per receptions, 1.05 is the earliest I will take him.

Favorite tier to draft from? – Tier 1

I would prefer to take Kelce in round 1 or Andrews in round 2. If I can't get those guys, I’m waiting until round 10 plus to get and draft 2 guys and play matchups.

How many TEs can finish as TE1? - Two and a possible

Only injury can keep either Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews from finishing at TE1. If Kyle Pitts scores double-digit TDs, he has a shot as well I guess, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Breakout – Cole Kmet

Will be second on the Bears in targets and will most certainly score more than the 0 TDs he scored in 2021.

Sleeper – Gerald Everett

TEs in elite offenses will always be guys I target. Everett should rack up plenty of redzone targets and TDs in Los Angeles.

Bust – Dalton Schultz

I love his expected target share in Dallas, but he is being drafted in the 6th round as the 6th TE according to ADP. Historically TE6-TE10 have been not great, and its usually better to wait and take a guy in the double-digit rounds. I'd suggest trying to find the 2022 version of Schultz instead of spending significant draft capital and hoping for a Schultz repeat of 2021.

Check out rankings, tiers, auction values and more here.

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