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Updated PPR tight end rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

We take you through our PPR tight end rankings heading into the 2021 NFL season heading into fantasy football drafts as we approach Week 1 of the regular season.

Pat Freiermuth #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We’re officially just one week out from Week 1 kick off, where we’ll see the Cowboys and Bucs go head-to-head in what’s sure to be an exciting season-opener. With that, your fantasy football drafts are likely in full swing. Let’s take a look at some players worth noting in our PPR tight end rankings as we approach Week 1 of the regular NFL season.

2021 PPR Fantasy Football rankings: Tight ends

Though you’re always going to draft with the whole season in mind, here are some tight ends with a favorable strength of schedule to start the 2021 fantasy football season.

Jonnu Smith vs. MIA, NYJ, NO

It’s long been known that Bill Belichick has been a fan of former Titans TE Jonnu Smith... and this time around, he’ll be rocking a Patriots uniform to open up the season. Hunter Henry, Belichick’s second big-time tight end acquisition in the 2021 offseason, suffered a shoulder injury ahead of this season, allowing Smith to take the bulk of TE1 reps without distraction throughout training camp. Zack Cox of NESN reported Tuesday that Henry was no longer practicing in a non-contact jersey, which is a step in the right direction, but it’s safe to say that Smith’s extended reps are likely to benefit him as Henry returns frmo injury.

Chris Herndon vs. CIN, ARI, SEA

After it was announced that Vikings lead TE Irv Smith Jr. would undergo knee surgery, the team made a move to acquire former Jet Chris Herndon. Herndon has long been the subject of hype that hasn’t quite come to fruition for fantasy football managers. He’s managed off-the-field issues and injuries since entering the league in 2018 but has shown some flash potential. He’s finished as a TE1 for fantasy football in nearly 25% of his 33 active games, including three top-12 performances from Weeks 11 to 17 in 2020.

Pat Freiermuth vs. BUF, LV, CIN

I am always tempering expectations for rookie tight ends, but Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth’s fire-hot preseason combined with a relatively favorable schedule for tight ends makes him a prime candidate to watch at the start of 2021. Freiermuth and Ben Roethlisberger connected for two touchdowns in Week 2 of the preseason, and what’s even more exciting is how comfortable they looked doing it.

Here’s a look at our PPR tight end rankings as you draft in your 2021 fantasy football leagues. Keep in mind as you’re drafting that to capitalize on value in this scoring format, it can be helpful to draft running backs who are on teams with a less-than-ideal receiving corps.

PPR Tight end rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

Rk Name Team
Rk Name Team
1 Travis Kelce KC
2 George Kittle SF
3 Darren Waller LV
4 Mark Andrews BAL
5 T.J. Hockenson DET
6 Kyle Pitts ATL
7 Logan Thomas WAS
8 Robert Tonyan GB
9 Irv Smith Jr. MIN
10 Noah Fant DEN
11 Mike Gesicki MIA
12 Jonnu Smith NE
13 Tyler Higbee LAR
14 Evan Engram NYG
15 Dallas Goedert PHI
16 Blake Jarwin DAL
17 Jared Cook LAC
18 Hunter Henry NE
19 Hayden Hurst ATL
20 Cole Kmet CHI
21 Rob Gronkowski TB
22 Dawson Knox BUF
23 Austin Hooper CLE
24 Zach Ertz PHI
25 Donald Parham Jr. LAC
26 Eric Ebron PIT
27 Gerald Everett SEA
28 Pat Freiermuth PIT
29 Adam Trautman NO
30 Dan Arnold CAR
31 Anthony Firkser TEN
32 Chris Herndon IV NYJ
33 O.J. Howard TB
34 Tyler Kroft NYJ
35 Jordan Akins HOU
36 Jack Doyle IND
37 Dalton Schultz DAL
38 Jace Sternberger GB
39 Mo Alie-Cox IND
40 Farrod Green IND
41 Foster Moreau LV
42 Albert Okwuegbunam DEN
43 C.J. Uzomah CIN
44 Harrison Bryant CLE
45 Hunter Long MIA
46 David Njoku CLE
47 Cameron Brate TB
48 Geoff Swaim TEN
49 Will Dissly SEA
50 Jimmy Graham CHI
51 Kyle Rudolph NYG
52 Brevin Jordan HOU
53 Drew Sample CIN
54 Ryan Griffin NYJ
55 Jacob Hollister BUF
56 Jacob Harris LAR
57 Tyler Conklin MIN
58 Kahale Warring NE
59 Josh Oliver BAL
60 Ian Thomas CAR
61 Brycen Hopkins LAR
62 Kylen Granson IND
63 Josiah Deguara GB
64 Devin Asiasi NE
65 Darren Fells DET
66 Adam Shaheen MIA
67 Troy Fumagalli NE
68 Colby Parkinson SEA
69 Dalton Keene NE
70 Maxx Williams ARI
71 James O'Shaughnessy JAC
72 Tre' McKitty LAC