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Kyle Yates’s Early Top-20 Tight End Rankings (2021 Fantasy Football)

Jun 11, 2021

Following up his early running back rankings, Kyle Yates is back to provide his top-20 tight end rankings for 2021 redraft leagues.

These rankings are for half-PPR leagues. You can find our full fantasy football expert consensus rankings here.

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Jonnu Smith (NE)
That’s right, folks! It’s Jonnu time yet again! After hyping up Smith all last off-season, it’s time to hop back on the Hype Train and talk about Jonnu’s potential for fantasy yet again. Once Smith signed with the New England Patriots for a massive deal in free agency, it seemed like the hopes of Smith finishing as a top-5 option at the TE position were all but locked in. Unfortunately, Hunter Henry’s signing a day later put a damper on those dreams, but we still shouldn’t be scared off of Smith and his potential in this offense. With a revamped – but honestly still lackluster – WR corps, there’s a strong possibility that Smith leads this entire team in targets. The Patriots will be committed to getting him the ball in creative ways near the line of scrimmage and letting him create after the catch, which he does better than nearly every other TE in the league. I had Smith ranked as a top-8 TE last season and I’m going to have him in the same range again for 2021. My Very Early Projection: 72-752-6 receiving.

Logan Thomas (WAS)
Every single year, there’s a player or two who come out of nowhere to be a weekly viable fantasy option. Last year, Thomas was the waiver wire pickup of the year at the TE position. He went on a tear to finish the season and ended up as the TE6 in all of fantasy football. Heading into 2021, Thomas certainly has a bit more competition for targets this time around, but he’s proven that he can get the job done for fantasy. We can’t view him as a top-tier option due to the additions Washington has made at the receiver spots this off-season, but he still should have weekly viability. My Very Early Projection: 61-619-5

Cole Kmet (CHI)
While it took a little bit for Kmet to become an integral part of the offense in Chicago, he stood out towards the end of last season and actually became a weekly contributor for your fantasy lineups. With Jimmy Graham still on this roster, it’s hard to find the path for targets that would allow Kmet to crack the top-12 at the position, but he showed enough last year to at least warrant fantasy football consideration. Even if Graham is still a Chicago Bear for Week 1, Kmet should have enough involvement to at least be considered as a streaming candidate. However, if the Bears move on from Graham and his salary cap hit, Kmet’s ADP would go skyrocketing. We could be talking about a top-10 TE at that point. My Very Early Projection: 55-566-5 receiving.

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