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2022 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: The Most Consistent/Volatile Tight Ends

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We’re continuing our series with a look at the most and least consistent players in fantasy football last year. We’ve already reviewed WRs (most consistent here, most volatile here), RBs (most consistent here, most volatile here), and QBs (check that out here).

Today, we’re taking a look at the least and most consistent TEs from last year. 

Once again, this TE study shows that being “volatile” is better than being consistent.

Let’s dive back in to the FTN Data to find the most and least consistent fantasy TEs from last year (more on the methodology below).

 

Methodology explainer

“Consistency” is easy to generally define, but nailing down a methodology for fantasy football purposes requires arbitrary decisions that aren’t easy to defend. So instead of picking something random, I used standard deviation, which measures how far apart all of the data points in a set are from the set’s average.

Lower standard deviation means all the individual data points in a set are close to the average. Higher means more spread out.

Here are the five most volatile TEs in fantasy football.

1. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Tight Ends
  • Points per game: 14.6 (3 of 42 qualifying)
  • Standard deviation: 11.4 (1 of 42)

George Kittle is arguably the best all-around TE in the NFL right now, but he has rarely been given the chance to fully display his receiving prowess since going nuclear in 2018 with a then-league-record 1,377 receiving yards. But he still flashes that ridiculous ceiling — you just have to be willing to swallow the six games with fewer than 10 points to go along with it.

2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Mark Andrews 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Tight Ends
  • PPG: 17.8 (1 of 42)
  • SD: 10.3 (2 of 42)

Mark Andrews has been a good fantasy TE for several years now, but his breakout in 2021 was still a surprise. Locked in as Lamar Jackson’s top target, Andrews may even improve in 2022. The 35-plus-point ceiling is incredible for a TE, and while he had four games with fewer than 10 fantasy points, he had six within the respectable range of 15-18 PPG. True to the volatility name, you get a bit of everything with Andrews: A few floor games, a few mid-range games (with his mid-range being significantly higher than others), and a few week-winning games.

3. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Travis Kelce 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Tight Ends
  • PPG: 16.7 (2 of 42)
  • SD: 9.5 (3 of 42)

If it weren’t for Weeks 4, 8, 13 and 14 — in which Kelce somehow scored fewer than 7 points — he would have finished as one of the most consistent TEs last year and broken the mold. This is why Kelce is still going as the TE1 overall: Those four down weeks are easy to write off as flukes. He packs the extremely rare combination of high, consistent floor with an insane ceiling (41.1 point in Week 15).

4. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski  2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Tight Ends
  • PPG: 13.7 (4 of 42)
  • SD: 8.9 (4 of 42)

We don’t need too much for Gronk now that he’s retired, but the man was still a demon even in his final year. The big question in Tampa is: Will Cameron Brate (who actually had more red zone targets than Rob Gronkowski last year) be Tom Brady’s favorite TE, or will rookie Cade Otton have a big role immediately? My money is on Brate, but Otton has true three-down skills.

5. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

T.J. Hockenson 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Tight Ends
  • PPG: 12.1 (5 of 42)
  • SD: 7.6 (5 of 42)

This study alone made me more excited to draft T.J. Hockenson this year after he had been a player I haven’t been incredibly high on. The only real question in Detroit right now is how the targets will shape up. A crew of Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark and Jameson Williams is a low-key loaded group. This offense should be fun for fantasy, and you’ll want some Hockenson for pop-off weeks.

 

The 10 Most Consistent Fantasy TEs in 2021

Like we did with QBs, instead of going into deep detail on the most consistent TEs from last year (based on the math), we’re just going to show you the list. That’s because these are aggressively boring names.

Most Consistent TEs in 2021

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