The Candidates to Be the Overall TE1 in 2022


Rostering the highest-scoring player at a position feels a lot like having a superpower in fantasy leagues. You just know that player is going to deliver for your fantasy squad every week.

We’ve taken a look at the top candidates to be overall fantasy QB1 in 2022, and the WR1 candidates too. And I still like Christian McCaffrey’s chances of being the overall fantasy RB1.


Now it’s time to review which TEs have the best chance to finish at the top.

Keep in mind these are not fantasy TE rankings, but a tiered list of players most likely to finish as the overall fantasy TE1 in 2022. 

Tier 1 overall fantasy TE1 candidates

Yeah, I know, Mark Andrews was the overall TE1 last year. No, I’m not putting him in the Tier 1 group for 2022.

It’s not an Andrews slight. He obviously does have a good chance at being the overall TE1 (he’s in the Tier 2 group). It’s just that Kelce has a better chance of doing it.

Not only does Kelce hat six straight years with at least 60 receptions and 1,000 yards, he’s also scored 43 TDs in the last five (more than 8 per year). Kelce already commanded an impressive 22.4% of Kansas City’s targets last year, and that number will likely increase with Tyreek Hill’s 159 targets (25% share) now vacated. Hill also scored 9 TDs, so Kelce’s potential in the red zone might be up, too. 

Tier 2 overall fantasy TE1 candidates

Andrews gets this tier to himself. He led all TEs with 154 targets (most by 19), 107 receptions (most by 15), 1,361 yards (most by over 200), and tied for the position lead with 9 TDs last year. His 32.7% air-yard share also paced the position and was elite enough to rank in the top 20 among all players.

The only reason not to consider Andrews for the top spot again is because he expects to see an increase competition for touches in Baltimore’s offense (their entire RB room won’t be injured this year, and WR Rashod Bateman is expected to take a big step up from his 16% target market share as a rookie). 


Tier 3 overall fantasy TE1 candidates

Don’t get caught off guard by the fact Pitts caught “only” 68 of 110 targets and scored just once. The reception rate can be easily explained by his high average depth of target (10.8 yards), tops among all qualified TEs. Pitts earned 30.4% of Atlanta’s air yards as a rookie, second among all TEs, and he topped 1,000 yards. In short, he was much more of a downfield threat than a traditional TE. With Calvin Ridley out for 2022, Pitts’ role in the offense should, at a minimum, be stable. If he can make a leap in TDs and improve overall, a big spike in production wouldn’t be a shock.

Kittle has a known ridiculous ceiling. He displayed it a few times last year with 12-9-181-2 and 15-13-151-1 games in back-to-back performances, but consistency became a real challenge (1 catch for 18 yards and 2 catches for 27 yards in two of his three playoff games, for example). But Kittle led the team in targets over the second half of the year, and he may again in 2022 as a whole with a new QB. If Deebo Samuel really does leave San Francisco, Kittle’s floor and ceiling both raise, too,

Tier 4 overall fantasy TE1 candidates

Waller’s odds of becoming the overall TE1 were shot down when Davante Adams signed with the Raiders. Given that Waller has posted a 107-1,200-9 season, we can’t write him off entirely.

Gronkowski is certainly a long shot to hit the top spot, too, but a full healthy season could easily see him push for 1,200 yards and 10 TDs — numbers he was nearly on pace for last year on a per-game basis. He was much better in 2021 than in 2020.

Tier 5 overall fantasy TE1 candidates

If your favorite TE isn’t listed above, it’s because they are a true long shot to finish as the overall TE1. It’s a very predictable position, and the players in Tiers 1-4 are simply locked into better roles and/or are better players.

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