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
|9||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN|
|25||Donald Parham Jr.||LAC|
|32||Chris Herndon IV||NYJ|