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Dynasty Leagues

Long-term TE rankings

Younger tight ends move up in rankings

The decision making gets more difficult in dynasty leagues, where you need to measure not only what a player’s doing this year, but what he might be a few seasons down the road. And it’s particularly tricky at tight end, where some of the best options are in the later stages of the career.

Travis Kelce, for example, is awesome, but he’s 32 and has shown signs of slowing down. Some tight ends have remained productive into their mid-30s – Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten – but Kelce might not be one of those guys. (And if he’s playing in his mid-30s, he wouldn’t necessarily be putting up top-5 numbers.)

To a lesser degree, Darren Waller is a Kelce-type of guy, but he’s 29 years old, and playing on a team that might be hitting the reset button after firing Jon Gruden. And George Kittle might be the game’s best all-around tight end, but he’s an old 28 – constantly battling injuries because of his physical playing style. Kittle will never be a Kelce or Witten type tight end who only rarely misses games.

So rather than go with one of the older, established veterans, you could instead select one of the younger, up-and-coming options – players that might be on the verge of cranking out a bunch of top-10 or top-5 seasons.

Rookie Pat Freiermuth (pictured) looks like he might be one of those guys. The Steelers have been going to him a lot recently, and he’s been their primary option in the red zone. He’s played well enough that I think it’s a tough call whether you select him or Kelce in a keep-em-forever draft. Freiermuth is 9 years younger than Kelce.

I also like 22-year-old Cole Kmet. I think he’s the biggest upward mover on the list this week. You probably saw him catch a bunch of passes on Thanksgiving. He’s had a bunch of those games in recent weeks. I think he’s just fine as a tight end, and if and when they ever put things together offensively in Chicago, he’s going to be a reliable performer. That will be with Justin Fields established at quarterback and a new coaching staff.

Below see my 1 thru 50 stab at a dynasty list for tight ends. These assume PPR scoring, and I’ve got rookies tagged with black dots. On these rankings, I’m assuming teams would have the ability to hold players indefinitely. And I’m thinking there would be about 12 teams, with each holding about three tight ends (so you get down to Nos. 37-50, and those guys wouldn’t even be rostered).

There are players on this list who won’t even play again in 2021 -- #26 Irv Smith, #28 Robert Tonyan, maybe #32 Adam Trautman and #46 Jacob Harris. The thinking with those guys is that they might hold more value in 2022, making them more valuable than some of the modest warm bodies that are always available on the waiver wire.

I turn my attention to dynasty leagues each Saturday, rotating between the four notable positions. Lists published on previous Saturdays can be accessed using the “Past Issues” navigation box on this screen.

Last week: running backs.

Next week: wide receivers.

1.ATL• Kyle Pitts21
2.BALMark Andrews25
3.DETT.J. Hockenson 24
4.LVDarren Waller29
5.KCTravis Kelce32
6.PIT• Pat Freiermuth23
7.PHIDallas Goedert26
8.MIAMike Gesicki26
9.SFGeorge Kittle28
10.BUFDawson Knox 25
11.NEHunter Henry26
12.CHICole Kmet22
13.DALDalton Schultz25
14.DENNoah Fant 24
15.TBRob Gronkowski32
16.JACDan Arnold26
17.LARTyler Higbee28
18.CINC.J. Uzomah28
19.ARIZach Ertz31
20.WASLogan Thomas30
21.SEAGerald Everett27
22.CLEAustin Hooper27
23.NEJonnu Smith26
24.NYGEvan Engram27
25.CLEDavid Njoku25
26.MINIrv Smith 23
27.IND• Kylen Granson23
28.GBRobert Tonyan27
29.CAR• Tommy Tremble21
30.WASRicky Seals-Jones26
31.MINTyler Conklin26
32.NOAdam Trautman24
33.GBJosiah Deguara24
34.NYJTyler Kroft29
35.DENAlbert Okwuegbunam23
36.TENGeoff Swaim28
37.LACDonald Parham24
38.INDJack Doyle31
39.TBO.J. Howard27
40.KC• Noah Gray22
41.SEAWill Dissly25
42.INDMo Alie-Cox28
43.HOU• Brevin Jordan21
44.LACJared Cook34
45.MIA• Hunter Long23
46.LAR• Jacob Harris24
47.TENAnthony Firkser26
48.PITEric Ebron28
49.PHITyree Jackson24
50.DALBlake Jarwin27

—Ian Allan

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