2022 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz

While the 2022 free-agent class of tight ends lacks a true top-tier name, there are some quality veteran pass-catchers set to test the market. With more and more teams utilizing multiple tight ends regularly, there will be plenty of fantasy ramifications.

Here are our 2022 free-agent rankings for the tight end position. Also, make sure you check out the quarterback, running back, and wide receivers.

Dalton Schultz TE DAL 26 17 78 808 8
Mike Gesicki TE MIA 26 17 73 780 2
Zach Ertz TE ARZ 31 17 74 763 5
Evan Engram TE NYG 27 15 46 408 3
Rob Gronkowski TE TB 33 12 55 802 6
David Njoku TE CLE 26 16 36 475 4
Tyler Conklin TE MIN 26 17 61 593 3
Gerald Everett TE SEA 28 15 48 478 4
C.J. Uzomah TE CIN 29 16 49 493 5
Anthony Firkser TE TEN 27 15 34 291 2

Dalton Schultz – After a breakout 2021 campaign, Schultz is likely to get franchise tagged, but if he were to hit the open market, the 25-year-old veteran could command a salary in the $12-14 million range annually. Schultz’s dynasty value is tied to re-signing with Dallas, but if he were to sign elsewhere, Blake Jarwin would become an interesting name once again.

Mike Gesicki – Gesicki’s 111 targets ranked fourth overall and with Miami undergoing another regime change, there’s a good chance the fifth-year tight end will be allowed to test free agency. More of a wide receiver than true inline tight end, Gesicki could benefit from a change of scenery and still has top-5 fantasy potential should he land in a destination with more stable quarterback play.

Zach Ertz – Ertz actually had one more target than Gesicki thanks to an uptick in looks after being traded to Arizona, where he averaged 10.75 targets per game in the Cardinals’ last four contests. Although Ertz will turn 32 in December, he is still a potent pass-catching weapon and will have no shortage of suitors in the $6-8 million dollar range annually in a 2-3 year deal. Although his dynasty value is on the decline, Ertz can still be a top-10 redraft option provided he lands with a coach willing to scheme Ertz into the offense.

Evan Engram – Understandably, many fantasy pundits are done with Engram after a pair of disappointing seasons, but Engram is still just 27 and could still develop into an above-average receiving option. More reason for optimism: Engram could hardly find worse quarterback play and may still be viewed as a decent late-round streamer this summer.

Rob Gronkowski – With word that Tom Brady has retired, we’ve likely seen the final play of Rob Gronkowski’s brilliant NFL career. Gronk indicated that he may still play without Brady, but having already retired once and returned simply to reunite with his long-time signal-caller, it makes sense for him to walk away. 33 in May, Gronkowski has played a full season once since 2011 but could still make an impact as a designated red-zone option should he come back for one final season with a contender, but his days as a fantasy TE1 are in the past.

David Njoku – A 2017 first-round selection, Njoku will have the opportunity to test the free-agent waters for the first time but a return to Cleveland is something that is also on the table, particularly if the club parts ways with Austin Hooper. Still just 26 when the 2022 season begins, Njoku had a career-best 13.2 yards per catch average and posted his first 100-yard performance in Week 5.

Tyler Conklin – Thrust into the starting lineup after Irv Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in the summer, Conklin parlayed the unexpected reps into a solid 61/593/3 line. With Smith expected to make a full recovery, Conklin isn’t necessarily expected to return to Minnesota. With limited success in his first three campaigns, Conklin may have to settle for a rotational role.

Gerald Everett – Labeled as a popular late-round sleeper last summer, Everett set career-best numbers in catches, yards, and touchdowns but his production was quite similar to when he was splitting reps with Tyler Higbee in Los Angeles. The Seahawks are about to embark on a rebuild, so Everett is unlikely to return, which might be for the best from a fantasy perspective.

C.J. Uzomah – Uzomah had his best pro season as the Bengals broke out. With a deep receiving corps, Uzomah will always be used as a secondary option in Cincinnati and could try to capitalize on his success to make a play for more targets elsewhere. However, for fantasy purposes, re-signing with the surging Bengals makes the most sense, but Uzomah will be little more than a week-to-week streamer regardless of his address.

Anthony Firkser – Another popular pre-season sleeper, Firkser had a middling season as the Titans rotated tight ends. Firkser had 20 or fewer yards in nine of his 15 games and single-digit yards in five. He’s little more than a fantasy TE3 draftable only in leagues that dole out bonuses for the position.

Hayden Hurst TE ATL 28 13 26 221 3
Ricky Seals-Jones TE WAS 27 13 30 271 2
Mo Alie-Cox TE IND 28 17 24 316 4
Robert Tonyan TE GB 28 8 18 204 2
Durham Smythe TE MIA 26 17 34 357 0
O.J. Howard TE TB 27 17 14 135 1
Eric Ebron TE PIT 29 8 12 84 1
Will Dissly TE SEA 26 15 21 231 1
Jared Cook TE LAC 35 16 48 564 4
Ian Thomas TE CAR 26 17 18 188 0

There isn’t a lot of depth at tight end overall and that’s certainly true for the 2022 free-agent class.

Hayden Hurst could draw attention as a lesser starter or solid rotational option but will be well off the fantasy radar unless he lands in a top-10 offense.

Mo Alie-Cox jumps out as a potential breakout option due to his analytics but he was never able to completely win over a smart Indianapolis coaching staff, which says something.

Robert Tonyan predictably fell off a cliff after his stunning 2019 performance. He’s unlikely to wind up in a better locale than playing with Aaron Rodgers and the potent Packers.

Durham Smythe had surprisingly decent numbers playing a limited number of snaps in Miami. He’s a name to keep an eye on as a potential late-round sleeper if he lands with a club that has more stable quarterback play.

Jared Cook would be much higher in this list, perhaps top-5, if we knew he was re-signing with the Chargers. With decline speed and hands, Cook is unlikely to wind up in a better situation and could even retire. If he suits up for LA again, consider Cook an upper-tier TE2.

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With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.