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.

PLAYER
POS
TEAM
AGE
GAME
REC
YDS
TD
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.

PLAYER
POS
TEAM
AGE
GAME
REC
YDS
TD
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.

About Jody Smith 159 Articles
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.