Best NFL TEs In 2022

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Ask any Kansas City Chiefs fan about the importance of having a quality tight end, and I am sure they will enthusiastically weigh in on the subject.

Not only are Chiefs fans blessed with Travis Kelce on their roster, but they also had the opportunity to watch maybe the game’s best tight end of all time play XX years in KC.

Tony Gonzalez accomplished some incredible things on the field, ultimately leading to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

However, Kelce is currently on pace to match or beat Gonzalez in several stat categories.

If Kelce can remain healthy and continue his current production for a couple more years, the Chiefs may end up with the two greatest tight ends in NFL history, having played for their franchise.

When it comes to the current crop of NFL tight ends, it is Kelce who is regarded by most as the best of the bunch.

However, he has a lot of competition for that top spot.

Top 10 NFL Tight Ends

Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs

With 92 receptions and 1,125 receiving yards last year, Travis Kelce did enough to earn the honors of being the top-ranked tight end in the NFL.

The former 3rd round draft pick finished 14th league-wide in receiving yards last year.

Kelce is now 6th overall amongst all tight ends in receiving yards for his career. If Rob Gronkowski stays retired, Kelce will undoubtedly find himself in the top five after this year.

Over the last three years, the Chiefs TE has 300 receptions, and 2021 was the fifth time Kelce had over 1,000 yards receiving in his career.

If the loss of Tyreek Hill means more targets for Kelce this year, then another 1,000-yard season seems inevitable, assuming good health.

George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers

In 2021, George Kittle put up 71 receptions and 910 yards receiving.

Those numbers are good, but if the former 5th-round draft pick can figure out a way to play an entire season, his stats would quickly jump from good to great.

Over the last three years, Kittle has missed a total of 13 regular season games.

Last year, the former Iowa Hawkeye averaged 65 receiving yards per game played. In his previous three seasons, he averaged over 75 yards per game.

There is no doubt when Kittle is on the field, he makes a lot of plays.

It will be interesting to watch how Trey Lance impacts Kittle’s production. I would assume that any QB with Kittle as an option will want to find him often.

Certainly, Jimmy Garoppolo had no issues getting him the ball when he was on the field.

Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens

If Mark Andrews were reading this list, he might be slightly frustrated with the rankings process.

It was Andrews, not Kelce, and not Kittle, who had the most receiving yards among all tight ends in the NFL last year.

Andrews had a very impressive 107 receptions, and 1,361 receiving yards, and was targeted 153 times in 2021. The 153 targets are 65 more than he had the year previous, 2020.

Before last season, the most receptions Andrews had in a year was 64 in 2019. There is no doubt that he was an elite tight end in 2021.

Bettors will have to decide if Andrews can back it up with another 1,000-yard receiving year in 2022.

Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons

It’s not very often tight ends are drafted at the top of the first round.

However, Kyle Pitts was so good at the University of Florida that he heard his name called when the Atlanta Falcons selected him with the 4th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

As a rookie with a lot of hype, Pitts did an excellent job living up to expectations. In his first year, Pitts hauled in 68 receptions and had 1,026 yards.

Those numbers were good enough to land inside the top 25 in total receiving yards league-wide.

Marcus Mariota will be taking over the QB role for the Falcons, and Mariota is not Matt Ryan. However, the downgrade at the QB spot doesn’t necessarily mean Pitts will get fewer targets this year.

Darren Waller – Las Vegas Raiders

There was a lot of hype about Darren Waller potentially being the NFL’s best tight end before the 2021 season started.

Unfortunately for Waller and the Raiders offense, the former 6th-round pick out of Georgia Tech only managed to play in 11 games last year.

During those 11 games, Waller was still pretty good. He had 55 receptions and 665 yards receiving, good enough to average 60 yards receiving per game.

In Waller’s previous two seasons, he averaged over 70 yards receiving per game. 1,200 yards receiving this year isn’t out of the question if he can return to that form.

Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles

In 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles started the season very comfortable with their number one tight end, Zac Ertz.

Then as the year went on, Dallas Goedert began to make Ertz a tradeable commodity, and eventually, he was sent to Arizona.

In his first full opportunity as the starting tight end, Goedert delivered an excellent year. The former second-round pick in 2018 had 56 receptions and 830 yards receiving.

Goedert averaged 55 receiving yards per game and 14 yards per reception.

With Jalen Hurts getting some consideration as a longshot MVP bet this year, maybe Goedert becomes his reliable target and takes a jump to the next level, a level worthy of his second-round pick selection.

TJ Hockenson – Detroit Lions

Of the ten tight ends we have listed, TJ Hockenson is one of two players drafted in the first round.

Kyle Pitts was a fourth overall pick for Atlanta in 2021, and Hockenson was selected 8th overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2019 draft.

In 2021, Hockenson had 588 yards receiving on 61 receptions in only 12 games.

That translates into about 900 yards receiving over an entire season, which is still not enough for Hockenson to be considered elite.

If there is a number that is impressive for the Lions’ tight end, it’s that Hockenson had a 72.6% catch percentage.

If he can convince Jared Goff to give him more targets in 2022, maybe Hockenson can start to live up to that 8th overall selection.

Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys fans know what a good tight end looks like, considering they had both Jason Witten and Jay Novacek line up at that position for many years.

Witten is second all-time on the tight ends receiving yards list, behind only Tony Gonzalez.

Dalton Schultz is entering his fifth year as a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. Last year, Schultz had his best year to date, with 78 receptions for 808 yards.

The former 4th-round pick finished 2021 with eight touchdowns and averaged 47.5 yards per game.

Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagolaivoa is a polarizing conversation for Dolphins fans.

However, it appears that Mike Gesicki is a fan of the QB who loves to throw the underneath route.

In 2021, Gesicki had 73 receptions and was targeted 112 times.

Tyreek Hill will now be lined up outside Gesicki, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Dolphins’ tight end will lose targets.

Defenses will no doubt gameplan how to make sure Hill doesn’t beat them, and that might actually give Gesicki a little bit more space.

Rob Gronkowski – Retired

Rob Gronkowski is the only player on this list without a team because Gronkowski announced this past offseason that he is retiring from professional football.

Many of us who have followed the great tight end know this is not the first time Gronkowski has retired.

The question that needs to be asked is whether it will be the last time he retires.

Whether the longtime Patriots tight end decides to come back during the season to chase one more Super Bowl with his QB buddy, Super Tom, is still to be determined.

What isn’t to be determined is that Gronkowski is one of the greatest ever to play the position.

Tight Ends All-Time Receiving Yards Leaders

PlayerTotal Receiving YrdsGames Played
Tony Gonzalez15,127 yards270
Jason Witten13,046 yards271
Antonio Gates11,841 yards236
Shannon Sharpe9,961 yards188
Rob Gronkowski9,006 yards143

Betting On NFL Tight Ends

There are several different ways a sports bettor can use their knowledge of NFL tight ends from a betting standpoint.

All regulated sportsbooks in your state/province will offer a significant amount of season-long Player Props.

The season-long Player Props are an opportunity for a bettor to focus on one individual player and make some bets according to how they believe that player will perform over an entire year.

2022 Player Prop Total Receiving Yards

PlayerSportsbook OddsTeam
Travis KelceDraftKings O/U 1100.5Chiefs
Mark AndrewsDraftKings O/U 1000.5Ravens
George KittleDraftKings O/U 825.549ers

Our table above allows us to bet an Over or Under on the total amount of receiving yards for three different tight ends.

It’s interesting that last year, Mark Andrews finished with over 1,300 yards receiving, and his total this year is set at 1,000.5 yards.

In just 14 games last year, Kittle had over 900 yards receiving. Will Trey Lance under center in San Francisco hurt or help the 49ers’ star tight end?

NFL Tight Ends – Receiving Yards Leaders

2021 Tight Ends – Total Receiving Yards Leaders

PlayerReceiving YrdsTeam
Mark Andrews1,361Ravens
Travis Kelce1,125Chiefs
Kyle Pitts1,026Falcons
George Kittle91049ers

The 2021 NFL draft is best remembered for three quarterbacks being selected with the first three picks of the draft.

The fourth player selected that year was Kyle Pitts, who was the first non-QB drafted.

Pitts made an immediate impact in Atlanta, with over 1,000 yards receiving in his rookie season.

It will be interesting to see if the young tight end takes another step forward in his second year and challenges for the most receiving yards by a player at his position.

2022 Odds To Lead NFL In Receiving Yards

PlayerOddsTeam
Travis KelceFanDuel +1600Chiefs
Mark AndrewsFanDuel +2500Ravens
Kyle PittsFanDuel +5000Falcons

No NFL tight end has ever led the league in receiving yards, but as the league continues to become more passing-oriented, tight ends continue to see more targets. 

More than likely, a wide receiver will end up with the most receiving yards this year, but at +5000, there might be a little value on Kyle Pitts in Atlanta, who will surely be a favorite target for Falcons QB Marcus Mariota.

Always Shop Around

Many sports bettors enjoy the process of researching stats, developing strategies, and trying to beat the sportsbook with their betting knowledge.

However, it is important to point out that a bettor’s greatest edge over the house is their ability to shop around and choose only the Best Odds available.

Let’s compare the odds for three tight ends to lead the league in receiving yards with three different sportsbooks as an example.

2022 NFL Receiving Yards Leader Odds

PlayerSportsbookSportsbookSportsbook
Travis KelceCaesars +1800FanDuel +1600DraftKings +2000
Mark AndrewsCaesars +4000FanDuel +2500DraftKings +3000
Darren WallerCaesars +10000FanDuel +6000DraftKings +7000

Considering that no tight end has ever led the league in receiving yards, these players would have to be considered long shots to win this bet.

Travis Kelce at 16/1 odds is ok, but at 20/1 with DraftKings, I like the bet much better.

There are even more significant discrepancies with the odds for Mark Andrews and Darren Waller.

For both Andrews and Waller, Caesars is far and away the best option for a bettor to find their Best Odds.