TE Strength of Schedule

Tue Jun 11 11:11am ET
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Bowers could have big year one

Using our rules for our money leagues, we came up with a schedule strength ranking for the tight end position. We are using our fantasy defenses report to calculate the rankings. This report can be found in all of our leagues under the "reports" heading. We took the schedule of each team and entered the average number of fantasy points allowed to tight ends last season from all of their opponents to get our fantasy points allowed number. This is a good indication of the tight ends with the most favorable schedules for fantasy scoring for the coming season. Defenses obviously change from year to year, but knowing the tight ends that might have the easiest schedule for fantasy is always a good idea when formulating your rankings and draft strategy.

  TE SOS  
1. Cincinnati Bengals 186.39
2. Miami Dolphins 193.98
3. Philadelphia Eagles 196.38
4. Washington Commanders 197.75
5. Houston Texans 198.15
6. Pittsburgh Steelers 199.18
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 199.68
8. New York Giants 201
9. Dallas Cowboys 201.18
10. Los Angeles Rams 201.38
11. Buffalo Bills 201.39
12. Chicago Bears 201.66
13. Arizona Cardinals 201.76
14. New York Jets 202.56
15. Jacksonville Jaguars 202.86
16. Baltimore Ravens 203.04
17. Denver Broncos 203.95
18. Los Angeles Chargers 204.02
19. Atlanta Falcons 204.25
20. Cleveland Browns 204.59
21. New Orleans Saints 205.62
22. Seattle Seahawks 205.73
23. San Francisco 49ers 206.80
24. Indianapolis Colts 206.89
25. Detroit Lions 207.92
26. New England Patriots 208.23
27. Kansas City Chiefs 210.92
28. Tennessee Titans 211.44
29. Green Bay Packers 212.07
30. Minnesota Vikings 212.23
31. Carolina Panthers 213.66
32. Las Vegas Raiders 213.81

A rookie led fantasy tight ends in scoring last year and the top rated rookie tight end this year gets the easiest fantasy schedule for tight end. Brock Browers and the Raiders have the most favorable schedule for tight ends. Sam LaPorta showed last year that a rookie can make an immediate fantasy impact, so don’t discount Browers to have big-time success in year one. He certainly looks the part of an elite tight end.

Another rookie with a good chance to start has the second easiest schedule for tight ends. Panthers tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders will compete with Tommy Tremble to start, but should emerge and be the top pass-catching tight end. He is looking like a good late-round gamble for fantasy teams.

The Vikings, Packers and Titans round out the top-five most favorable schedules for tight ends. T.J. Hockenson would be looking like a great pick if he wasn’t returning from a major injury. He is no sure thing to play early in the year. But once he is healthy, he could help fantasy teams in a big way once again.

Green Bay is likely to have Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft split a lot of the work at tight end, hurting both their value. They could produce some big games along the way, though, making them decent No. 2 fantasy tight ends this season. Both produced well in an expanded role last year.

Lastly, Chin Okonkwo didn’t quite have the breakout season many hoped last year, but he wasn’t bad by any means. Maybe he gets a few more chances this year and has some bigger games along the way with this favorable schedule. He is another decent tight end to grab as your backup.

The teams that top the list for toughest fantasy tight end schedules are teams that haven’t really utilized the tight end much in recent seasons. The Bengals have the toughest schedule followed bye the Dolphins. Mike Gesicki is the starter for the Bengals, but probably isn’t worth the risk with this schedule and the Bengals recent track record with tight ends.

Miami uses their tight ends to block more than anything in their offense. They have the occasional big game, but Jonnu Smith is going to be a risky weekly fantasy play. He would have looked much better landing with a different team.

There are a couple big-time fantasy tight ends that have unfavorable schedules. Dallas Goedert has the third toughest schedule. Goedert can be a little hit or miss to begin with in this offense, so this schedule gives him a little more concern. You might want to pass on him come draft day and go with another elite tight end with a better schedule and more consistency.

Dalton Schultz is the other elite tight end with a top-five unfavorable schedule. Schultz had a big first season with the Texans, becoming a favorite target of C.J. Stroud. He should get the targets this year. But he has a challenging schedule and more to compete with for targets, so his consistency might be a little off this year compared to last. 

We also wanted to look at playoff schedules for fantasy tight ends. So we crunched the numbers of all the schedules from Week 14-17, which is the fantasy playoffs for most leagues. We know you have to get to the playoffs first, but knowing the tight ends with the easiest playoff schedules doesn’t hurt by any means, especially in the big-money contests.

1. Atlanta Falcons 175
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 182.37
3. Philadelphia Eagles 184.73
4. Arizona Cardinals 187.67
5. Jacksonville Jaguars 187.77
6. New England Patriots 189.83
7. Miami Dolphins 190.37
8. New Orleans Saints 191.3
9. Los Angeles Rams 192.17
10. Pittsburgh Steelers 192.43
11. Cincinnati Bengals 196.1
12. Detroit Lions 196.12
13. Houston Texans 196.2
14. Indianapolis Colts 198.97
15. Buffalo Bills 199.63
16. Kansas City Chiefs 203.03
17. New York Jets 204.13
18. Carolina Panthers 205.7
19. Baltimore Ravens 205.9
20. Green Bay Packers 207.7
21. Chicago Bears 213.73
22. New York Giants 214.27
23. Seattle Seahawks 214.72
24. Cleveland Browns 214.97
25. Dallas Cowboys 215.8
26. Las Vegas Raiders 219.4
27. Washington Commanders 220.13
28. Denver Broncos 220.8
29. Minnesota Vikings 221.72
30. Tennessee Titans 223.73
31. San Francisco 49ers 225.53
32. Los Angeles Chargers 228.53

The Titans and Vikings are the only two teams with the most favorable fantasy schedule for tight ends during the regular season and playoffs. Hockenson is the intriguing one because he might not be fully healthy until late in the season. So while he might not be a huge fantasy factor for the regular season, Hockenson might be a difference maker in the playoffs.

Okonkwo is looking like a player worth grabbing as a No. 2 fantasy tight end, especially if you have an established starter ahead of him. Okonkwo has a high fantasy ceiling for the coming year because of a schedule that could facilitate a breakout season for him.

The Chargers actually have the best fantasy playoff schedule for tight ends. Donald Parham is the likely starter and has some potential in an offense looking for playmakers in the passing game. This could be his best season to date, making him an intriguing late-round gamble.

George Kittle is the biggest name on the list for top-five favorable fantasy tight end playoff schedules. He is going to produce big and could be even better down the stretch with a schedule setup for success.

The Falcons have the most challenging playoff schedule for fantasy tight ends. This is not good news for Kyle Pitts. He is already a polarizing fantasy player, so this schedule won’t do him any favors to get in good graces with more fantasy owners. Many think he could finally turn things around this year with a new coaching staff in place, but nothing is certain with this situation. Pitts could be a boom or bust pick once again.

The Eagles are the only team on both the top five most difficult fantasy schedules for tight ends for the regular season and playoffs. Goedert is looking like a player you might want to let someone else grab come draft day. There are a lot of good, young options at tight end this year. Going with one of those guys over Goedert might be the play on draft day.

Trey McBride is a favorite for many fantasy owners this year for a breakout season. He had a huge finish to last year and is shooting up draft boards. We wouldn’t avoid him come draft day because he has the fourth toughest fantasy playoff schedule. It is a little bit of a concern, but not a huge red flag for the talented tight end. Maybe just prepare for his numbers to dip a tad during the playoffs.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

This Week in the TFC (7-2)

Player Notes
KJ Hamler Jul 15 2:20pm ET
KJ Hamler

Wide receiver KJ Hamler (heart), the former second-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2020, signed a Reserve/Futures deal with the Buffalo Bills earlier this year and is looking to make a comeback in 2024 after already facing plenty of adversity in the NFL. Hamler struggled with a hamstring injury in his rookie year and tore his ACL in 2021 before dealing with another hamstring issue in 2022 and a partially torn pectoral muscle last year. In addition to all those injuries, he felt severe heart pain last summer and was diagnosed with pericarditis, an inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the heart. The 25-year-old signed with the Colts' practice squad in late September but was never elevated to the active roster. The speedy downfield threat is facing an uphill battle to make Buffalo's roster out of training camp this summer, even with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis no longer around.

From RotoBaller

Nick Chubb Jul 15 2:10pm ET
Nick Chubb

An Instagram post on Monday morning showed Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (knee) doing two squat reps with what appears to be a total of 12 45-pound plates on a Tsunami Max bar. It's especially impressive, considering Chubb suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Week 2 game against the Steelers on Sept. 18 of last year that required two surgeries -- one to fix damage to his MCL, the medial capsule and meniscus, and the second to fix his ACL. The four-time pro Bowler suffered a similar injury, except for the torn ACL, in the same knee at Georgia in 205. Chubb isn't putting a timetable on his return but also didn't dismiss the possibility of being ready for Week 1 against Dallas this fall. He started running in April but didn't do any on-field work during OTAs or minicamp. The 28-year-old is likely to be eased in this year, which makes him more of a risky RB3 in fantasy than a surefire RB1.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Jul 15 10:43am ET
Tyreek Hill

Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill said he's content with his contract situation, and he's focused on winning a championship.

Fantasy Spin: Cheetah was the WR1 for much of the season before he was hampered with a leg injury. Now 30, that is something to keep an eye on. He's still worthy of a top-three selection at the position, but he could slide with the younger options at the position.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Addison Jul 14 8:30pm ET
Jordan Addison

According to a report from the Los Angeles Daily News, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison was arrested on Friday night for suspicion of DUI. Police were notified and responded to an area near LAX, where Addison was reportedly found asleep at the wheel and blocking several lanes. He was taken into custody and released a few hours later. The 2023 No. 23 overall pick finished his first year in the NFL by amassing 70 catches for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns. While it's unknown if Addison will face any discipline from the NFL or team, his fantasy stock could take a hit from managers unwilling to draft him in fear of a possible suspension.

From RotoBaller

Caleb Williams Jul 14 8:20pm ET
Caleb Williams

Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams remains without a contract. Yet, the rookie is apparently not concerned about it, considering he reported he hasn't been involved in negotiations. "I'm not handling that," said Williams when asked about a potential deal. "My lawyers and attorney and everybody, the head of the Bears, everybody up there up top is handling that. That's not my position that I'm handling." There are several issues holding things up. However, Williams doesn't have an NFLPA-certified agent, so it's unknown who is orchestrating things behind the scenes on his behalf. The 2024 No. 1 overall pick has plenty of pressure on him heading into his inaugural year, especially since he is replacing Justin Fields, a move that didn't sit well with some. With that said, Williams is expected to have more than a few impressive rookie showings, although fantasy managers should expect growing pains.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Jul 14 8:00pm ET
Tyreek Hill

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill recently endorsed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for a new contract. However, the wideout is adamant he's not concerned about his deal, believing the organization will do right by him. "I know when it's time for me to get a deal, the Miami Dolphins will do what's right," said Hill during an interview with Omar Kelly of The Miami Herald. "The contract, it'll come. Whenever it comes, I'll be happy." Several wideouts around the National Football League have already received market-altering deals. But it appears Hill isn't concerned, meaning it shouldn't be a distraction heading into the 2024-25 campaign. With that in mind, the multi-time Pro-Bowler should remain one of the first receivers taken in every fantasy draft ahead of Week 1.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Pitts Jul 14 7:50pm ET
Kyle Pitts

According to Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Zac Robinson, tight end Kyle Pitts is "learning basically two positions." "There's some tight end, and there's some wide receiver," said Robinson in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "So, he's got a lot on his plate. I'm just excited to see him continue to get more comfortable in the system...We'll move him around the formation. We'll use him as a blocker. We'll use him as a receiver. We'll use him all across the board." The 23-year-old has appeared in 44 games for the Falcons over the last three seasons, amassing 2,049 yards and six touchdowns off 149 catches. But with a new coaching staff in Atlanta, it's safe to say that Pitts could be in line for the best year of his career, assuming he remains involved in the offense as advertised during the offseason.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Jul 14 5:53pm ET
Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers says his Achilles' tendon 'feels good' ahead of training camp, he told reporters on Saturday, July 13. 'My Achilles feels good, you know. I felt really good at the end of last year,' Rodgers said. 'Then, you know, there's always that kind of plateau part. It's just about getting back into it. I felt good all spring.'

From TheHuddle

Kyle Juszczyk Jul 14 1:40pm ET
Kyle Juszczyk

San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk admits that he was "hurt" when the team came to him this offseason and asked him to take a pay cut after just completing his seventh Pro Bowl campaign with the organization. With so many other highly paid players on the team and several others in line for big pay days, the 49ers' front office made some cost-cutting moves in the offseason, including releasing defensive tackle Arik Armstead after he declined to take a pay cut. Juszczyk accepted his pay cut and remains the highest-paid fullback in the league at more than $4.5 million per season. "No knocks on other fullbacks in the league, but I'm the best fullback in the league," Juszczyk said. The 33-year-old will once again have a key blocking role for the best running back in the league in 2024 in Christian McCaffrey.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Jul 14 1:30pm ET
Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have yet to work out a long-term contract extension, but Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill believes his QB should be one of the highest-paid signal-callers in the league. "For people to like sit here and try to discredit Tua and say he's not deserving of a contract is wild to me," Hill said. "A lot of guys on the team understand his value and understand that we need him. We need his leadership, we need the mindset that he brings into each and every week. It's there. It's like Terminator almost, man. I feel like he should be one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league." Tagovailoa is heading into his fifth year in the NFL and is coming off a career year in which he led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards and added 29 touchdowns while completing 69.3% of his passes in 17 regular-season games.

From RotoBaller

Tee Higgins Jul 14 1:10pm ET
Tee Higgins

The Cincinnati Bengals and star wide receiver Tee Higgins won't come to terms on a long-term contract extension by Monday's deadline. Higgins has signed his franchise tag and will play on the one-year pact in 2024 before becoming one of the top free agents next offseason. This outcome had appeared evident for some time, but now it's official. The 25-year-old will be highly motivated to produce a bounce-back season in 2024 after playing in just 12 games last year due to injuries while finishing with a career-low 42 catches for 656 yards and five touchdowns. It's possible the Bengals could franchise tag Higgins again next year or work out a tag-and-trade deal. Higgins should bounce back if he and quarterback Joe Burrow stay healthy, but his fantasy ceiling is probably capped as a WR2 with Ja'Marr Chase being the team's WR1.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Sutton Jul 14 11:03am ET
Cameron Sutton

Pittsburgh Steelers CBs Josiah Scott and Beanie Bishop Jr. are the two most likely candidates to win the team's starting nickel cornerback job, as a result of CB Cameron Sutton receiving an eight-game suspension from the National Football League. Sutton will be eligible to return for Week 10's game versus the Washington Commanders.

From TheHuddle

De'Vondre Campbell Jul 14 9:43am ET
De'Vondre Campbell

San Francisco 49ers LBs Ezekiel Turner, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Curtis Robinson, Jalen Graham, Tatum Bethune and Dee Winters are all under consideration to start at strongside linebacker to begin the 2024 season if LB Dre Greenlaw (Achilles) is unavailable to play weakside linebacker. Once Greenlaw is healthy, LB De'Vondre Campbell is expected to move from weakside linebacker to strongside linebacker.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jul 13 11:03pm ET
George Kittle

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle led all tight ends with 15.7 yards per reception last year, and his 7.4 yards after the catch were tied for the most at the position.

From TheHuddle

Travis Kelce Jul 13 10:13pm ET
Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce's 10.6 yards per catch in 2023 were a career low, but his 65.6 receiving yards per game and 51 first downs ranked first among tight ends.

Fantasy Spin: Kelce is no longer the unquestioned No. 1 fantasy option at the position, but he is still one of the steadiest tight performers with arguably the safest floor.

From TheHuddle

Adam Thielen Jul 13 9:40pm ET
Adam Thielen

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen feels he has more to prove to himself despite being in the NFL for over a decade. "I talk to the young guys about this all the time, is no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, no matter how many years you've been in the league, you have something to prove," Thielen said in an interview. "You have to have that mindset every single day." The 33-year-old is coming off a productive season, amassing his first 1,000-yard receiving campaign since 2018 while finding the end zone four times. Although the Panthers have a lot of question marks regarding the offense, it appears Thielen is not ready to stop being a reliable fantasy asset anytime soon.

From RotoBaller

Bijan Robinson Jul 13 1:20pm ET
Bijan Robinson

Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson was slowed by a left-ankle sprain in the offseason, but he'll be fine for training camp and is ready for the team to put more on his plate in his sophomore season. New offensive coordinator Zac Robinson and head coach Raheem Morris haven't been shy about saying the plan is to use Robinson like the 49ers use RB Christian McCaffrey. He finished 15th in the league in 2023 with 976 rushing yards while also adding 58 receptions for 487 yards and eight total touchdowns. With a more diversified attack on offense after Atlanta stuck with a wide-zone rushing attack in 2023, there's plenty of room for growth for Robinson as a high-end RB1 in fantasy, especially with quarterback Kirk Cousins now leading the offense. "I'm going to be more of a runner that does everything else," Robinson said.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Jul 13 1:10pm ET
Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) said he "feels good" when asked about his status with training camp approaching at the end of July. Rodgers tore his Achilles on the first offensive series in Week 1 last fall and missed the rest of his first year in New York. However, he miraculously returned to practices late last season and said his surgically repaired Achilles has felt good throughout the offseason and during organized team activities a month ago. A healthy Rodgers should give Gang Green a realistic shot at the postseason given all the weapons they have on offense, but fantasy managers should temper expectations for a 40-year-old signal-caller coming off a major injury. If he stays healthy, Rodgers could easily finish as a top-15 fantasy QB, but relying on him as your QB1 is a risky proposition.

From RotoBaller

Justin Simmons Jul 13 12:33pm ET
Justin Simmons

Free-agent S Justin Simmons (Broncos) is not sure when he'll sign with a team in free agency, he said on Thursday, July 11. 'Who knows? I could sign tomorrow, I could sign two weeks into camp, I could sign the first game of the season. You just never know how these things go,' he said. 'So, it's caused me to slow down and give up control because it's not in my control.'

From TheHuddle

Audric Estime Jul 12 11:06pm ET
Audric Estime

Denver Broncos rookie fifth-round running back Audric Estime (knee) missed most of the offseason program after undergoing a minor scope of his knee, but he's expected to be "full-go" for the starting of training camp in a few weeks, according to head coach Sean Payton. In limited action in front of the media this offseason, Estime looked the part of a RB who can bring more short-yardage toughness to Denver's backfield, but it remains to be seen if he can supplant Javonte Williams as an every-down option in 2024. The 20-year-old from Notre Dame is probably a long shot to become the team's lead back, at least earlier in his rookie season, but he could take over goal-line duties fairly quickly, which could make him worth a late-round flier in deep fantasy leagues as a handcuff for Williams.