The tight end position gained some value in fantasy land a season ago, as nine players scored 150-plus points. That's up from the seven who reached that mark in 2018. We also saw a combined 2,417 catches among tight ends, which ranked third all time, and 26,314 yards (sixth most).
That's good news, but who were the most successful players on a points-per-touch basis?
While the final scoring leaders offer a look at how well a player performed in the stat sheets, it fails to offer us a complete picture of how good the player really was for fantasy fans. In the case of the tight ends, here's the position's top 12 players (minimum 40 touches) ranked based on a combination of catches, receiving yards, total touchdowns and the positive fantasy points that resulted.
1. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (3.90): Cook had a slow start to 2019, averaging just 7.3 fantasy points and 2.92 points per touch in his first six games. He went off in the second half, however, scoring seven touchdowns while averaging more than 15 fantasy points per game and also posting a robust 4.42 points per touch. The veteran will be seen as a low-end No. 1 fantasy option in 2020.
2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (3.24): Andrews lived up to heightened expectations in 2019, ranking tied for fifth in fantasy points per game (13.8) at the tight end position. He got better as the season wore on too, as Andrews put up nearly 14 points in both the first and second half but saw his points per touch total rise from 2.69 points per touch in the first half to 3.94 in the second.
3. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (2.73): Henry missed four games due to injuries, but he was effective when out on the gridiron. He ranked eighth at the position in points per game (12.5), though he was more productive in his first four games (16.1 PPG) than in his final eight (10.7 PPG). The Chargers have used the franchise tag on Henry, so he'll remain a surefire top-eight tight end in 2020.
4. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (2.67): Gesicki was mostly irrelevant in fantasy leagues in the first half of last season, averaging just 4.3 points per game and 2.02 points per touch. He went off in the second half, though, averaging nearly 12 points per game with a points-per-touch average of close to three. I like him as one of the top sleepers at the position ahead of 2020 fantasy football drafts.
5. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (2.60): Doyle wasn't great in fantasy circles last season, ranking 24th in fantasy points per game (7.0) among tight ends. Things could be better for him in 2020, however, as the Colts won't retain Eric Ebron and could have an upgrade at the quarterback position (maybe Philip Rivers?). Regardless, Doyle will be considered a viable No. 2 fantasy tight end.
6. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (2.59): Kelce led all tight ends in fantasy points scored (again), and he tied George Kittle in fantasy points per game average (15.9). The superstar tight end has now finished in the top eight at the position in points per touch average in each of the last three seasons, and he'll no doubt be the top tight end and a top-30 overall pick in the majority of 2020 drafts.
7. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (2.58):Fantasy fans who are looking for a potential breakout player at the tight end position should remember Fant's name in 2020. After averaging just 5.25 fantasy points and 2.00 points per touch in his first eight games, Fant's averages rose to 8.6 points per game and 3.14 points per touch in the second half. He could end up being a major steal in fantasy drafts.
8. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (2.56): Hooper was the top-scoring tight end in fantasy football in 2019, at least before going down due to injury. He still ranked third behind Kelce and Kittle in terms of points scored per game, though, and his 17.89 points per game in the first eight weeks led the league. A pending free agent, Hooper is likely to be a top-five tight end in drafts.
9. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (2.49): Goedert averaged just 7.3 fantasy points over his first seven games, but that total rose to 11.7 in the second half. He was also fifth at the position in yards after catch (min. 40 touches). While he remains the second option at the position in the pass attack behind Zach Ertz, Goedert will remain a borderline No. 1 fantasy option.
10. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (2.48): Eifert ranked just 28th in fantasy points per game among tight ends (tied with T.J. Hockenson), so he didn't make much of a fantasy impact. He did find some success when he got the ball, though, and the pending free agent could have some draft value depending on where he lands this offseason. At this point, however, Eifert is a late flier at best.
11. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (2.47): Kittle saw his fantasy points per touch average decline a bit compared to last season (2.91), but he still tied Kelce in terms of the points per game average among tight ends. He also shined down the stretch, averaging 18.4 points per game and 2.73 points per touch. Kittle will be a top-two tight end in 2020 drafts and could pass Kelce in some leagues.
12. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (2.45): Ertz ranked 11th in terms of his points per touch average (2.42) in 2018, so he was mostly the same this past season. Ertz, who also ranked fourth at the position in fantasy points per game (14.4), will remain one of the first tight ends drafted in 2020. However, the presence of Goedert will contunue to put a cap on his overall statistical ceiling.
Notes:*Darren Waller, one of the top draft bargains/waiver adds in 2019, finished his breakout campaign ranked 13th in fantasy points per touch average (2.40). He also tied Andrews for fifth among tight ends in terms of points per game (13.8). ... *Evan Engram, who missed eight games due to injury, averaged 2.32 fantasy points per touch in 2019. That ranked 15th at the position among players with at least 40 touches. Engram also averaged 13.7 fantasy points per game, which ranked seventh at tight end. He'll be a borderline No. 1 option in 2020 and could be a bargain if he can avoid injuries. ... Tyler Higbee averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game and 2.32 fantasy points per touch overall, but his totals shot up to 21.4 points per game and 2.49 per touch in Weeks 13-17. Based on his immense success down the stretch in a more "featured" role, Higbee will be a top-8 tight end in 2020 drafts.