2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

by Michael Tomlin
2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

If you are a “Great or Late” drafter at the position, then the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers is imperative content for you to consume.

I am always going to try and snag Travis Kelce should my draft positioning warrant his selection or he slides to me at a later point. Obviously, this does not always work.

So, the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers are the guys I am going to target. There is so much turnover from the mid-level tight ends to the late-round guys. Touchdown luck can be a massive swing factor.

This is why these 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers are so important: they have just as good of a chance of finishing as a Top-6 tight end as guys drafted several rounds earlier.

All of the information in the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers is up to date as of July 25th and the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Average Draft Position (ADP) is per FantasyPros in half-PPR scoring.

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2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

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Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings, ADP: TE16, 150.8 Overall

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Irv Smith Jr. is my favorite of all of the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers. He has everything that you could want in a sleeper ready to break out.

Smith Jr. missed all of last season after splitting the tight end role with Kyle Rudolph in his rookie year. So, no one has seen him handle the full workload, hence the lower ADP for someone in his role.

The role I speak of is one that saw Tyler Conklin haul in 61 passes on 87 targets for 593 yards last season. Now his overall numbers are nothing to scream about, but we have to admit that Conklin is exponentially a lesser prospect that Smith Jr.

The biggest factor is the bad touchdown luck that Conklin had in 2021. The former Viking caught just three touchdowns last year. Irv Smith Jr. caught five on just 43 targets in his rookie season.

If Irv Smith Jr. gets those 87 targets at his touchdown rate from 2020, then he would project to 7.5 touchdowns. At seven touchdowns with the same catch/yards totals, Conklin would have been TE8, just 0.8 points behind Kyle Pitts last year.

To top it all off, there will be receiving touchdowns to pass around with what surely will be the Adam Thielen touchdown-regression season.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots, ADP: TE19, 168.8 Overall

Hunter Henry was the TE9 in half-PPR scoring last season. Henry’s ECR is currently at TE13. Yet he is not going in drafts until TE19 and I am not really sure why the slide.

Mac Jones should take a step forward and get more leeway slinging the ball around. Even late in the season we saw that and Henry was the benefactor. After the crazy weather/wind game at Buffalo, Henry had a pro-rated pace of 106.25 targets, 63.75 receptions, 888.25 yards and 8.5 touchdowns (would have been the TE3 last season).

Henry has one of the highest floors of production of any tight end. The list of tight ends with at least 50 catches, 600 yards, and four touchdowns in each of the last three seasons: Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews…. and Hunter Henry.

If that is Henry’s absolute floor, then he will most definitely return his draft value. Should he get closer to his ceiling, you could have a top-4 tight end.

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars, ADP: TE21, 184.5 Overall

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I know, most of you out there are groaning and saying “never again” when it comes to Engram. But hear me out.

We are still talking about a physical freak of a prospect. He has also had quite the quarterback roller coaster since his rookie season. I am not saying Trevor Lawrence is an All-Pro yet, but he has definitely more to give than Daniel Jones.

The main reason that Engram makes the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers: Doug Pederson.

Pederson was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City when Travis Kelce became the Fantasy Football Tight End Goat. He also maintained multiple relevant tight ends when he was in Philadelphia. Pederson has always featured his athletic, pass-catching tight ends and Engram fits the bill.

Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals, ADP: TE29, 218.3 Overall

Hayden Hurst is the forgotten sleeper at the tight end position. Going into 2020, he was the sleeper du jour when he signed with the Falcons.

His 2020 production was solid, not spectacular, but still returned on investment finishing as TE9. Then the Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts and Hurst was pushed aside.

Well Hurst has been given a new lease on life with the most explosive young offense in the league in Cincinnati. I know, there are some big-time mouths to feed at wide receiver and running back there with only 83 total tight end targets in 2021.

I counter that Hurst is simply a better football player than C.J. Uzomah or Drew Sample. The two combined for five drops last season while Hurst has four in his entire career. Joe Burrow’s passer rating when targeting the tight ends last season was 97.3. Hurst’s career average in that category is 106.1.

I also think defenses will be more apt to let Joe Burrow dink and dunk down the field rather than give up bigger plays to their explosive wide receivers. With the defense keyed in on Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Hurst could eat up the middle of the field.

Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts, ADP: TE31, 252.5 Overall

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Show me a tight end catching passes from Matt Ryan and I will show you a guy that you can trust in your Fantasy Football lineup. The past four seasons, three different tight ends in Atlanta’s offense have finished as the following: TE6, TE9, TE6, and TE6. This is after Ryan rejuvenated Tony Gonzalez’ career.

Can Mo Alie-Cox handle a full workload? We will have to see. The beauty of him is that he will be undrafted in the majority of leagues so he is free.

The reason he is worth taking a chance on though is the lack of depth at receiver in Indianapolis. After Michael Pittman Jr., there is a steep drop-off. Someone will have to catch passes when defenses stack the box against Jonathan Taylor and Alie-Cox is as good as option as any they have.

Kyle Rudolph, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ADP: TE42, 376.0 Overall

This is kind of cheating the system because I doubt Rudolph will be a “sleeper” when most drafts are taking place. Nevertheless, I have to work with my set parameters and right now Rudolph is the biggest value at the position.

I know that Rudolph is not Rob Gronkowski. I also know that Tom Brady can turn any tight end into someone I want in my lineup.

With the report out today that Rudolph will inherit “the bulk” of Gronkowski’s role, I would not be counting on Gronk making a return.


As that report reiterates, there are 1,000 tight end snaps missing from Tampa’s offense from last season. That includes 110 targets, 69 receptions, 937 yards, and seven touchdowns. If Rudolph gets even two-thirds of that production then he will be a TE1.


Thanks for checking out the 2022 Fantasy Football tight end sleepers. Be sure to check out the rest of our draft kit!

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