Tight end premium leagues have become more and more popular recently, a league format which values tight end receptions at a higher rate than other position groups. This is an effort to increase overall value for the position and increase the chances of starting multiple tight ends in flex positions. 


Tight end premium leagues are a fun way to enjoy dynasty fantasy football. They often increase the likelihood of trades and carry larger rosters. They allow for different strategies during startup drafts and when compiling player shares during the offseason. Player values can be vastly different in tight end premium formats.


In this guide, we’re going to provide some insight on how to value players in tight end premium leagues. I’ve compiled data from 2019 player finishes in Point Per Reception (PPR) settings and 2020 fantasy projections which we compiled using FantasyPros awesome projections. The data we compiled was for the top 30 tight ends based on Dynasty Happy Hour position rankings, top 30 running backs based on 2019 fantasy finish, the top 95 wide receivers based on 2019 fantasy finish, and the top 16 rookies based on average draft position. We omitted quarterback data because it would skew values for skill position players and how to rate them against each other. 


The findings are divided into two separate ranking tiers. The first tier is for tight end premium leagues which score a half-point increase per reception by tight ends. It’s called 1.5 Premium from now on. We will be talking solely about 1.5 Premium in this article. The second tier is tight end premium leagues which score full point bonuses per reception. We’ll discuss those findings in another article


Running backs are typically valued at the highest average draft position in most draft formats. In our findings for tight end premium leagues we discovered, in many cases, you’ll be better off selecting a tight end in your startup drafts before many running backs and wide receivers.


For instance, in a 1.5 premium league, two tight ends return round one value, four tight ends are within the top projected 30 fantasy player finishes, and eight tight ends are within the top projected 60 fantasy player finishes. That means there are four tight ends you could select before Nick Chubb, Leonard Fournette, and Josh Jacobs and feel confident they will outscore those players. Chubb is projected to finish as RB13 in 2020, Jacobs as RB14, and Fournette as RB16. 


There are also eight tight ends you could see return more fantasy points in 2020 with 1.5 Premium scoring settings than some of the following running backs: Melvin Gordon, David Montgomery, Raheem Mostert, James White, and Tarik Cohen are all running backs expected to finish around sixty or lower. These aren’t top tier RB1 values, but they are all expected to finish at or around RB2 fantasy point production in 2020.


Those top four tight ends; Travis Kelce (TE1), George Kittle (TE2), Zach Ertz (TE3), and Darren Waller (TE4), would all finish above RB6 with the projections we are using in 1.5 Premium leagues. The other four tight ends in the top eight; Mark Andrews (TE5), Evan Engram (TE6), Hunter Henry (TE7), and Tyler Higbee (TE8) would all finish above RB20. The value of the top eight tight ends is certainly more top heavy on the return, but getting multiple players at the position within the top eight can be an effective strategy in this format. 


In comparison to the wide receivers, tight ends in 1.5 premium form an even greater advantage at the top. Only Michael Thomas’s (WR1) projected 326 PPR fantasy points would finish ahead of Travis Kelce, and Davante Adams’s (WR2) projected 283 PPR fantasy points would finish ahead of George Kittle. The top two tight ends are projected to finish within the top three wide receivers in 1.5 Premium leagues in 2020. 


Zach Ertz is projected to have about 248 fantasy points in 1.5 premium leagues, which would return WR6 overall value. That’s right ahead of Chris Godwin (WR6), Adam Thielen (WR7), and Juju Smith-Schuster (WR8). 


Darren Waller would finish as WR10 overall with 233.5 projected points. That’s even with Mike Evans (WR10), and ahead of Robert Woods (WR11), and Kenny Golladay(WR12) in projected value. Mark Andrews is the last of the tight ends projected to finish at an elite level as a mid-tier WR2 value. 


Andrews is expected to score 224 PPR fantasy points in 1.5 premium and would finish ahead of Calvin Ridley (WR18), Tyler Lockett (WR19), AJ Brown (WR 20), and Courtland Sutton (WR21). Andrews could also finish very close to Odell Beckham Jr. in this format with a difference of three points projected between them.


The remainder of the top eight tight ends as a group all finish as WR3 positional value. They are all projected to finish within 7 PPR fantasy points in 1.5 premium leagues. There are 19 total tight ends projected to finish in the top 100 fantasy scorers for 2020 in this format also. 


Understanding the relationship of value for tight ends in premium leagues provides options for different strategies in startup drafts. The next article will delve into full point tight end reception bonus leagues. I’ve done three of those drafts this year so far, and I’m finding them to be my favorite drafts. 


Follow me on Twitter @capitalJared and look for #WinningFantasy to join the thread.


For more in depth analysis and all the rankings click here