Talking through this seemed to help. Laying out the process for dynasty rankings is an essential bit of information we should see more of because even as I work through things, putting one guy ahead of another could be for a variety of reasons. Enjoy as you witness my thought catalog through my first dynasty rankings in 2020 for the tight end position. After you’re done here, go back and check my work in the first installment on running backs.

1George Kittle
2Travis Kelce
3Mark Andrews
4Evan Engram
5Zach Ertz

Admittedly, I came into this more or less knowing which five names would be at the mountaintop. While I can’t speak for everyone, most analysts will have the same man at the apex. At 30 and 29, respectively, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are the elder statesmen of the group. Side note: remember when Brent Celek was keeping Ertz off the field? I wonder if I would have Evan Engram over Mark Andrews if the Giants TE played a full 16 games this year. Those two over Ertz were due to a combination of age and the emergence of someone who will be appearing in these ranks shortly.

6Hunter Henry
7Darren Waller
8Austin Hooper

So…this is the last of the established guys to top my board. I’m not going to break my arm patting myself on the back, but after Week 1, I told listeners of The American Sports Show on Lovesport Radio that Darren Waller was the guy to zero in on with their waiver selection. I’m putting in a formal request to the fantasy gods that Hunter Henry sees an entirely healthy season. I like how Hooper plays, but his situation could be flipped on his head in a year or two, so I’d be selling if I’m not in a championship window right now.

9T.J. Hockenson
10Noah Fant
11Dallas Goedert

The potential that these three tight ends have could power a major city. I don’t have a decade-plus looking critically at the film. Still, Dallas Goedert looked insanely polished as a prospect heading into the Philadelphia Eagles locker room, rivaled only by how incredible T.J. Hockenson looked before being drafted by the Detroit Lions. We didn’t realize the Arizona Cardinals would be a fantasy buffet for TEs, yet now knowing that I’m worried that Hock had a much worse rookie season than we think.

The good news is that his former college teammate Noah Fant came on strong late and flashed his big-play ability through improved chemistry with Drew Lock. Pick your favorite and offer up a second-round pick to whichever player rosters them in your league.

12O.J. Howard
13Jared Cook
14David Njoku

Chunks of three were not how I envisioned breaking things down, and yet here we are. O.J. Howard looked so good just two short years ago. I’m worried there’s not enough meat on the bone with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in tow. And lord help us if what we saw of Breshad Perriman at the end of the season wasn’t purely volume-based. Jared Cook feels like he should be a top 10 option at the position. If you’re hunting a title, I would immediately move my 2020 second-round rookie pick to add Cook. Njoku should have a better resume at this point in his career, but things could pay off in a big way next year. They have to, right?

15Chris Herndon
16Will Dissly
17Mike Gesicki
18Eric Ebron
19Irv Smith, Jr.
20Gerald Everett
21Ian Thomas
22Jonnu Smith
23Dawson Knox

Nine names here! It’s a multiple of three, but I’m slowly shaking things. Does anybody remember Boggle? How you’d shake the letters and slam em down Peggy Hill style? That’s how I feel about the order of names here. Still, creating tight end dynasty rankings means having my order matter. Herndon looked like an ascending talent after his rookie season, and his chemistry with Sam Darnold was unmistakable.

Dissly has flashed big time for the second time in his career. If he stays healthy, he could see the most significant price increase after 2020. Putting Gesicki reasonably high in my tight end dynasty rankings was mostly to please my bosses here. That’s wholly and entirely a joke; in fact, I quite like Gesicki. Seeing him up close and personal at the Senior Bowl a couple of years back was fun. He’s a mountain of a man and moves incredibly fluid. His high ranking is tethered to my hopes for the Miami Dolphins rebuild.

Ian Thomas is in the same boat as Herndon when it comes to looking great as a rookie and going through a sophomore slump. Irv Smith is the tight end to get in Minnesota. Progress is not linear, but if Dawson Knox continues to improve in 2020, we could somehow see this list get even tighter.

24Jack Doyle
25Trey Burton
26Jace Sternberger
27Vance McDonald
28Greg Olsen
29Jimmy Graham
30Delanie Walker

Mostly the ghosts of fantasy seasons’ past here. The old-timers aren’t just sentimental adds. Jimmy Graham is the most reliable pass catcher in Green Bay not named Adams, but if he’s coming in only before 30 in TE dynasty rankings, that says more about the Green Bay Packers wide receivers than anything else. Still, I have hope for Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown. Sternberger couldn’t possibly cost more than a late third right now if the player currently rostering him wasn’t a massive fan of his college play. It could very much be worth the investment.

Vance McDonald, Trey Burton, and Jack Doyle all seem to be at similar points in their careers to me. I remember them being good, and rather than that last jump to being great, they backslid a bit. McDonald slid through the emergence of Kittle and being traded. Doyle slid through the resurgence of Eric Ebron after being acquired. Burton doesn’t have a verb that ends in ence to go along with his reasoning. The Eagles chose to spend money elsewhere and let him walk right into the arms of then first-year head coach Matt Nagy. Call it the lack of Philadelphia splurge-ence, which is not at all a word.

Through 30 tight ends ranked for dynasty, and there are still a few notable names I want to mention that missed the cut. Jordan Reed is as electric as a tight end comes with the ball in his hands, he’s just had horrible injury luck in his career. Cameron Brate can be a TE1 for a team, but under his current contract and coach, he’s in Tampa Bay being largely ignored for the foreseeable future. Hayden Hurst is a former first-round pick heading into his third year in the league, but he’s older than 75% of my top 12, one of whom is teammate Mark Andrews. Foster Moreau had some impressive moments as a rookie, but he’s behind Darren Waller. We didn’t see much of Jordan Thomas, but he and Kahale Warring will be compelling guys to keep an eye on ahead of the 2020 season.

Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for the Pro Football Network covering Dynasty Fantasy Football. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter.