Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Darren Waller, Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews lead my Week 3 fantasy football tight end rankings for 2021.
T.J. Hockenson, Dallas Goedert, Kyle Pitts, Logan Thomas and Robert Tonyan round out my top 10 options for Week 3. Cole Kmet and Dan Arnold are among my top tight end streamers.
The top-tier tight ends should not leave your lineup if you are in a league that requires starting the position.
Look for players with great matchups on a weekly basis if you didn't draft an elite option. I recommend starting a tight end who will be the first or second target in their respective offense.
Here are some of my favorite players in this week's top 20 rankings:
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller leads the NFL with 26 targets through two weeks. He is my top option at the position for Week 3, when the Raiders host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Paradise, Nevada.
The Dolphins aren't bad against tight ends, but Waller is too important to the Raiders offense to ignore as a fantasy football factor. Waller has averaged more than 10 targets per game over his last eight games, including the end of last season.
I expect at least 100 yards and a score from Waller in this matchup. He should be started in all leagues, regardless of format.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski enters Week 3 with a string of three consecutive games with at least two touchdowns, including the Super Bowl.
This week, the Buccaneers battle the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are decent at defending tight ends, but Gronkowski is too much of a red zone threat to keep out of your lineup.
Look for at least six catches and a score from Gronkowski on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. He is my No. 2 tight end and can be started as a WR/TE is leagues with at least 14 teams that don't require starting tight ends.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is my No. 7 option for Week 3. Goedert faces the Dallas Cowboys on Monday at Arlington, Texas.
The Cowboys allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends through two weeks. Look for the Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts to keep looking Goedert's way this week in a game that should remain close and feature a ton of points.
I expect at least five catches for 75 yards and a score from Goedert in Week 3.
Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan caught his first touchdown of the season in Monday's win over the Detroit Lions. He faces the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif.
The 49ers were the best team in the NFL last season at defending tight ends, but they allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to the position through two weeks in 2021.
I expect Tonyan to haul in one of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' three touchdown passes in this matchup. Tonyan is my No. 10 option at the position, but should only be started in leagues that require starting tight ends.
Cole Kmet of the Chicago Bears is a stream-worthy tight end in Week 3. The Bears tight end didn't score through his first two games, but he should get a chance against the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns allowed five passing scores through the first two weeks of the season. I expect rookie quarterback Justin Fields to make his first career start for the Bears on Sunday in Cleveland.
He should use Kmet as a safe target throughout the game. Kmet, my No. 13 option, is a touchdown-or-bust play, but worth a shot if you are in a league that requires starting the position.
He should see at least 10 targets in Fields' first start.
Carolina Panthers tight end Dan Arnold is my No. 15 tight end for Week 3.
Arnold is another player who likely only pays off to start if he scores a touchdown, but he should get a shot this week when the Panthers face the Houston Texans.
The Texans allowed the second-most catches, third-most receiving yards and sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends through two weeks.
Look for Arnold to haul in a score and total at least 50 yards in this matchup.
Week 3 fantasy football tight end rankings
1. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders vs. MIA
2. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at LAR
3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. GB
4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. LAC
5. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at DET
6. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. BAL
7. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles at DAL
8. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons at NYG
9. Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team at BUF
10. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers at SF
11. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams vs. TB
12. Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots vs. NO
13. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears at CLE
14. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos vs. NYJ
15. Dan Arnold, Carolina Panthers at HOU
16. Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers at KC
17. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at LV
18. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns vs. CHI
19. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CIN
20. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts at TEN
The Kansas City Chiefs' Darrel Williams scores on a 2-yard touchdown past Baltimore Ravens Odafe Oweh in Baltimore on Sunday, where the Ravens won 36-35
. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo