Top 10 TE fantasy football seasons of all time

When it comes to fantasy football, the TE position has taken on a new level of importance, as our list of all-time top seasons demonstrates. Eight of the top 10 performances on this list came from 2010 onwards, with the other two dating all the way back to the 1980s. With that in mind, let’s take a look at which players appear on our list of top 10 TE fantasy seasons of all time.

As you read this list, it will quickly become apparent that, somewhat unsurprisingly, all of the performances come from the 16- or 17-game era of the NFL. A fairer way to have produced this list would be to look at points per game (PPG). However, when we discuss the top fantasy performances of all time, it is total points that we usually look at. Therefore, the main list will focus on total points, with PPG leaders listed at the bottom.

Additionally, this list will use non-points per reception (PPR) scoring, as that is the format that has been the “standard” for the majority of fantasy history. However, with more leagues shifting towards the PPR format, the top 10 TE seasons of all time in PPR are listed at the bottom of the article.

10) Kellen Winslow | 181 fantasy points

San Diego Chargers, 1980

We start our list with a Hall of Famer in Kellen Winslow, who enjoyed a successful nine-year career in San Diego. However, from a fantasy perspective, things never got better than his second season in 1980.

Winslow finished as the fantasy TE1 but was also the fourth-highest scorer overall. He set career-highs in receptions with 89 and receiving yards with 1,290 yards. I have supplemented that with nine touchdown receptions. At the time, his 181 fantasy points sat at the top of the list of all-time TE fantasy seasons.

9) Rob Gronkowski | 183.6 fantasy points

New England Patriots, 2015

Gronkowski is the first name we encounter who will appear multiple times on this list. Had he been able to stay healthy during his career, he might even appear more on this list than he already does. Gronkowski finished as the TE1 four times between 2011 and 2017 and was the TE2 on another occasion (2012), despite playing just 11 games.

In 2015, Gronkowski caught 72 of his 120 targets across 15 games. He posted totals of 1,176 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns to finish with 183.6 fantasy points.

8) Rob Gronkowski | 184.4 fantasy points

New England Patriots, 2014

Gronkowski’s consistency between 2014 and 2015 was remarkable. He averaged 184 fantasy points across those two seasons, with a difference of just 0.8 fantasy points between the two. In 2014, Gronkowski turned 131 targets into 82 receptions with 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns.

7) Travis Kelce | 191.6 fantasy points

Kansas City Chiefs, 2018

Our next player to register multiple appearances on this list is Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. In terms of fantasy performances, they may never have been a better tight end than Kelce, both in terms of ceiling and consistency. Since 2014, Kelce has finished as a top 10 tight end on eight-straight occasions. The last six of those saw him finish as either the TE1 or TE2, including four times at the top of the list.

Kelce’s first appearance on the list of top TE fantasy football seasons of all time came in 2018. Kelce turned 150 targets into 103 receptions for 1,336 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

6) Mark Andrews | 194.1 fantasy points

Baltimore Ravens, 2021

Mark Andrews is the most recent addition to the list with a 2021 performance that saw him finish as a top 10 fantasy performer overall. In his fourth season in the league, Andrews turned 153 targets into 107 receptions, 1,361 yards, and nine touchdowns. The 2021 season was the third straight time that Andrews had finished as a top-five fantasy tight end.

5) JimmyGraham | 195 fantasy points

New Orleans Saints, 2011

Jimmy Graham had an incredible three-year run between 2011 and 2013. His arrival in the NFL coincided with that of Gronkowski, and the two of them took the tight end position to a new level of fantasy relevance.

Graham’s 2011 performance is the only one on this list that did see him finish the TE1 that year but to emphasize just how good it was, he finished with the 13th-best fantasy points total of the season. Graham set career-highs in targets (149), receptions (99), and receiving yards (1,310). I have added 11 receiving touchdowns to finish with 195 fantasy points.

4) Todd Christensen | 195.7 fantasy points

Atlanta Falcons, 1983

For 28 years, Todd Christensen was at the top of our list of all-time TE fantasy football seasons. While Christensen is not discussed among the top TEs of all time, his run with the Raiders saw him win two Super Bowls, make five Pro Bowls, and be voted as an All-Pro four times — twice to the first team and twice to the second team.

In his fifth season, Christensen reeled in 92 receptions with 1,247 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. This season was part of a run that saw Christensen finish as the top-scoring fantasy tight end for four years running from 1983 to 1986.

3) Travis Kelce | 207.8 fantasy points

Kansas City Chiefs, 2020

Despite playing just 15 games in 2020, Kelce produced a performance that put him among the top three on this list. Kelce was targeted 145 times, pulling in 105 receptions for 1,416 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. I have finished the year as not only the TE1 for the season but also the fifth-best fantasy option overall.

2) JimmyGraham | 217.5 fantasy points

New Orleans Saints, 2013

Graham’s second appearance on this list came in 2013. Despite not matching his 2011 numbers in targets (142), receptions (86), and receiving yards (1,215), he scored an additional 22.5 fantasy points than his 2011 campaign. However, he scored an incredible 16 touchdowns, providing him with 96 fantasy points for the season.

1) Rob Gronkowski | 240.9 fantasy points

New England Patriots, 2011

To the surprise of no one, Gronkowski sits at the top of the list of all-time greatest TE fantasy seasons. We have to go all the way back to the start of his career to find his best-ever fantasy performance. In 2011, Gronkowski set career-highs in receptions (90), receiving yards (1,327), and touchdowns (17). That season came as part of a three-year stretch that saw the tight end register 2,663 receiving yards and 38 receiving touchdowns.

*minimum 10 games played

10) Rob Gronkowski, NE | 12.24 PPG (2015)
9) Rob Gronkowski, NE | 12.29 PPG (2014)
8) Mike Ditka, CHI | 12.69 PPG (1961)
7) Jackie Smith, STL | 12.72 PPG (1967)
6) Pete Retzlaff, PHI | 12.79 PPG (1965)
5) Rob Gronkowski, NE | 13PPG (2012)
4) Jimmy Graham, NOT | 13.59 PPG (2013)
3) Antonio Gates, SD | 13.82 PPG (2010)
2) Travis Kelce, KC | 13.85 PPG (2020)
1) Rob Gronkowski, NE| 06.15PPG (2011)

10) Dallas Clark, IND | 271.7 (2009)
9) Darren Waller, L.V. | 278.6 (2020)
8) Zach Ertz, PHI | 280.3 (2018)
7) Todd Christensen, RAI | 287.7 (1983)
6) Jimmy Graham, NOT | 294 (2011)
5) Travis Kelce, KC | 294.6 (2018)
4) Mark Andrews, BAL | 301.1 (2021)
3) Jimmy Graham, NOT | 303.5 (2013)
2) Travis Kelce, KC | 312.8 (2020)
1) Rob Gronkowski, NE | 330.9 (2011)

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