Best Rookies To Draft in Fantasy Football: Top TE Options Include Sam LaPorta, Dalton Kincaid, and More!

Tight ends can be hard to find in fantasy football after the top four, but here are three rookies poised to potentially become top 10 tight ends in 2023.

Rookie tight ends are an incredibly risky investment in fantasy football. Going back to 2010, only two rookie TEs reached 600 yards in their first seasons (Kyle Pitts and Evan Engram). Still, for those of us in keeper leagues or redraft leagues with two starting TE roster spots, this information can be invaluable as you search for the next great tight end to hit the scene.

The 2023 NFL Draft class had a very strong group at the position. Let’s look at three tight ends to target in drafts that should flash this season.

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2023 Rooke Tight Ends To Draft for Fantasy

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

Sam LaPorta doesn’t come out of college with a padded stat sheet, but there are plenty of highlights of him evading potential tacklers. LaPorta played at Iowa, where they posted only 2,900 total yards of offense and averaged 17 points per game. Yet, somehow, he was able to shine.

LaPorta put together a solid Combine, and the Detroit Lions wound up taking him in the second round of the draft. He’s now set to take over the starting spot left behind by T.J. Hockenson after he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings.

There’s a real possibility LaPorta quickly becomes the No. 2 target for Detroit’s offense, with Jameson Williams suspended for the first six weeks of the season. Meanwhile, the starting outside receivers of this offense will be a combination of Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, and Marvin Jones Jr.

We all know Amon-Ra St. Brown is No. 1 in this offense, and Jahmyr Gibbs is a capable pass catcher, but there’s a real void in this offense in pass-catching depth.

I know it’s never exciting to grab skill-position players from sluggish college offenses. But keep in mind that, in 2016, Iowa again had a sluggish offense, but they were able to produce an NFL star in tight end George Kittle.

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

By all accounts, the Buffalo Bills had a good season last year, but the ultimate goal was cut short in the playoffs. One major area of concern was the offense lacking a second option behind Stefon Diggs.

Gabe Davis showed up at times, but he suffered through injury and never really got back to full health. With these concerns of the offense on the mind of the Bills’ coaching staff, it was certain that they’d add a skill-position player in the draft. Buffalo ended up trading up to get Dalton Kincaid in the first round.

Kincaid took a unique path to the NFL. He only played high school football for one year and ended up walking on at the University of San Diego. Kincaid was a producer at the small-school level and went on to Utah, where he put together a tremendous career as a pass-catching tight end.

MORE: Who Are the Top Tight Ends To Draft in 2023?

The reports out of Bills camp have been glowing for Kincaid. They’ve had him next to the offensive tackle like a traditional tight end, but he’s also been placed in the slot.

When drafting TEs, it’s important to note that when the tight end is placed in the slot, not only are they more likely to run a route, but there’s one less WR in on the play, making it more likely the tight end could receive a target.

This Bills offense is an engine, and we could be getting a key cog of the engine late in drafts with Kincaid.

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have endured major change this offseason, moving on from Aaron Rodgers and drafting loads of offensive talent early in the draft. In Round 2, Luke Musgrave was one of those early selections.

Musgrave had a major injury that robbed him most of his senior year. But there was plenty of film from previous seasons where you could see the potential for greatness.

Musgrave was tested as one of the faster TE prospects, running a 4.6 40-yard dash, but he has a 6’6″ frame, making his speed all the more impressive.

The Packers later drafted Tucker Kraft out of South Dakota State. Yet, early in camp, it was announced that Musgrave would be Green Bay’s starting tight end. The drumbeat from camp would bang even louder, with multiple reports of the team placing Musgrave in the backfield, out wide as a receiver, and even being used in jet sweeps as the primary ball carrier.

The Packers will want to create easy throws for Jordan Love as they adjust to life without Rodgers. What would be easier than getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and into the hands of your speedy, uber-athletic TE?

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