Cade Otton Fantasy Waiver Wire: Should I Pick Up the Buccaneers Tight End This Week?

The Buccaneers' Cade Otton could potentially be a help to desperate fantasy managers down the stretch. Is he worthy of a late-run waiver wire add?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Cade Otton has largely been an unspectacular but reliable fantasy producer at a challenging position all season.

With the most critical weeks of the season looming, should fantasy football managers with tight end-needy rosters consider picking up the second-year pro from the waiver wire?

Should Cade Otton Be a Fantasy Waiver Wire Add in Week 13?

Otton arrived with a relative flourish as a rookie fourth-round pick in what was then a Tom Brady-helmed offense in 2022, following a solid but relatively unremarkable four-year tenure with the Washington Huskies.

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Otton impressively proceeded to outpace his numbers from any of his college seasons during his first NFL campaign, finishing with 42 receptions for 391 yards and two touchdowns on 65 targets over 16 games. He was largely a presence in the short- and intermediate-passing windows, recording just four receptions of 20+ yards.

Otton has seen a downgrade — although one not as drastic as originally feared — at quarterback this season while playing with Baker Mayfield. Nevertheless, the second-year tight end has already exceeded last year’s touchdown tally by recording three scoring grabs.

With 38 receptions and 348 yards in 11 games, he’s well on pace to zoom past his rookie campaign’s totals in a Week 13 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

Otton has been nothing, if not consistent, over the last several games. The Washington product has posted at least four catches in five of the last six contests. This is in line with what is still primarily a shorter-area role — he’s topped 50 yards only once all season.

The tight end has helped his cause this season by actually upping his catch rate significantly over the one he produced with Brady — he’s turned 76% of his 50 targets thus far into receptions, which is a welcome improvement from the 64.6% figure he generated last season.

While WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin unsurprisingly still command a significant share of Mayfield’s attention — the duo has been the intended target on a total of 173 of the quarterback’s 380 pass attempts — Otton has been a consistent complementary option. In fact, his share of team targets has risen to 13.5% from last season’s 9.0% figure.

Otton doesn’t carry anywhere near the downfield upside of the elite options at his position, but the tight end position is a group that sees a fairly steep drop from the upper echelon down. An unvarnished view of Otton reveals him to be a perfectly above-average option who isn’t likely to completely tank a roster spot if he’s put in a starting lineup.

There’s also some optimism to be had from Otton’s opponents through the rest of the fantasy season.

While his Week 13 matchup against the Panthers isn’t ideal for tight ends, the Buccaneers’ foes in Weeks 14-17 — the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New Orleans Saints — enter Week 13 having allowed a combined 16 touchdown receptions to the position over 216 catches surrendered.

If a fantasy manager is looking for tight end help at this stage of the season, chances are they are in dire straits at the position.

And although he hasn’t had many opportunities to display it yet this season, he’s capable of contributing chunk plays and has already demonstrated a decent nose for the end zone. Consequently, he makes for a solid addition at this point if there’s a clear need on your roster.

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

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