As we close in toward a new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy football values constantly on the move, and nothing shakes up the league like the recently finished NFL Draft.
Dalton Kincaid’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
The rumors were swirling before the draft that many teams viewed Kincaid as the TE1. I was not so quick to buy into this, feeling Michael Mayer, who had been the consensus top option at the position for years, would go off the board first. I was wrong.
Buffalo not only drafted Kincaid but traded up to No. 25 to do so. As expected for a tight end, Kincaid has a big frame at 6’3 1/2″ and 246 pounds with 10 1/4″ hands. He caught 70 balls for 890 yards and eight touchdowns last season, including a 16-catch, 234-yard game against USC. However, his year ended early due to a back injury, and he was unable to test at the NFL Combine or his pro day. But one look at the tape and the athleticism pops.
He was also one of the most efficient players in the nation out of the slot, regardless of position. Kincaid is not a traditional in-line blocking TE. He is an offensive weapon. Last season, he played 55.5% of his snaps in-line and 37.7% in the slot.
In 2020 and 2021, the Bills ran the overwhelming majority of their offense out of 11 personnel, maxing at 71% in 2021. In 2022, they ran it on 65% of first downs. That starkly contrasts their 12 personnel rate of just 3.7% of plays in 2022 — the lowest in the league.
However, similar to how Buffalo opened up their passing game after adding Stefon Diggs, does this signify the possibility of more 12 personnel, as Buffalo didn’t think they had the depth chart to match? It just might. Buffalo actually used 21 at a vastly higher rate if they wanted more beef up front at 14% but brought in Reggie Gilliam in those packages with an EPA/play of -0.02.
Kincaid paired with Dawson Knox is a far more symbiotic due who can complement each other. However, Knox will likely be frustrating a bit in the red zone, as he remains a trusted target of Allen with 15 TDs over the last two years.
Kincaid, though, also projects very favorably as he should receive the big-slot treatment as Gabe Davis has yet to truly solidify the No. 2 spot. Between the 20s, Kincaid’s size and athleticism will make him a valuable player on a per-target basis, especially when considering the overall lack of targets most TEs receive, barring the elite few at the top.
With first-round draft capital in mind, plus the landing spot, Kincaid comes into the 2023 season the TE1 of the rookie class and is someone who can break the trend of rookie TEs not producing at a useable rate for fantasy in Year 1.
Dalton Kincaid’s Fantasy Ranking
Tight ends that can produce can take a fantasy team from outside the playoffs to an instant contender. That can be Kincaid. He bounces off tackles and has a special combination of route running, speed, and RAC upside. He was fifth best in deep targets and was 13th in YPRR on targets of 20+ yards for TEs in 2022. Buffalo didn’t draft him to use him strictly as a run blocker.
I am not saying he will be the next Travis Kelce, who is the GOAT. That would be a blasphemous statement. But I am going to say they have similar traits, and it’s what you look for in a promising tight end.
“He’s a tight end, but he’s a receiving tight end,” GM Brandon Beane said of Kincaid. “We think he’ll pair well with Dawson and give us another target. … He’s not your standard Y tight end, he’s gonna be flexed out more than necessarily you would do with Dawson.”
With the draft over and some time to catch our breath and reflect, Kincaid comes in as the TE8 in dynasty, given what I feel could be his ceiling. Even if he doesn’t perform as a TE1, I would value him as one. A season similar to Pat Freiermuth’s rookie season would very much be in line for Kincaid, and he could even have a higher target share.
Knox does have four more years on his contract and will remain a part of the offense, but there is an out after 2024.
“Dawson’s still gonna be very involved,” Beane said. “Dawson is a clearly better in-line blocker, still a receiving threat. I don’t think Dawson’s gonna be going anywhere.”
But he is inconsistent, especially for fantasy, and while they both might share reps, the higher per-target upside is unquestionably going to be with Kincaid when he gets up to speed. That is the player you want on your starting roster, even as soon as this season.
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