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Tight End Targets: TE2s With Top-5 Potential (2023 Fantasy Football)

Tight End Targets: TE2s With Top-5 Potential (2023 Fantasy Football)

For as long as I can remember, the tight end position has been a story of the haves and the have-nots. High-end TE1’s are often league-winners that give you a considerable edge over your opponents. Low-end TE1’s are replaceable pieces that leave you begging for fluky touchdowns to avoid near-goose eggs.

With that in mind, my ideal tight end draft strategy can best be summed up by the catchphrase made famous in the 2006 comedic masterpiece “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” As the line goes, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

What I mean is, if you’re not drafting Trave Kelce in the first two rounds of your redraft league, you’re probably better off being one of the last ones to select your TE1. This will allow you to load up on WR’s, RB’s, and secure an elite QB in the first half of your draft.

Since there isn’t much of a difference between low-end TE1’s and high-end TE2’s, don’t be afraid to push the limit on how far you’re willing to go. Find a tier of TE’s you’re comfortable with heading into Week 1 and look to draft one of the last ones remaining from that group.

Although the 2023 NFL Draft is sure to mix things up, here’s an early look at four TE2’s with top-5 potential. Get them now before the ADP skyrockets.

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Tight Ends to Draft (Fantasy Football)

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Greg Dulcich (TE – DEN)

Despite battling injuries at the beginning and end of the 2022 NFL season, Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich showed plenty of promise during his rookie season. In only ten games, Dulcich finished with the third-most targets, receptions, and receiving yards in Denver last season. His two touchdowns were tied for second-most on the team.

Dulcich’s overall numbers aren’t eye-opening, but they’re pretty solid for a rookie in a dumpster fire of a situation. Denver’s offense was an absolute disgrace in 2022. Enter Sean Payton. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Payton, you can’t argue against the idea that it’s a massive upgrade for the Broncos’ offense and franchise as a whole.

Denver’s offense getting back to above league-average plus Dulcich making a year-two leap could lead to plenty of fantasy gold. If Jerry Jeudy and/or Courtland Sutton are eventually traded as some rumors indicate, there could be even more targets for Dulcich to consume. Buy now.

Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE – TEN)

Tennessee’s Chigoziem Okonkwo is another second-year tight end with top-five upside in 2023 and beyond. A handful of dynasty fantasy footballers are drooling at Okonkwo’s career upside, but there’s reason to believe that breakout could come as early as this year.

Veteran pass-catchers Robert Woods and Austin Hooper left via free agency and the Titans are in the middle of a rebuild. That leaves plenty of potential targets for the talented Tennessee tight end.

Quarterback play could hold Okonkwo back. As much as I respect Ryan Tannehill, he’s entering his age-35 season and his best days are behind him. It doesn’t make much sense for a rebuilding Titans franchise to keep Tannehill around at his current salary. That leaves Malik Willis, but he and Mike Vrabel were like oil and water in Year One. They just didn’t mix.

Luckily for us, the Titans are reportedly actively involved with the rookie quarterback class. A trade-up and upgrade at quarterback could make things interesting for Okonkwo’s 2023 outlook. As the current TE15 in FantasyPros Consensus Rankings, Okonkwo is a worthy late-round dart throw with a massive upside.

Taysom Hill (TE – NO)/Juwan Johnson (TE – NO)

This one is pretty simple. Both Taysom Hill and Juwan Johnson finished as TE1’s in 2022. In fact, Taysom Hill finished as the TE3 in standard leagues last season. Yet, both New Orleans pass-catchers are being drafted as low-end TE2’s.

Even if you expect a significant drop-off in production, Hill’s current standing as TE23 in our FantasyPros Consensus Rankings is something worth taking advantage of. New Orleans did sign Jamaal Williams to essentially take over the goalline role, but Alvin Kamara‘s likely impending suspension keeps hope alive that Hill continues in his jack-of-all-trades role.

While Williams could strongly diminish Hill’s role, Johnson should be locked in as New Orleans TE1 on the depth chart. Chris Olave and Michael Thomas figure to be options A and B for Derek Carr in 2023, but it’s getting hard to trust the latter to stay on the field. Johnson is a reliable target that figures to get plenty of Carr check-downs. A lot will have to go right for Johnson to reach top-five status, but he’s a pretty safe choice to finish higher than ADP suggests.

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.

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