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TE2s with Top-5 Potential (2023 Fantasy Football)

TE2s with Top-5 Potential (2023 Fantasy Football)

It is a rational, common plan to load up at running back and wide receiver, perhaps even quarterback, early in fantasy football drafts. When utilizing that approach, it becomes essential to hit on a later-round tight end with the potential to be a consistent contributor for a winning roster.

Each TE in the group below fits that bill. According to consensus ADP for Half-PPR format, they are also all falling outside the Top-12 selections at the position at the time of writing.

Check out our 21 High-Upside Fantasy Football Draft Targets article for more fantasy draft advice.

2023 TE2s with Top-5 Potential

Cole Kmet (TE – CHI): TE 14

The Bears’ passing game with developing QB Justin Fields was virtually non-existent during the early weeks of last season. However, things began to improve from Week 4 on, and Kmet became a beneficiary of Fields’ progression. That figures to continue for Kmet with his new contract extension now in hand.

Over the last seven games the two played together last season, Fields and Kmet developed a definite rapport. The 6’6” TE averaged 4.1 receptions per game in those contests while finding the end zone five times. He caught at least five passes in three games and twice crossed the 70-yard mark. Headed into his fourth NFL season, Kmet has the potential, particularly with his red-zone ability, to crack the top-5 at the position.

Greg Dulcich (TE – DEN): TE 15

With a proven guru like Sean Payton now running the show in Denver, the Broncos’ offense is expected to be much improved this season. Dulcich won’t be the main target, or even the number two, for veteran QB Russell Wilson, but the second-year pro will be a factor as long as he’s on the field.

After starring at UCLA and being selected in the third round (80th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft, Dulcich would miss the first five weeks of his rookie season with an injury. He finally debuted in Week 6, catching two of three targets from Wilson for 44 yards and a score. Then, Wilson would miss Week 7.

Wilson and Dulcich would be on the field together for seven more games beginning with Week 8. As was the case for the entire offense, production was up and down for Dulcich on a weekly basis. He did come up with four or more grabs in four different games with Wilson, hitting double-digit points in Half PPR each time. Dulcich also showed off his big-play ability at times, going for at least 85 yards in two of those games.

Juwan Johnson (TE – NO): TE 18

Johnson enjoyed a mild breakout in his third NFL campaign, catching 42 passes for 508 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns. That was for a mid-tier passing offense that was mostly run by a post-prime Andy Dalton. The aerial attack should see improvement with Derek Carr now in New Orleans to fling the ball around.

Carr is still just 32 years old and has averaged better than 4,400 yards and 26 TDs while completing 65.7 percent of his passes over the last three seasons with the Raiders. The Saints also brought in a familiar face for Carr in TE Foster Moreau, but Johnson is still the more potent option at the position.

Johnson finished as TE11 in Half PPR formats last season. He racked up double-digit fantasy points five times, posting north of 15 twice and cracking 20 in one of them. Carr has led tight ends like Darren Waller and Jared Cook to strong fantasy numbers over the past several years. Johnson could be next in line.

More Fantasy Football Draft Targets With Upside

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Nate Miller is an MLB and NFL feature writer at FantasyPros and a 9-year veteran of the fantasy sports industry. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.

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