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May’s Top 5 Rookie TEs for Building Your Dynasty
With the NFL draft in the rearview mirror, we finally get the opportunity to look at the 2023 rookie class with draft capital and landing spot in place. The Top 5 Rookie TEs in this article are the consensus ranking from Brad, Kraig, Thomas, and myself.
As noted these Top 5 Rookie TEs are based on our Rankings. Click the links for our full, up-to-date, Dynasty SuperFlex Rookie Rankings (2023) and our 1QB PPR Dynasty Rookie Rankings (2023) over on the website.
Top 5 Rookie TE #1: Michael Mayer – Las Vegas Raiders
Entering the NFL draft Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer was my top-ranked TE. As we roll into May, he remains atop the RotoHeat consensus rankings despite falling to third in my ranks. I haven’t moved Mayer back because I don’t believe in the talent, I simply slid him back as a result of draft capital.
When factoring in the landing spot, Las Vegas is a good spot. The Raiders moved on from Darren Waller this offseason and added two depth pieces in free agency, Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard. Mayer projects to be the Raiders’ #1 TE, in an offense led by a TE-friendly Head Coach. Josh McDaniels looks to be building a dessert version of the Patriots and playing the role of Rob Gronkowski if all goes well will be played by Mayer.
He will be a touchdown-dependent rookie, but then again most are. He may not do a lot between the 20s, but in the red zone, the potential for 6-8 scores is there. As a result, top-12 TE is in his range of outcomes as a rookie. His Dynasty outlook is promising at only 21 years of age, Mayer projects to be a top TE fantasy asset for years to come.
Top 5 Rookie TE #2: Sam LaPorta – Detroit Lions
After trading away T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings last season the Detroit Lions have been in need of his replacement. With the 34th pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Lions selected Iowa TE Sam LaPorta and as a result, feel they have their man.
The 2023 rookie tight end class is considered one of the strongest in recent memory, and the Lions made LaPorta the second tight end off the board, one pick ahead of Mayer. Like Mayer, the landing spot is a good one. Detroit has a rock-solid #1 target in Amon-Ra St. Brown and after ASB the pass catchers get a little thin. Jameson Williams is unproven and suspended for six games, and Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond, and Marvin Jones Jr. don’t move the needle. It’s quite possible that Laporta battles fellow rookie Jahmyr Gibbs for the second-most targets in 2023.
Iowa has done a good job providing the NFL with Tight End talent. The Hawkeyes have produced George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and now Sam LaPorta. For what it’s worth, LaPorta’s college production profile is better than both Kittle’s and Hockenson’s. Laporta is 22 years old and we like him to be fantasy relevant as early as his rookie season, thus his TE2 in our consensus rankings.
Top 5 Rookie TE #3: Dalton Kincaid – Buffalo Bills
Coming in at #3 in the Top 5 Rookie TEs is my top-ranked TE, Dalton Kincaid. The Buffalo Bills gave up their 2023 first-round (27th overall) and fourth-round (130th overall) picks to move to select the 6’4 242 Utah prospect. Buffalo wanted Kincaid and moved up to beat the Dallas Cowboys to the punch.
The theme of this article is would appear is tight ends in good landing spots. Kincaid certainly meets the criteria and adds draft capital to the equation being the only TE selected in round one. Dalton Kincaid is a big slot receiver as much as he is a TE. Ib his career at Utah, he was targeted downfield often. Kincaid is an offensive weapon, last season, he played 55.5% of his snaps in-line and 37.7% in the slot.
The middle of the field is an area of opportunity for Buffalo. In 2022, Isaiah McKenzie, and Jameson Crowder were uninspiring, and other than adding Kincaid, not much has changed. Look for the Bills to play more in 12 personnel, in 2023, and for Kincaid to be a primary benefactor because of it.
Top 5 Rookie TE #4: Luke Musgrave – Green Bay Packers
With the 42nd overall pick in the second round, the Green Bay Packers selected Oregan State TE Luke Musgrave. Musgrave looks to fill a need for Green Bay. Of the TEs covered in this article, Musgrave is the first of this group that I have concerns with.
He is raw, with only 20 games in four seasons for the Beavers. What he does have going for him is his athleticism. In the summer of 2022, he posted a 4.51 40-yard dash, a 36.5″ vertical, a 10’2″ broad jump, and a 4.21 agility time. Injuries have slowed him, and his injury history may have led the Packers to add TE Tucker Kraft one round later. Musgrave is a nice stash in Dynasty. Like most TEs, he will require some time to get used to the NFL.
Top 5 Rookie TE #5: Luke Schoonmaker- Dallas Cowboys
Rounding out May’s Top 5 Rookie TEs for Building Your Dynasty is Michigan TE Luke Schoonmaker. Dallas selected the 6’5 249 LB TE with the 58th pick in the second round.
Schoonmaker is an underrated receiver and could serve as Dak Prescott’s quarterback’s blanket. The issue will be if he can work his way onto the field enough to be fantasy relevant. He’s not going to excite anyone from an athleticism standpoint, but he has the potential to be a solid contributor for the Cowboys in time.
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