2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List

by Mike Bonni
2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List.

We made it! This is the last stop in the "Do Not Draft List" article series. We are saving the best for last. Yes! It's Tight End time.

Coming into 2022, the TE position is looking fine. I do have to say it is still the most volatile/frustrating/annoying thing we got in fantasy football, besides kickers (obviously). With that being said, I still think this is one of the better TE "classes" we have seen in a minute. Travis Kelce is dominant, Mark Andrews can be a league-winner, Kyle Pitts breaking out, Hockenson, Waller, Goedert, I mean the list goes on. But I do have a few questions about some TEs not named yet, which I will be highlighting down below.

I'm here to guide you away from drafting the wrong TE in 2022.

So without further ado, welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List.

2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List

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George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers (TE4)

This is going to be controversial for some of you. I'm sure the George Kittle fandom is strong but the man has been on a decline for some time now. Don't be coming at me with that TE3 finish in 2022 either, because I don't want to hear it.

Let's just be honest here, that finish was saved by his abnormal amount of TDs (11 in 2022, averages 5/year in career).

As I said above, the decline is real. Since 2018 (8.5/game), his targets/game have gone down. Kittle dropped to 7.6/game in 2019, hovered around the same at 7.8/game in 2020 (injury), 6.8/game in 2021, and 5.7/game in 2022. In 2022, Kittle experienced lows (since rookie year) in targets/game (5.8), yards/game (51), catches/game (4.0), and ADOT (8.9) according to pro football reference.

It doesn't get better with Brock Purdy at the helm either. George Kittle finds himself as the fourth option in this offense, technically tied for third. Brandon Aiyuk averaged 6.7/per game, Deebo Samuel was at 6.0/per game, and Christian McCaffrey/George Kittle sit at 5.8/per game.

Drafting George Kittle as TE4 (P. 46.5, third round) according to sleeper adp) is too pricey for me. Give me Kyle Pitts (59.8) a round-ish later, Dallas Goedert (62.2), and maybe even Evan Engram (P. 82) two rounds later.

Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills (TE19)

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This one is self-explanatory. Dawson Knox has a first-round pick breathing down his neck for playing time and it's only a matter of time till he loses that spot. The ADP is already leaning that way, as Dalton Kincaid is being picked as TE13.

As he is the TE19, most of you won't even be thinking about drafting him in normal leagues (10-12 teams). But, if you are crazy, and you play in TE premium/two-TE leagues/deep leagues (14+ teams) it would be best to avoid Dawson Knox.

In 2022, Dawson Knox finished as the TE14 (FPPG). According to player profiler.com, he was 17th in targets (65) and 17th in catches (48). His finish was heightened by his six touchdowns (6th among TEs). This was with no competition at the TE spot, now he has a potential all-pro caliber player there? There is no way I am drafting Dawson Knox.

Give me Michael Mayer, Irv Smith, Juwan Johnson, Hayden Hurst, and even Mike Gesicki over Dawson Knox (deep leagues).

Does He Belong Here?

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Darren Waller, TE, New York Giants (TE7)

Does Darren Waller deserve to be drafted in the early sixth round (one spot after Goedert)? This means he will be going ahead of players like Cam Akers, Brandon Aiyuk, Diontae Johnson, Christian Kirk, Tyler Lockett, etc.

I don't like that.

The last time Daniel Jones had a capable TE, he only targeted him (Evan Engram) 4.87 times a game. This would be on par with what Darren Waller (4.77/game) was doing in 2022 (TE10 in FPPG, according to playerprofiler.com). Those 4.77 targets/ game would put Waller 16th among TEs in targets/game (according to fantasy pros). I would expect 4-5 targets a game for Waller, which would have put him T-15th in targets.

Not worth that sixth-round pick.

Don't get me wrong, I do think Darren Waller will have a good year. I just don't think he is worth his ADP. You can get Evan Engram a round later. You can even get David Njoku two rounds later.

I would much rather have one of them, rather than the pricey Darren Waller.

Well, Fantasy Fiends, that will do it for the 2023 Fantasy Football TE Do Not Draft List. This also concludes our "Do Not Draft List" series. Stay tuned for the "Must Draft" articles.

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