2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

by Mark Strausberg
Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

We are going to keep it real simple for what constitutes one of my 2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts. It is a TE who is not going to live up to his current ADP.

Obviously ADP shifts from site to site, but I'm generally picking TEs I think are just overrated. But you also need to know how I view TEs this season.

If I hear anyone say that TEs this season are either "shallow" or "deep" this season, I would definitely look at them askance. Because either both are true or neither is true. There are four of five TEs at the top. That is followed by another tier of say seven to eight. But after that, it's not even worth breaking them into tiers because the next 25 or so could be put into any order. At least in my opinion.

With that in mind, let's look at my some of my top 2023 Fantasy Football Tight End busts.

2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Busts

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T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings

Will T.J. Hockenson be a top-10 TE this season? Sure, to answer that and the question above. But I've seen him as a top-three option and that's ludicrous.

Hockenson is a very good tight end. But apparently, I missed a memo, because now most folks think he’s a great TE. Folks haven’t lost their minds enough to take Hockenson before Travis Kelce, but I’ve seen Hock taken as the second-highest TE and as early as the second round.

No. No. No.

Hockenson rounds out my top five tight ends. Yet he should never be taken within the top 25 and only in a TE-premium league would I be likely to take him in the top 50. Hockenson supporters will point to his last game, where he caught 10 passes for 129 yards. That’s absolutely a great line, but that’s one game. Last year was Hockenson’s best year and even then he only averaged five catches and under 55 yards per game.

Does that sound like a player with which you want to use high draft capital?

Maybe he takes a leap this year. But Hockenson has yet to have 100 catches in a season, sniff the 1K-yard mark, or catch more than six touchdowns. I need to see him excel in at least one of those categories before I consider him a great TE. He’s a very good tight end, period.

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

As an Engram owner in multiple leagues, this one hurts. He'll probably manage to eke out a TE1 season, but I doubt he'll be in the top ten. And his ADP is often more like the seventh or eighth TE off the board. And that's not happening.

Granted, I was more worried a week ago about Brenton Strange taking his snaps away, but not even three days ago Engram signed a 3-year, $42.5 million with $25.5 million guaranteed. That doesn't sound like someone to whom the Jaguars are trying to show the door.

But there's an old axiom in fantasy football--never pay for a career year. And that's exactly what Engram had last year when he had a career-high 73 receptions with 766 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Given it took him six years to do that much, I'm not very optimistic about his seventh being even better. If he can give you the 63 catches he had for 654 yards two years ago, consider yourself fortunate.

Juwan Johnson,  New Orleans Saints

In a standard 12-team league, Johnson will likely be taken only by those owners looking to have 2 TEs. But that's still too high.

Johnson had a decent year last year, catching 42 passes for 508 yards and seven TDs. But after having just four TDs total in his first two seasons combined, those seven touchdowns scream negative regression coming. Presuming Michael Thomas is healthy this season, and signs are pointing that way, Thomas will easily eat into Johnson's TDs totals, not to mention his 65 targets.

But a healthy Thomas and a reduced TD total is not the only reason I will be bypassing Johnson. The presence of Foster Moreau in New Orleans scares me away from Johnson as well.

Moreau had a dozen touchdowns in four seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders. He was a frequent target of then-Raider quarterback Derek Carr, who oh yeah, just happens to be New Orleans's starting QB now. But after being diagnosed with Hodkins lymphoma in the offseason, nobody knew when Moreau would return. But he's now wearing a Saints jersey and took part in the Saints' organized team activities and minicamp. Not surprisingly, he was a frequent target of Carr's. Moreau worked with both the first and second team during OTAs and could compete with Juwan Johnson for snaps.

The ceiling is not too high on Johnson and the floor is ridiculously low. No way I'm drafting Johnson before the 14th round (his ADP is around 140th overall) and even beyond that, I'm still likely to grab a Daniel Bellinger or a Cade Otton before I grab Johnson.

He's one of the easier TE bust calls to make.

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

All the reasons that I think Dawson Knox is underrated (see my article last week), are all the reasons why I think Kincaid will disappoint in redraft leagues this year. End of story.

Honorable mentions

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