2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

by Mark Strausberg
2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

Before we get into my 2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers, I guess we should define what exactly that means. Let's keep it simple and say it is any tight end ranked outside of the top dozen who has a chance to break into the top dozen.

The issue with tight end this season is once you get outside of the top tier of tight ends, they all start to blend together. But that's exactly why you need to look at grabbing yourself a Tight End Sleeper. There's a higher chance you fail to grab one of the big dogs at tight end than you do. Therefore, let your opponents reach for their tight end in say the seventh through the ninth rounds. You can easily wait and grab some great sleepers in the double-digit rounds.

So who are some of these tight end sleepers?

I'm glad you asked. Here are a few of my favorites.

2023 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

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Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

Do not expect Knox to see close to double-digit touchdowns again this season. But the Dawson Knox hate and Dalton Kinkaid love has gone way too far this offseason.

Lest we forget, the Bills recently signed Knox to a $52-million extension through 2026. He's not going anywhere anytime soon. The word coming out of Buffalo is that Kinkaid looks great, but the actual words coming out are "complement" and "joining Knox". Even Knox is very excited about what Kinkaid will mean for him and the Buffalo offense.

It's not like Knox is some "over-the-hill" player nearing retirement. He's only 26 years old, which is when most tight ends start to peak. Knox has been a reliable option all four years since being drafted by Buffalo, having caught 149 passes and scored 20 touchdowns during that time.

No, Knox is not going to be a Top-5 TE, but he's constantly a Top-15 option. Given his ADP is usually in the double-digit rounds, there is just too much value here to leave him off a sleeper list.

Irv Smith, Cincinnati Bengals

Okay, I'll admit it. There is definitely a chance that I'm Charlie Brown and Irv Smith is Lucy holding the football. But I honestly believe THIS is the year it's gonna happen!

In addition to improved eye/hand coordination, he will be in an offense with more deep weapons than he ever has. He should see far more opportunity underneath and across the middle, allowing him to take advantage of his 6'2" 240-pound frame.

Hayden Hurst saw his receptions double and his yardage nearly do the same in his one year with Burrow and the Bengals. Irv Smith has a far more impressive athletic profile than Hurst does. If he can stay healthy, I don't see any reason why Irv Smith can't finally reach his potential this year.

Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Otton comes into this season with a lot less promise than Irv Smith. And rightfully so. When you go from a surefire HOF quarterback like Tom Brady to some combination of Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, that's definitely a step down in the passing attack. But that's exactly why I like Otton this year. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are going to see far fewer deep balls. But Otton should see definitely see more than 65 targets he did last season.

He also started only 11 games last season and should see that number jump this year. What I also like about Otton is he can be a YAC monster. He had less than 400 receiving yards last season, but nearly half of that came after the catch. Overlook Otton at your own risk.

Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants

This pick is for my deep leaguers only. With Darren Waller now a member of Big Blue, Bellinger will not be the clear TE1 this upcoming season. However, as the tweet above shows, the Giants like to line up Bellinger elsewhere and he can be quite effective no matter where they line him up. And let's not forget that last year was Bellinger's rookie year. I expect him to be even better this year. He scored two touchdowns last season, but the 6'6 massive red zone target should see even more touchdowns this upcoming season.

Honorable mentions

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