There’s no better way to learn for next season than to look at what went right and wrong in the past. This week, we’ll be looking at the Top 5 tight end steals, but make sure you check out the other article across the Razzball website covering the other positions. If you’re participating in fantasy football challenges during the playoffs, make sure you check out my rankings at ffdfantasyfootball.com, and I answer all questions on Instagram @thefantasyfirstdown and Twitter @FantasyFirstDwn.
Want more data-driven stats and tools to help you win your fantasy league? Check out the Razzball Fantasy Football premium subscriptions for $0.00 upfront with our 3-day free trial!
Through six weeks, Njoku was the TE22, leading to him being dropped in the majority of leagues. This was a mistake. He then exploded, leading all-comers from Week 7 onwards by over 20 PPR points. In fact, he outscored all but 8 quarterbacks, 5 wide receivers, and 1 running back. That is unbelievable production from a guy who was droppable earlier in the year. I know LaPorta was drafted later, but Njoku fits the name better because you probably stole him off waivers from the guys who dropped him and probably wanted him back.
The tight end had a surprising amount of depth this season, with none of the usual studs truly busting (the top 4 in ADP all finished in the top 6 in points per game), while some veterans emerged as weekly starters. Sam LaPorta nevertheless beat them all, finishing as the overall TE1. Not only did he have two strong weeks in the fantasy playoffs, but he also put together the best rookie tight end season in recent memory. He’s a worthy recipient of the MVP award and should be very close to the top of my 2024 redraft rankings when they come out in the next few weeks. But ultimately, he still wasn’t as much of a steal as Njoku, who was often free mid-season and ended as a true league-winner in the playoffs.
There’s a fair argument to be made for putting McBride even higher up the list; after all, he was available on waivers in the majority of leagues after an incipit first five weeks. In fact, by Week 5, he had fewer total points than LaPorta had scored in two separate games. But after that, he caught fire. In fact, he was the TE2 over the second half of the season, falling behind only Njoku. He was the true mid-season steal and will be a top option heading into 2024.
In the excitement of all the tight end explosions this year, Kmet fell between the cracks. His improved rapport with Justin Fields and a more aggressive Bears passing game led to eight top-10 performances. He’d probably be higher on this list if he didn’t totally bust in Week 17. It’s hard to know what to expect from Kmet in 2024 with Caleb Williams on the doorstep but it’s not impossible we see him on this list again next year. He’s the TE13 in early consensus rankings so take a shot in early 2024 drafts.
Despite the addition of Calvin Ridley and the breakout of Christian Kirk, Evan Engram still managed to wrangle nine top-10 performances this season. He, unfortunately, failed to find the endzone in the fantasy playoffs, but if he continues averaging over 40 routes a game, he’ll remain a pretty reliable option and likely a safe bet for a repeat performance in 2024. The biggest question remains whether free agent Calvin Ridley returns and Zay Jones remains on an $11 million contract, with only $6.5 million guaranteed. There’s plenty of question marks over this offense but Engram remains one of the safest fantasy prospects.