With the 2023 draft season very much upon us, and preseason underway, we take a look at some veteran TE options for your dynasty leagues. The Tight End drop-off is often spoken about and getting consistent scoring assets at this position can be a real challenge too. With the excitement surrounding the likes of Dalton Kincaid, Sam Laporta, and Michael Mayer who is left amongst the veterans who can make a contribution?
Hayden Hurst (CAR)
At 29 years of age, Hurst certainly isn’t the most attractive selection in dynasty. Be it a start-up or a long-running league you’ve been a part of. There’s a real chance someone is either open to shipping him or he’s even dangling on waivers ready for the taking. However, let me give you a bit of context as to why you may want to consider adding him to your roster. Carolina drafted Bryce Young to take the mantle as their new Quarterback, the best comfort blanket for any new quarterback in the league outside of a reliable running back is a solid, strong, and dependable Tight End.
Last season in a team with Jamarr Chase and Tee Higgins taking the lion share of receptions he still managed to rank in the top 15 of tight ends 6 times during the regular season and was TE2 twice in the playoffs. His competitors for this role look to be Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble, Tremble averaged 1.9 fantasy points per game last season. So chances are Hurst is your guy here.
Tyler Higbee (LAR)
This may feel like an obvious mention with the consistency we’ve seen from Higbee in recent years but the fact of the matter is he’s 30 and people could be overlooking him based on that alone. However, the most important fact you need to consider is that Higbee gets targeted. A lot. With the inconsistency of the fitness of the supporting receivers at the Rams you can pretty well count on the trend of Higbee getting targets continuing. Last season Higbee was a top-10 fantasy Tight End for a third of his games. For a team that massively underperformed and had QB concern, this should highlight why you should still consider a space on your roster for Higbee.
Tyler Conklin (NYJ)
Conklin started strong for the Jets last season but once drops crept into his game and the Quarterback merry-go-round started in New York his production became inconsistent aside from week 8 against New England where he was fantasy TE1 his numbers were not pleasant reading for the most part. However, this is where you can command value if trading for him or waiting it out late to draft him. With Aaron Rodgers now under center there’s huge potential upside with Conklin even if it’s just for a season or 2 with the potential emergence of Jeremy Ruckert, who is flashing in camp, Conklin is still likely to be the steady hand. Especially with C.J. Uzomah being deployed largely as a blocking Tight End last season.
Dalton Schultz (HOU)
Another safety blanket for another rookie Quarterback here. An accomplished receiver and in fantasy football terms had his best year in 2021. A down year last year and a move to a franchise where there remain a lot of question marks just knock Schultz further and further down the pecking order. Here is where his value is, he’s tradeable, he’s going to drop in most drafts because of the drop off and because of the aforementioned points. I do believe though that he will get a lot of targets. With a largely youthful receiving core there will be a need for a steady experienced hand guiding this offense down the field at times. With Robert Woods struggling to stay healthy in recent years I anticipate Schultz to be relied on more often than not.
Mo Alie-Cox (IND)
Alie-Cox did decline last year, there’s no question about that and at 29 maybe his time in the NFL is not for long. Although I still believe he is still worth a dart throw. Reason’s for this are simple. There is no clear TE1 at the Colts. With a potential new look offense here Alie-Cox has another shot at making the job his own. Competition for this role in the form of Kylen Granson and Jelani Woods doesn’t exactly scream at you that there is a clear front runner for this role. Another offense with potentially a lot of youth and inexperience a more experienced head on the field in the form of Alie-Cox wouldn’t be a crazy premise.
If Anthony Richardson is named the starter, despite his ability to throw bombs, expect them to use those short and intermediate throws to build his confidence. Slot and TE will hold value if this is the case. With the unexpected future of Jonathon Taylor thrown into the mix there’s every chance the Colts lean more into their passing game if Taylor doesn’t feature for them. This is absolutely a dart throw but expect to see Alie-Cox on waivers or there in Round 20+ so risk is very low.
As with any players in fantasy football there is an element of risk but the above options should carry low enough risk in value terms that you can shoot your shoot with one of these guys.
Image Credit: Thomas Shea – USA TODAY Sports