Consistently one of the toughest positions to fill in fantasy football, there’s been enough shuffling that we could see a few more decent options at tight end for the 2023 NFL season. The headline here is Darren Waller, who has the chance the recapture the magic we saw from him a few seasons ago. And while he’s the most notable tight end to find himself starting with a new team this season, he’s hardly the only one who deserves to be on your fantasy radar.
Below is a look at the biggest tight end moves of the offseason so far and looking ahead to how they will affect your fantasy rosters.
Darren Waller, New York Giants
Previous team: Las Vegas Raiders (acquired via trade)
The Giants acquired Waller for a third-round pick. One look at Big Blue’s depth chart makes it clear why Waller could end up leading the team in targets this season. After going to the Raiders in 2019, the converted wide receiver proved to be one of the more productive tight ends in the NFL, topping 1,100 yards in his first two seasons in black and silver. But injuries took a toll over the last two seasons, and he was only able to suit up for nine contests in 2022.
If he can stay healthy for most of the season, Waller’s set up nicely with the Giants, and could easily be back in the mix as one of the three or four best tight ends available in fantasy football lineups.
Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans
Previous team: Dallas Cowboys (acquired via free agency)
Going from the Cowboys to the Texans wasn’t a great move in terms of fantasy production. Still, a lack of other options should thrust him into a sizable role with a Texans offense led by rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. With good hands and a large frame, he can keep the chains moving. He should be a low-end TE1 in fantasy.
Foster Moreau, New Orleans Saints
Previous team: Las Vegas Raiders (acquired via free agency)
Moreau reunites with quarterback Derek Carr in New Orleans after some time together with the Raiders. Moreau mostly served as Darren Waller’s backup during those days, setting career highs in catches (33) and yards (402) last season. It could be hard for him to see too many targets in an offense dominated by wideouts Chris Olave and Michael Thomas, not to mention running back Alvin Kamara who should be more available in the passing game with Jamaal Williams on hand to handle rushing duties.
Moreau probably isn’t worth a spot on fantasy rosters, other than spot duty. He could have some appeal early with Kamara suspended for the first three games of the season.
Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Previous team: New England Patriots (acquired via trade)
Smith flashed some potential to be one of the NFL’s better tight ends during his days with the Titans, but he failed to live up to the billing after departing for New England. Now, he’ll mostly be there as an insurance policy for Kyle Pitts, who has all the potential to be one of the league’s elite players at the position. In other words, Smith doesn’t have much fantasy value at all, unless Pitts can’t play for some reason.
Mike Gesicki, New England Patriots
Previous team: Miami Dolphins (acquired via free agency)
Despite high hopes heading into last season, Gesicki was mostly an afterthought in the Dolphins offense. He’s in a much better situation with the Patriots, where he’ll pair with Hunter Henry as New England looks to recreate its two-tight end packages of the past.
While he should see an uptick over his numbers from last season, it’s hard to think he’ll have enough consistent production to be more than a fill-in or streaming option in fantasy lineups this year.
Austin Hooper, Las Vegas Raiders
Previous team: Tennessee Titans (acquired via free agency)
Another player we waited and waited and waited on to breakout into one of the better options at his position. But it hasn’t happened yet for Hooper, and it’s probably not ever going to happen. With the Raiders, he’ll mostly be a second option behind rookie Michael Mayer. Though if Mayer is hurt or struggles to pick up the offense, Hooper could see enough work to have some limited fantasy appeal. For you, he’s best left undrafted in fantasy leagues, but keep an eye on how things shake out with the Raiders.