For a while, the Dallas Cowboys were known for their tight ends. Wait, that came out wrong. What we’re trying to say is there was a long stretch where Jason Witten was one of the most reliable fantasy football tight ends in the NFL. Witten left and then retired. He was replaced by Dalton Schultz, who is now with the Houston Texans. So where do the Cowboys turn to in this new era at tight end? It appears Jake Ferguson will get the first crack at being the starter. Here we’ll go over why he’s a potential sleeper in fantasy football in 2023.
2023 Fantasy Football sleepers
Jake Ferguson, TE, Cowboys
It’s perplexing when you look at how late Ferguson is going in drafts. Sure, we know a few things. Mike McCarthy is going to run Tony Pollard into the ground. He’s on a franchise tag, one-year contract. There’s no more Ezekiel Elliott and really the only competition for touches is rookie Deuce Vaughn. As for the passing game, CeeDee Lamb will be the top target with Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup in the mix. That would leave Ferguson as the fourth or fifth option in the offense if he starts and gets the majority of the snaps/targets at TE.
Another thing to note is QB Dak Prescott’s history throwing to tight ends. Back in 2021, Schultz finished as the TE3 behind Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, racking up 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight TDs. Both Schultz and Ferguson are 6’5” and were fourth-round picks. In college at Wisconsin, Ferguson wasn’t used much in the passing game but was consistent. Last season, in games Ferguson had three or more targets, two of them he put together strong PPR performances. He also showed some flashes of big-play ability and could turn into a reliable red-zone target.
As of this writing, Ferguson is the TE25 on average in ADP across fantasy sites. He’s way outside the range of a starter and is only being considered as a backup TE in deep formats. If Ferguson gets most of the snaps, it’s not crazy to think he’ll be fantasy relevant this season. Gallup is a question mark coming off multiple seasons dealing with injury. Cooks is getting up there in age and is in a new system. Ferguson could be an OK starting TE in PPR formats. You could simply punt on TE and snag Ferguson as your last pick. You’d have to play the waiver wire game a bit at TE and stream if it doesn’t pan out, but there’s definitely upside there.