The 2023 Season is in the books. While there’s still some playoff football to help us see how players do in the clutch, for dynasty players, it’s a time to sit back, take stock, and see how players fared. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be looking back at the 2023, 2022, and 2021 classes by position. I’ll be evaluating if their stock rose, remained the same, or dropped during the course of the season. Now could be the time to sell high, buy low, or hold on to a winning hand. Today, I continue with the 2021 Tight Ends.
Stock Up: Kylen Granson, Indianapolis Colts
About: The Colts have a lot of tight ends. In fact, four players saw targets and receptions at the position in 2023, and none of them had a consistent role. However, Granson had the biggest share. He saw the most targets (50) and receptions (30). That doesn’t mean he’ll be the guy for the team in 2024, and with Anthony Richardson coming back, it’s fair to wonder what the offense will yield. But, at this point, he’s the tight end for the Colts I’m most interested in rostering.
Stock Up: Noah Gray, Kansas City Chiefs
About: Yes, the Chiefs still have Travis Kelce at the position. He’s one of the best tight ends in history and appears likely to return in 2024. But he’s not getting any younger, and, at the same time, Gray showed an ability to fill in when Kelce missed time and to contribute as another tight-end option. He had a career-high in targets, yardage, and touchdowns in 2023. I’m not rostering Gray as a week-to-week starter, but I like his potential as a stash.
Stock Neutral: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
About: Since he was drafted, we’ve wanted Pitts to be a TE1. It hasn’t happened. He did finish as TE13 in 2023, which gives fantasy players hope for the future. Also providing hope is the changes coming to Atlanta. The team has a new Head Coach and offensive scheme coming, and the Falcons will likely make a change at quarterback this off-season. That, combined with Pitts’ talent, should give fantasy players a lift heading into 2024. If I roster Pitts, I’d be excited about him taking a step forward in year four.
Stock Neutral: Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans
About: Jordan is a player with some explosive potential. On occasion, we’ve seen that. That includes a few explosive games in 2023. Jordan isn’t the starter for the Texans, and he hasn’t had a consistent role in any of his three seasons. But the Texans are an improving offense and Jordan has shown flashes. At this point, if I’ve been stashing him, I’m keeping him. Dalton Schultz was on a one-year deal, and it’s possible he’s not back, opening the door for Jordan to finally have an expanded role in 2024.
Stock Down: Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
About: Since being drafted, Freiermuth has been the best tight end in the Class of 2021. But it’s fair to say 2023 was a disaster. Freiermuth finished as TE30. He missed time with an injury, and when he did play, he only managed one game with double-digit points. Now, he gets Arthur Smith—Kyle Pitts’ coach for the past three seasons—as his Offensive Coordinator. That doesn’t bode well for Freiermuth. Neither does the Steelers’ quarterback situation, which is murky at best. Freiermuth still has Top 12 talent, but if I can find a good deal this off-season, I’m taking it.
Stock Down: Hunter Long, Los Angeles Rams
About: One. That’s the number of receptions that Long has managed in three NFL seasons after being a Third-Round pick. He’s on his second team, but Long has never managed much of an on-field offensive role. At this point, he’s not worth a roster spot.
Stock Down: Tommy Tremble, Carolina Panthers
About: The Panthers’ offense hasn’t been good the past few seasons. The team is also in desperate need of weapons in the passing game. And yet, Tremble hasn’t been able to carve out a role. He had 23 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns, but now he’s going through yet another offensive scheme change. I understand those who still want to hold Tremble and hope he carves out a better role, but I don’t think he’s worth a roster spot at this point.
Stock Down: John Bates, Washington Commanders
About: Bates is another player in a crowded position group. The Commanders had three tight ends with targets and receptions in 2023, and Bates wasn’t the leader of that group. The Commanders also have a crowded receiver room and tons of questions about the offense. The team has yet to identify a new Head Coach. Following that changes in scheme and personnel—especially at quarterback—are a near certainty. All that leaves me feeling Bates isn’t a player I’m making a point to roster.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.