Why Buffalo's Dalton Kincaid will be the best rookie TE in 2023 | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

Yahoo Fantasy analyst Matt Harmon and Matt Waldman, creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, rank their top rookie TEs, projecting how Dalton Kincaid, Sam LaPorta and Elijah Higgins will fare this upcoming season. Hear the full conversation on the “Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast” - subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video Transcript


MATT HARMON: [INAUDIBLE] out three spots for tight ends. So I'm going to kind of let you take the wheel on this one.

MATT WALDMAN: Dalton Kincaid is number one by far to me. I think he's the best tight end in this class. I think that he can give you what people were hoping Kyle Pitts might give you with his production that hasn't quite happened yet. I think he could have a Kyle Pitts type of rookie year with the way that he goes up and wins the ball. And they're going to ask Dawson Knox to be more of the blocker. Dalton Kincaid's going to take some pressure off of what they like to try to do with Gabriel Davis.

But Davis needs to be schemed up to win a lot of times. And so Kincaid can be a match-up issue right off the bat. I think he could be one of the exceptional tight ends that give you fantasy production this year. Sam LaPorta's number two on my board. He was number two on my board post draft, and number three on my board pre-draft. And LaPorta, listen. I mean, great after the catch. I mean, he's a good mover after the catch. He gives you kind of the Mark Andrews-like skills in the middle of the field to find openings and zone.

But he can also win one on one on the outside and run crisp routes on the outside and win that way. For me, I'm looking at a player who may not be the big play George Kittle Kincaid-type, but he gives you enough underneath where it creates dilemmas for teams to say, are we really going to just focus on Amon-Ra St. Brown here? Because if we do, LaPorta's going to eat us alive. So there's that.

And then I'm going to go a little bit deeper because nobody's drafting this guy. Elijah Higgins can be that possible grow-into-a-Darren-Waller-type role in Miami's offense. And no one's drafting him. I'm just-- I watched 13 drafts that I studied. And there were two drafts where he was selected immediately post draft and at the end of drafts.

And in the league, if you're 1.5 PPR, or 1 PPR, and tight ends are-- have an emphasis, he's almost free money in leagues to just sit on, especially in dynasty formats.

MATT HARMON: Speed and mismatch ability is key and crucial in this Miami Dolphins offense. I think with Mike Gesicki, it's a little bit misunderstood that he's not really as much of a match-up guy because he's not great going out to the sideline, stuff like that. He's not a YAC player at all. He's like a vertical up-the-seam stiff tight end who's a mismatch because of his size, but not always because of his athleticism.

I think it'd be a good fit for maybe New England, and generally other offenses. It's just not in this particular offense. So for Elijah Higgins, they have a wide open pretty much depth chart at the tight end position. If he can get into that mix, it'd be really interesting. And I love what you said about Kincaid, man, because just he is right-- take positional labels off it, and I'm always hesitant to do this because then people want me to chart tight ends. And I'm not going to chart tight ends.

But he is from a pure-- just talking about pass catcher standpoint, he's the second-best guy already on the roster outside of Stefon Diggs. And I think he can make that big impact there for sure. And look. With Sam LaPorta, YAC. YAC, baby. What do you [? do when ?] you help Jared Goff? You get him guys that he can get the ball to quickly on that first read, second read, and you get him guys that can make plays after the catch. I love your one, two, three here, especially Higgins, who I don't think-- I've-- definitely has not been mentioned on this podcast so far.