Fantasy Football: Sleeper tight ends to start in Week 2

2RHYH5R Buffalo Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) runs after a catch during an NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

  • Hunter Henry could be the Patriots' red-zone threat: Henry grabbed a red-zone touchdown in Week 1 on top of his five catches for 56 yards. He could play a big role against the Dolphins.
  • Chigoziem Okonkwo is a YAC specialist: The second-year tight end led the position in yards after catch per reception in 2022 and will look to rebound against the Chargers.
  • Dalton Kincaid was on the field early and often: Dalton Kincaid ran a route on 97.4% of passing plays in Week 1 but was targeted only four times. His role could grow against the Raiders in Week 2.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Week 1 wasn’t a great start for tight end enthusiasts in fantasy football. Only four tight ends — T.J. Hockenson, Hunter Henry, Hayden Hurst and Donald Parham Jr. finished with double-digit fantasy points, though Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews both missed Week 1 with injuries.

Despite the slow starts, the year of the late-round tight end is still in full effect. The difference between the TE5, Evan Engram, and the TE24, Noah Gray, was just 3.8 points in Week 1, and there’s little to suggest the parity won’t be the same moving forward.

Therefore, it’s time to take advantage of the near-level playing field once again and start these sleeper tight ends in Week 2.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders

Making an early impact as a tight end in the NFL is hard. The position requires players to take in a ton of detail, showcase their ability to block in the run game and occasionally in the passing game and execute as a receiver. There’s just a wall of information coming at them — and rookie tight ends are brought along slower than most positions.

However, the Bills immediately threw Dalton Kincaid into the fire in Week 1. He played 55 snaps against the New York Jets while moving around the offense, with 29 snaps in the slot, 18 out wide and eight inline. He was only targeted four times, catching all four passes for 24 yards, but the fact that Kincaid ran a route on 97.4% of his passing plays is a great sign — the Bills want him to be a receiver first and foremost, even if he averaged just 0.68 yards per route run in the season opener.

Things will be easier for Kincaid and the Bills on Sunday as they take on the Las Vegas Raiders. His spot here isn’t so much based on his specific matchup because he moves around a lot. He’ll line up against Nate Hobbs if he’s in the slot or Robert Spillane if he lines up as an in-line tight end. Regardless of who he lines up against, the Bills are expected to score points, and Josh Allen is expected to rebound from a poor game in Week 1. Kincaid will be on the field often and could find himself with a bigger target share in Week 2.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Hunter Henry finished as the highest-scoring tight end in the PPR format in Week 1, scoring 16.60 points on the back of five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. A decrease in points is anticipated in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, but there aren’t many better matchups for Henry this week. 

Our Week 2 TE matchup tool has Henry slated to have a 42% advantage over Jerome Baker, his likely primary defender. Baker was above average in coverage last season, earning a 70.7 coverage grade, but started Week 1 poorly, earning a 52.0 coverage grade and a 38.9 overall grade against the Chargers. He was targeted six times and gave up five receptions for 69 yards as the Dolphins defense gave up 34 points.

Most of Henry’s value comes as a red-zone threat, but all four of his catches came between the numbers against the Eagles. That’s also where Mac Jones does his best work, and this team is in need of pass-catchers making an impact.

The script might call for the Patriots to throw a lot ,if they’re trying to keep pace with a rampant Dolphins offense. And considering his matchup, Henry is one to keep an eye on.

Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

The hype around Chigoziem Okonkwo was real heading into the 2023 NFL season, even if expectations for the Titans offense were a little muted. Okonkwo was a late-round darling in fantasy drafts after leading all tight ends in yards after catch per reception in 2022, and the door for a top-10 finish looked open.

The Titans take on the Chargers in Week 2, and Okonkwo has a 14% matchup advantage over his primary defender, Kenneth Murray. The former first-round pick struggled against the Dolphins in Week 1, earning a 29.4 overall grade as the Chargers defense gave up 466 passing yards. Murray allowed 1.50 yards per coverage snap and gave up a few yards-after-catch opportunities, too. And that's perfect for Okonkwo’s skill set.

The concern is that Okonkwo was targeted on just 7% of his routes in Week 1, but that number is unsustainable, especially if he continues to run around 30 routes per game. The Titans offense isn’t the Dolphins offense — or even anything that closely resembles it — but opportunities will be easier to come by for Okonkwo going forward.

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

Sam LaPorta was another rookie tight end who made a reasonable impact in Week 1, catching five passes for 39 yards en route to 8.90 fantasy points, finishing as the TE8.

That’s a strong start for someone expected to make an impact early. LaPorta averaged 0.34 fantasy points per route and was targeted on 19% of his routes. He has a decent matchup in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Per our Week 2 TE matchup tool, LaPorta has a 21% matchup advantage over Jordyn Brooks, likely his primary defender. Brooks earned a below-average 55.4 overall grade in Week 1 as the Los Angeles Rams routed the Seahawks, allowing 0.27 fantasy points per route in his first game back since tearing his ACL on New Year’s Day. Brooks' quick recovery is nothing short of special, but he faces a tough battle against LaPorta.

LaPorta’s versatility is a valuable trait, too. He lined up out wide on 40.6% of passing snaps in Week 1, but all five of his catches came between the numbers in the short area of the field. He’ll continue to be a potential starter on a Lions offense that will be projected to score points every week.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit