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2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Riser: T.J. Hockenson

T.J. Hockenson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

T.J. Hockenson has been in the mix of the top-10 dynasty fantasy football tight ends since the moment he was drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The former Iowa Hawkeye has all the physical tools to be a difference-maker at the position and was drafted to play alongside Matthew Stafford.

His career trajectory changed when Stafford headed to Los Angeles to win a Super Bowl with the Rams, but Hockenson was still one of the most productive tight ends in the league with Jared Goff. In his final year with Stafford in 2020, he finished as the TE8 in fantasy points per game. In 2021 with Goff, he ranked fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game. Now, he finds himself as a Minnesota Viking in Kirk Cousins' offense, and his value has taken a nice step forward after big-time fantasy production in the second half of the 2022 season.

How did Hockenson play in 2022, what is his current dynasty value and trade market, and what can we expect from him in 2023? Let's dive in.

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2022 Season Review

Through five weeks, Hockenson saw at least seven targets in three of the five contests. However, he posted finishes as the TE17, TE24, TE11, and TE 47, Then, Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks happened. Against Seattle, Hockenson caught eight of his 12 targets for 179 yards and two touchdowns. His 39.9 PPR fantasy points ranked eighth all-time for single-game fantasy points among tight ends. The only players to score more fantasy points in a game were Darren Waller, Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz. Pretty elite company.

This nuclear performance came in the absence of Pro Bowl wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, but if a tight end is even capable of that kind of eruption, the dynasty community is going to take notice. Very rarely does a middle-of-the-road tight end have that kind of day, so it's an indication of elite upside.

After a Week 5 bye, Hockenson posted TE16 and TE11 weeks, totaling seven receptions for 128 yards against Dallas and Miami.

Then he was dealt to Minnesota along with two fourth-round picks in exchange for a second and third-round pick. In game one with Minnesota, Hockenson caught all nine of his targets for 70 yards, finishing as Week 9's TE5. He'd finish as a top-12 tight end in seven of his first nine games with the team, ranking no lower than the weekly TE19. He had another nuclear week against the New York Giants, posting 13 receptions on 16 targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

Over the nine full games with Minnesota, he caught 59 of his 85 targets for 503 yards and three touchdowns, putting him only behind Travis Kelce in total fantasy points at the position during that stretch. The 25-year-old tight end scored 14.1 fantasy points per game as a Viking, compared to 12.2 fantasy points per game as a Lion.

T.J. Hockenson PlayerProfiler.com

T.J. Hockenson Advanced Stats and Metrics.

He finished as the TE2 overall for 2023, ranking inside the top five in targets, target share, receptions, receiving yards, yards after catch, touchdowns, snap share, routes run, air yards, deep targets, and red zone targets among tight ends.


T.J. Hockenson Dynasty Value/Market

While player valuations are going to vary widely from league to league, KeepTradeCut.com is a helpful resource for getting an idea of what a player's value might be. These crowdsourced rankings have Hockenson as the dynasty TE4 and the 45th most valuable player overall (single-QB leagues). While Hockenson has been in the top-five tight end conversion for a while and hasn't received a huge boost in those standings, his value among players at other positions has risen mightily.

During some of his slower weeks at the start of the 2022 season, Hockenson fell to the 90-100 range of overall players. Now, he's on par with guys like Najee Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Christian Watson, and Brandon Aiyuk. He trails only Kyle Pitts, Mark Andrews, and Travis Kelce in the tight end pecking order, so he could have a path to the TE2 spot if Kelce finally falls off in his mid-30s and Andrews' QB situation gets murky.

He's become a real advantage at tight end in the Minnesota offense and looks to be a key piece of a contending dynasty team moving forward.


2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

In early 2023 Best Ball drafts, Hockenson is locked in as a top-five selection as his ADP sits around the TE3 spot. Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews have earned the right to be selected before him, but after those two are off the board, it's between Hockenson and George Kittle.

Kittle has high touchdown upside on a loaded offense, but he has more target competition in the form of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Christian McCaffrey. Hockenson shares a field with Justin Jefferson, but we've seen him be productive alongside the reigning offensive player of the year. However, the Vikings released Adam Thielen – meaning there could be more targets up for grabs. We can expect Minnesota to add to its wide receiver room in the 2023 NFL draft, but will a rookie immediately step in and significantly impact Hockenson's upside? It's doubtful.

Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell comes from a pass-first system under Sean McVay. We already saw the Vikings jump from a 58.54 pass rate (18th-highest) to a 64.38% pass rate (third-highest) from 2021 to 2022 under O'Connell, so we can expect the team to continue to feature a high-volume passing offense. Dalvin Cook is rumored to be on his way out, which further signals the team is committed to becoming a pass-first attack.

That said, Hockenson should see plenty of volume and opportunity, regardless of who the Vikings add at pass-catcher. Hockenson is fully expected to be a top-five fantasy tight end and if Kelce regresses, he could have a path to the TE1 overall in 2023.

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