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The Biggest Fantasy Football TE Busts Of 2023

Travis Kelce - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

We are at that part of the NFL offseason where very little news breaks. The NFL Combine doesn't start for a week, and free agents can't sign until March. So, now is the perfect time to look back and see where we might have gone wrong in fantasy football drafts this past year, especially at the tight end position.

The tight end position was truly hard to navigate this year -- like always. There was one tight end, Travis Kelce, going in the middle of the first round, and it begged the question, how high is too high to select a player in fantasy at this position? Then, players like Mark Andrews, George Kittle, and T.J. Hockenson followed in the next couple of rounds. 

But, by selecting one of those tight ends early, did any of them bust in fantasy this past year? Who were the biggest busts at this position during the 2023-2024 season? Let's dive in and find out.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Honorable Mention: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans

There was real hope that Tennessee Titans tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo would have a breakout season after a strong rookie campaign. In Year 1, Okonkwo caught 32 passes for 450 yards and three touchdowns. The former fourth-round pick also came on at the end of the 2022 season, totaling more than 10 PPR fantasy points in four of the final six games. 

However, Okonkwo was a major disappointment for anyone who was hoping for a Year 2 breakout. The Titans tight end finished as the TE21 in 2023 while averaging just 6.7 PPR fantasy points per game. The 24-year-old also failed to reach double-digit fantasy points in 16 of 17 games this season. The inconsistencies at quarterback didn't help the sophomore, and he didn't provide much fantasy value after being drafted top-15 at the position.


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs 

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce starts this list off following his less-than-stellar season. Kelce's down year mixed with his average draft position (ADP) this past summer is the reason he finds himself as a tight end bust from the 2023-2024 season.

In almost every fantasy draft entering the season, Kelce was a first-round pick because of his consistency at a thin position. His ADP was 5.3, which meant he was going higher than players like Tyreek Hill (6.8), CeeDee Lamb (12.9), and A.J. Brown (14.4). However, it was only a mediocre year for the Chiefs tight end, who had his worst fantasy season since 2015. 

Kelce finished as the TE3 and the 59th overall player in fantasy this past year while averaging 14.6 PPR fantasy points per game. His TE3 finish and 219.4 total PPR fantasy points were his lowest since that 2015 season when he finished as the TE9 with 187.5 total PPR fantasy points.

It was certainly a shock to see Kelce struggle in fantasy during the 2023 season. He only totaled three games above 20 PPR fantasy points -- none in the final nine weeks of the season -- and in the fantasy football playoffs (Week 15 to Week 17), he averaged just 7.3 PPR fantasy points. If you drafted him early, chances are he didn't help you win a fantasy championship.


Darren Waller, New York Giants 

A lot of us, myself included, fell into the offseason trap of New York Giants tight end Darren Waller. All the buzz this past summer out of Giants camp was how Waller was set to have a big year and how quarterback Daniel Jones looked his way on every single pass. Well, it was another disappointing year for the 31-year-old. 

Waller was usually drafted somewhere in the fifth or sixth round of drafts this past year. But when looking back at the season, fantasy managers likely regret the pick. The Giants tight end finished as the TE22, in large part due to another hamstring injury and inconsistencies at the quarterback position. The veteran missed five games in 2023 due to a hamstring issue, which we all should have seen coming. 

But outside of the injury, Waller wasn't necessarily putting up big fantasy numbers either. In 12 games, he scored above 10 PPR fantasy points just four times while finishing as a top-12 tight end three times. He also only scored one touchdown during the 2023-2024 season, which severely hurt his fantasy production.


Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers 

Entering his third NFL season, big things were expected for Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth. For starters, he was coming off a year in 2022 where he caught 63 passes for 732 yards and two touchdowns while finishing as the TE8 in all formats in fantasy. 

However, the 25-year-old tight end was not a huge part of Pittsburgh's offense during the 2023-2024 season. He dealt with a hamstring injury in the middle of the season that caused him to miss five games. But even when active, Freiermuth wasn't targeted a whole bunch. The Steelers playmaker had just 32 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. 

That resulted in Freiermuth finishing as the TE30 on the year while averaging just 6.5 PPR fantasy points per game. The Steelers playmaker was often the ninth tight end off the board in drafts this past year. However, he didn't provide close to that value for fantasy managers this season. He had just two games over eight PPR fantasy points and finished outside the top 25 in six of 12 weeks. 

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