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Top Candidates To Dethrone Sam LaPorta As The Fantasy Football TE1 In 2024

Trey McBride - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

If you polled 100 fantasy football analysts before the 2023 season and asked who would finish as the top-scoring tight end, none of them would have answered Sam LaPorta.

On the back of 10 touchdowns, the Lions’ rookie racked up 239.3 PPR fantasy points, nine ahead of second-place finisher Evan Engram. A double-digit touchdown season is tough to replicate, especially when we’ve only seen LaPorta do it once.

There are a handful of candidates that have the potential to boot LaPorta from his throne. Below, we highlight three names that can finish as the TE1.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:

 

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

From Week 10 through the end of the regular season, McBride posted 14.9 PPR points per game, third among the position. That coincided with Kyler Murray’s return to the lineup. With Marquise Brown either sidelined or hampered by injury, McBride led the team in targets (106).

The Cardinals prioritized offensive weapons in the offseason. Will that help or hinder the opportunities for McBride? The Cardinals selected Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft. He’s slated to be atop the wide receiver depth chart. Rondale Moore was replaced by Zay Jones on the roster (although they have vastly different play styles). Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch will also mix in. Defenses won’t be able to focus all of their attention on McBride this year.

McBride is aiming for a 1,000-yard season, and fantasy managers hope the touchdown total (3 in 2023) will jump. Other red zone options and a full season of Murray under center will help that cause.

 

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Does Travis Kelce have more juice, or is it nearing time for one of the league's greatest tight ends to ride off into the sunset with a certain celebrity pop star? Although he appeared to be slowing down last season, the 34-year-old scored 14.6 PPR points per game, tied for first at the position.

It’s impossible to ignore the sustained, elite production. Kelce has finished as the TE1 in six of the last eight seasons. One of those misses came last season (TE3 finish) when the Chiefs turned to Isiah Pacheco and their defense to win football games. Patrick Mahomes and Kelce had little help in the passing game until Rashee Rice broke out midway through his rookie season.

The Chiefs are making up for their past mistakes by signing Marquise Brown and spending a first-round pick on Xavier Worthy. Both possess world-class speed, which should open the middle of the field for Kelce.

 

Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

Opposite of the other tight ends in this article, the Bills didn’t add talent around Dalton Kincaid. Rather, they lost a pair of quality pass catchers.

Stefon Diggs was traded to Houston, and the Bills let Gabe Davis return to Florida in free agency. Curtis Samuel and rookie Keon Coleman join incumbent Khalil Shakir in upstate New York. None of those receivers command targets quite like the former All-Pro Diggs.

Kincaid is a dark horse TE1 candidate on potential volume alone. From Weeks 7 through 14, Kincaid secured at least five receptions in every matchup on 7.6 targets per game. A steady PPR floor is all but guaranteed if the target numbers increase by one or two per game.

The touchdowns will have to increase for Kincaid to crack the top five, let alone the top one. He only found paydirt twice in his rookie season. The red zone pass rate for the Bills dropped to 32.5% with offensive coordinator Joe Brady on the job. While being connected to Josh Allen is a tremendous advantage for Kincaid, the quarterback is just as likely to rush it in himself or, even worse, hand it off to a running back not named James Cook.

Still, Kincaid could be the target leader for the Bills in 2024, and his consistency could propel him toward the top of the tight end leaderboard.



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