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Tight End Sleepers for the 2024 Fantasy Football Season

Identifying and drafting “sleepers” in your Fantasy Football leagues can mean gaining a true edge over your competition that can result in winning championships. The term “sleeper” is often tossed around when it comes to Fantasy Football and is defined differently from person to person. So when giving out any type of advice regarding my favorite tight end sleepers for the coming season, I feel it is necessary to outline how players can fit my specific definition of the term. I will define a Fantasy Football “sleeper” as a player whose value / average draft position (ADP) is considerably lower than what their Fantasy production can be.

Here are some tight end sleepers from last season that would fit this definition:

  • Sam LaPorta: ADP TE18 vs TE1 finish
  • Trey McBride: ADP TE35 vs TE7 finish
  • Jake Ferguson: ADP TE26 vs TE9 finish

In the above three examples from 2023, the tight ends were selected at a lower ADP but had a very positive gap in their overall Fantasy Football production and finish for the position. Drafting these tight ends at cost was a huge benefit to lineups. The tight end sleepers below can follow the same path to Fantasy success at their current ADPs.

What!? Your fantasy football league wasn’t hosted on Fantrax last season!? Once you see how Fantrax stacks up to the competition, we think you’ll be singing a different tune in the 2024 season.

Tight End Sleepers 2024 Fantasy Football

Pat Freiermuth, Steelers (ADP: TE14)

2023 was a down year for Pat Freiermuth, who played in just 12 games and averaged 6.4 Fantasy points per game (PPG), which ranked 27th. The Steelers did not have much going on through the air with the mediocre combination of Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph, and Mitch Trubisky that resulted in producing the eighth least total passing yards. The Steelers also produced the fifth least total points last season. Bad Muth year, bad Steelers offense production in general.

2022 was much different for Freiermuth, who averaged 9.3 Fantasy PPG which ranked 12th. 98 targets ranked #5, 12 deep targets ranked #3, 63 receptions ranked #6, 732 receiving yards ranked #6, 1.86 yards per route run ranked #7, and 286 yards after the catch ranked #9 for the position. A lot of positives there but to summarize: solid target volume, targeted deep at times, solid production, playmaker after the catch, and an overall good Fantasy season. In 2021, Freiermuth’s biggest positive was his touchdown upside, which was evident with him leading the position in red zone targets and scoring seven times on the year.

Looking ahead to 2024, the Steelers have re-shaped their offense. Not one but two quarterback upgrades in Russell Wilson and Justin Fields were the first major step towards lifting this offense. The Steelers selected Troy Fautanu (OT, Washington) in the first round, Zach Frazier (C, West Virginia) in the second round and Mason McCormick (G, South Dakota State) in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft to bolster that offensive line. The team’s perceived WR1, Diontae Johnson, was traded to the Carolina Panthers. Roman Wilson was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft, which means taking on the WR2 role as George Pickens defaults to the WR1. This could result in Freiermuth becoming the second target once again, which could translate back to what we saw in 2022. Consistent volume from an upgraded quarterback to a guy we have seen produce in the yardage and touchdown departments in the past could result in a huge season for Muth. Freiermuth is ranked comfortably inside my top 12 for the position and could have top 5-7 upside in 2024.


Luke Musgrave, Packers (ADP: TE17)

Green Bay selected Luke Musgrave out of Oregon State in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Musgrave dealt with some injuries as a rookie, playing in just 11 games. Musgrave would finish the season with 46 targets, 34 receptions, 352 receiving yards, a touchdown, and 6.8 Fantasy PPG (#24). Some positive flashes from 2023:

  • #11 in average depth of target (aDot) at 7.5
  • #11 in deep targets (6)
  • #11 in yards per target (7.7)
  • Weeks of 50 (Week 1), 49 (Week 3), 51 (Week 9), 64 (Week 10) receiving yards
  • Weeks of eight (Week 3), seven (Week 5), and six (Week 11) targets
  • Two weeks finishing as a top 10 Fantasy TE

Musgrave checked the boxes of being a tight end that shows signs of receiving upside by the way he was targeted, along with actual production in receiving along with flashes of a connection to Jordan Love. Fellow rookie tight end Tucker Kraft flashed through opportunity as well, but the draft capital difference along with the above notes on Musgrave does concern me. There are plenty of young weapons within the Green Bay offense, but I feel Musgrave had a very sticky role when he was healthy and on the field. A tight end with positive signs of target involvement tied to upside is one I do not mind taking a shot on in 2024.

Cade Otton, Buccaneers (ADP: TE19)

In Cade Otton’s sophomore season, he took small statistical steps forward but had a very similar season to his rookie campaign. One of the most positive notes is that Otton did not leave the field, playing a position-high 95.9% of the snaps. Otton also ran the second most routes and finished with the seventh most slot snaps. So while the flat stats in 2023 may not be worth noting, the role was very solidified and there is opportunity here for growth. The NFL Playoffs were an indicator that that growth could occur.

Through two playoff games for the Buccaneers, Cade Otton:

  • Tied #1 in targets: 19
  • #1 in receptions: 13
  • #2 in receiving yards: 154
  • Scored one of six receiving touchdowns

The playoffs were just a small, two-game sample size, but those were the two most important games of the year. Otton having a large role in the playoffs could be a foreshadowing for his role in 2024. Otton rarely left the field and ran a ton of routes in 2023, but now if he could earn more weekly targets this could be a big boost for his Fantasy Football production. Otton could be a solid second tight end to grab and hold in redraft this season if your league has larger bench spots, or at least a tight end to monitor on the waiver wire.

Ben Sinnott, Commanders (ADP: TE21)

The Commanders selected Ben Sinnott with the 21st overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft out of KSU. Sinnott profiles as a very athletic tight end, which was evident by his ability to run routes at all three levels. Sinnott is tough contesting catches, has some run-after-catch upside, and progressed significantly through his college career.

Logan Thomas earned 79 targets in 2023 and is no longer part of the Commanders. Zach Ertz is now a Commander but is far beyond his prime at 33 years old. I see some similarities to the situation that Trey McBride had last year on the Cardinals, who also sat behind Ertz at the beginning of the year on the depth chart. The same sort of path could be for Sinott, who may open the year as the second tight end on the depth chart but could earn the starter role via an injury (knock on wood nobody gets hurt but it happens), winning the role in general, or the Commanders wanting Sinnott to develop.

An attachment to a new quarterback in Washington with Jayden Daniels and a new coaching staff could mean roles being wide open in 2024. Sinnott is best left on your waiver wire but is one of the potential tight end sleepers you should monitor through the season. An easy way to see a change in role is by looking at a player’s snap percentage change weekly. Washington obviously liked Sinnott enough to surprise us with second-round draft capital, so he could be a player they choose to emphasize at some point in this coming season. Athletic tight ends who can be playmakers through all areas of the field can be very Fantasy relevant.

Jonnu Smith, Dolphins (ADP: TE24)

Jonnu Smith drew some buzz back in 2o2o after finishing 13th in Fantasy PPG (9.4). That season, the production was boosted by scoring eight touchdowns. Smith has finished three seasons with over 400 receiving yards, with 2023 being his best season in that department (582). What stands out about Smith this past season is having career-highs in targets (69), receptions (50) and receiving yards (582) with two factors: 1) Atlanta attempted the eighth least passes in 2023, and 2) Kyle Pitts was the starting tight end on the depth chart

Smith enters the explosive Miami Dolphins offense via a two-year, $10 million deal. Miami produced the most total yards in 2023 and scored the second most points. Tua Tagovailoa attempted 32.9 passes per game and led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards. AKA – this is a great offense to land in. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will continue to be the premier targets through the air but Smith has an opportunity to earn the #3 target role in 2024. You want pieces of good offenses, and Miami is one of those offenses to take shots on.

Should Smith see consistent targets, he can thrive in the Miami system which would translate greatly to Fantasy Football. Smith likely will be a waiver wire option to monitor in 2024, and you should know his role within the first week or two. This off-season landing spot has not been talked about enough.

Notes on Other Potential TE Sleepers

  • Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (ADP: TE27) 
    • Seasons back in Miami with solid target and receiving yard numbers. #3 target role is wide open with Tyler Boyd now a Titan. Great offense to have a role in with the Bengals following Gesicki’s move from the Patriots.
  • Taysom Hill, Saints (ADP: TE29)
    • Juwan Johnson is banged up. Taysom Hill has been an inconsistent Fantasy producer, with a high ceiling due to his gadget-like role with the Saints. Camp buzz indicates Hill could have a big role in 2024.
  • Ja’Tavion Sanders, Panthers (ADP: TE30) 
    • Rookie tight end with a decent pass-catching resume out of Texas. Tommy Tremble has not produced when given the opportunity to. Sanders could eventually win the job and build a connection with Bryce Young. 
  • Greg Dulcich, Broncos (ADP: TE36) 
    • Dulcich had a ton of Fantasy relevance when he was on the field his rookie season back in 2022. Dulcich checked the boxes of earning targets, showing receiving upside, displaying efficiency, and scoring Fantasy Points. Pass-catching roles are wide open in Denver. The biggest issue has, and continues to be Dulcich’s health.

Got a few tight end sleepers of your own? Drop some names in the comments below and then make sure to check out our 2024 Fantasy Football Draft Kit for more great rankings and analysis.

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