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Sam LaPorta Fantasy Football Outlook

Alisha takes a look at what to expect from Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta for fantasy football.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 20: Sam LaPorta #87 of the Detroit Lions poses for a portrait during the NFLPA Rookie Premiere on May 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

We all know that T.J. Hockenson is the best TE in the division, but the Lions think you should keep rookie Sam LaPorta in mind if you are looking for tight end depth in your fantasy football drafts. Speaking of Hockenson, the Lions traded him to the Minnesota Vikings last season, leaving the Lions’ TE position up for grabs this summer. The Lions drafted LaPorta in the second round and he has quickly become both a starter and a player likely to play a significant role in Detroit’s offense. Could LaPorta be the rare rookie TE to have a fantasy impact?

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Sam LaPorta Fantasy Football Outlook

It is always risky taking a rookie, especially at the tight end position, but LaPorta has been with the first-team offense since the start of training camp. He has shown that he has the ability to run good routes, create separation against man coverage, and gain yards after the catch. Weighing in at 245 lbs, LaPorta is difficult to get to the ground once he gets going, and he is way more agile than his defenders may think. There are rumors that he may be Goff’s second-favorite target behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. Jameson Williams missing the first six games of the season with a suspension will also certainly be in LaPorta’s favor, opening up plenty of targets in an offense looking for playmakers.

Rookie TEs rarely become fantasy studs, but taking into consideration the Lions’ lack of TE competition and his skill as a pass catcher, LaPorta has a shot. He has real upside and should be able to outperform his current TE17 ADP. This makes him a great option as a backup tight-end pick near the end of your fantasy football drafts.