2024 NFL Draft: The best fantasy football landing spots for Brock Bowers

By | April 16, 2024

If you remember anything about Sam LaPorta’s 2023 season, let it be the fact that I mentioned it in full.

If you remember anything else, let’s hope it’s the historic rarity of his freshman performance.

Last season, LaPorta became only the second rookie tight end of all time to finish with at least 80 receptions and 800 yards, joining only Keith Jackson (1988). He ranked in the top five at his position in catches (86), targets (120) and receiving yards (889), while leading all tight ends in touchdowns (10). Things like that just don’t happen in this place.

Here’s a look at every first-year tight end in NFL history who has topped 175 fantasy points in full PPR scoring:

  • Sam LaPorta, 2023 – 239.3 points

  • Mike Ditka, 1961-233.6

  • Keith Jackson, 1988-200.9

  • Charlie Young, 1973-184.8

  • Kyle Pitts, 2021 – 176.6

That’s it, the complete list. Just five guys.

As a general rule, we don’t expect any notable season-long performance from rookie tight ends. Historically, it has been a slowly developing position with responsibilities that go far beyond the few things that directly affect fantasy outcomes.

On the other hand, you may have also noticed that we’ve been treated to outlier seasons from rookies in two of the last three years, which could indicate a change is underway. Pitts actually managed to disappoint fantasy managers while delivering the fifth most productive season ever for a first-year tight end.

In light of this fact, you might reasonably wonder if another monster rookie campaign is coming, as the 2024 draft class features a guy who has been the subject of some pretty extreme hype.

Brock Bowers is widely considered the best tight end in this draft and one of the better prospects we’ve seen at the position in recent years. He has three seasons of elite production under his belt in the toughest collegiate competition and his tape is full of outrageous plays. He is exceptional before the catch, during the catch and certainly after the catch:

Bowers has that too tremendous speed by the standards of his position and it was used as a multi-tool in Georgia, queuing all over the field.

The worst thing we can say about Bowers at this stage is that he has used poor judgment that one time he dressed up as a camp counselor and stood next to Gronka a lot of bigger person. Hopefully he learned from that miscalculation. Still, we’re talking about a top-level prospect with a clear chance to reach first-year fantasy relevance.

It’s probably not fair to compare him to LaPorta — or any other Iowa tight end, honestly — but we can certainly hope for a landing spot that offers significant target volume. Bowers has been ridiculed by virtually every team that picks between 5 and 25, so there is a certain amount of uncertainty regarding his future NFL home. If we think strictly about his potential to put together an all-time rookie season, these are the optimal destinations…

Brock Bowers #19 Brock Bowers #19

Will Brock Bowers deliver shades of Sam LaPorta for fantasy in Year 1? (Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Joining Justin Herbert and the Chargers

After the Keenan Allen trade and the release of Mike Williams, the receiving corps left in LA is, um… not good. Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer are currently at the top of the team’s receiving hierarchy, which is obviously terrible. If you’re a dynasty manager with Herbert on the roster, the offseason has been a nightmare scenario so far.

The Chargers would likely not select Bowers with the fifth overall pick of the draft, but a trade down could be in play. It’s not hard to imagine that Bowers will almost immediately become this team’s top receiving option given the lack of playmaking talent. If we’re looking for a spot where a rookie pass catcher can command 120+ targets from a competent QB, this is the best bet.

Or the Jets and Aaron Rodgers

This is probably the most calcareous spot, the expected destination. Bowers visited the Jets on Monday and the team undoubtedly has an interest in surrounding Rodgers with players who make a difference. Garrett Wilson will be the unrivaled top option in New York, but things aren’t quite settled yet. You may recall that Rodgers once turned Robert Tonyan into a top-five fantasy tight end, so we have no reason to think he couldn’t do the same for Bowers.

Joe Burrow’s Bengals maybe

Okay, so there’s no way Bowers would be the focal point of a passing offense that also involves Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. But it shouldn’t be hard to see the benefits of being attached to an elite quarterback entering his prime, already with a pair of 30-TD seasons on his resume. Cincinnati actually targeted the tight end position 115 times last year, so there are opportunities. However, it’s hard to see Bowers falling all the way to the Bengals at pick 18, as this next franchise is rumored to be interested…

Possibly to Indy with Anthony Richardson

Between the pre-injury glimpses we got from Richardson last year, and the many positive reports about his offseason, we’ll be very excited about the Colts QB in Year 2 regardless of who this team adds to the draft. But if they give Richardson another weapon for an offense that fits his game perfectly…well, wow. It’s not the perfect spot for Bowers himself in terms of immediate production, but it would land Indy’s quarterback a top-eight pre-draft position. We should also give Bowers at least a shot at an Ebronish reception-to-TD ratio.

The dream of the dynasty: Kansas City, as Travis Kelce’s heir apparent

This is clearly another situation that requires a trade-up, as Bowers does not expire at pick 32. But no other landing spot could set our social feeds on fire quite like KC. It’s certainly not crazy to think that a team would view Bowers as the best pass catcher available in the draft, outside of the top three wideouts (or perhaps including them).

Kelce looked like a scrappy, high-mileage 34-year-old tight end with long stretches last season prior to the playoffs, so finding an apprentice wouldn’t be the worst idea. Marquise Brown was a great offseason addition, but the Chiefs aren’t exactly ashamed of receiving riches. If Bowers were to somehow end up here – which, again, would require the cooperation of another team – we could make a strong case for him as the dynasty TE1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *