A couple weeks ago, with upcoming matchups to make it interesting, we posed the question.
Fantasy Football 2023: Can Sam LaPorta finish as the TE1?
In Week 14 against the Chicago Bears, LaPorta did not get off to a great start in a stretch run drive to finish as the TE1 in fantasy football with just two catches for 23 yards. But in Week 15 against the Denver Broncos, he rebounded in a big way with three touchdowns among his five catches for 56 yards. A soft matchup against one of the league's worst defenses vs. tight ends fostered predictions of a bounce back, but that touchdown boom was something else.
Fantasy Football: Sam LaPorta is your TE1 entering Week 16 (at least in two scoring formats)
LaPorta was of course the TE1 in fantasy across the board (standard, 0.5-point PPR, full PPR) for Week 15. He is now the TE1 for the season in standard scoring (134.2 points) and in 0.5-point PPR (169.7 points).
In full PPR scoring, LaPorta is "only" the TE3 entering Week 16, behind T.J. Hockenson and Travis Kelce. But the Lions' rookie trails Kelce by just 0.2 fantasy points for the TE2 spot, and he's only four PPR points behind the TE1 Hockenson.
LaPorta has a middle of the road matchup coming against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16, and a tough matchup follows that in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas has faced the second-fewest-tight end targets in the league thus far, and three of the six touchdowns they've allowed to the position came to George Kittle in Week 5. That said, a high-scoring game is easy to see coming in Dallas on the night before New Year's Eve, for championship week in many fantasy leagues.
LaPorta won't have another three-touchdown game this season, or it's not likely. But he could, if Hockenson and Kelce fall off just enough over the next two weeks, make a push to finish as the TE1 in fantasy regardless of scoring format as a rookie. Among all the accomplishments he'll have this year, winning his fantasy managers some big cash might be the most important.