Fantasy football season review: Lions TE Sam LaPorta left expectations in his dust

Sam LaPorta was easy to like in fantasy football terms heading into his rookie season; then he delivered beyond any reasonable expectations.
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Upon being drafted by the Detroit Lions, and with a prominent role available, Sam LaPorta was easy to quickly get on board with as a fantasy sleeper for this year.

LaPorta went on to set the single season NFL record for receptions by a rookie tight end (86), while setting new single season records for a Lions' tight end across the board.

As the season wound down, we posed this question.

"Can Sam LaPorta finish as the TE1?"

LaPorta was certainly tracking toward finishing as the TE1 in fantasy this year, but did he get it done?

Fantasy Football 2023 Season Review: Lions TE Sam LaPorta

Let's go week-by-week to see LaPorta's weekly fantasy finishes, in 0.5-point PPR.

Week 1: TE13
Week 2: TE8
Week 3: TE1
Week 4: TE16 (tied)
Week 5: TE3
Week 6: TE17
Week 7: TE10
Week 8: TE 5 (tied)
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: TE15
Week 11: TE17 (tied)
Week 12: TE3
Week 13: TE1
Week 14: TE32
Week 15: TE1
Week 16: TE38
Week 17: TE 5 (tied)

Week 18: TE4

Through Week 17, the end of the season in most fantasy football leagues, LaPorta indeed finished as the TE1 in 0.5-point PPR, 23 points ahead of TE2 Travis Kelce. In standard scoring, he also finished as the TE1;15.1 points ahead of TE2 George Kittle. And in full PPR, LaPorta was also the TE1; nine points ahead of TE2 Evan Engram.

We can call that a trifecta for LaPorta, defying all kinds of recent history for a rookie tight end as a fantasy producer.

Those duds in Week 14 and Week 16 may have been ill-timed for a lot of LaPorta's fantasy managers. But otherwise, he was never outside the top-20 in a week. He was a top-10 tight end eight times. He was the TE1 three times, and a top-five tight end (with ties) seven times.

LaPorta feels like an easy regression candidate in the touchdown column next season. But has put himself in the conversation to the first tight end off the board in 2024 fantasy drafts (talking re-draft), and he's easily the No. 1 tight end in dynasty leagues.

Next. 3 teams who are the most sad they didn't get Sam LaPorta in 2023 NFL Draft. 3 teams who are the most sad they didn't get Sam LaPorta in 2023 NFL Draft. dark