Even as a rookie tight end and the lackluster history there, it was easy to get on board with the fantasy hype around Sam LaPorta heading into the season. The Detroit Lions throw to tight ends, heavily in the red zone last year, and he was instantly the best tight end on the team.
Through two games, it's safe to say LaPorta has delivered. He is the first tight end in NFL history to have five or more receptions in each of his first two career games, and in Week 2 against the Seahawks he really stepped up late in the game.
In fantasy football terms (0.5-point PPR), LaPorta has finished as TE11 (Week 1) and TE8 (Week 2). He hasn't scored a touchdown yet, but in a thin fantasy tight end landscape that's been rendered moot.
Fantasy Football: Sam LaPorta is a must-start until further notice
In Week 3 LaPorta faces the Atlanta Falcons, who are allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to tight ends (9.15 per game, Yahoo! scoring-0.5-point PPR) through two weeks. If Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (toe) is out or at all limited on Sunday, LaPorta clearly already has strong rapport with Jared Goff and would be in line for a few more targets.
LaPorta's route participation rose from 72 percent in Week 1 to an elite-level 84 percent in Week 2. His snap count in the slot rose from four in Week 1 to 14 in Week 2, as he also played 10 snaps out wide in Week 2.
As of Wednesday afternoon, LaPorta is somehow still available in 44 percent of ESPN leagues and 67 percent of NFL.com leagues (he's 77 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues). There aren't very many tight ends more desirable to have in fantasy right now, and if you didn't draft one of top guys he's legitimately in that next tier.
Owing partially (but not solely) to how thin tight end is in fantasy, LaPorta has quickly become a lineup lock for his fantasy owners until further notice.