You know the Buffalo Bills’ 2022 season didn’t quite go according to plan when you consider that when I sat down to write this introduction, the only things I could think of were the conspiracy theories surrounding safety Damar Hamlin, and the Bills once again failing to make it to the Super Bowl, despite having one of the best squads in the NFL. This NFL Draft, they spent heavily on the offense, using four of their first five picks on that side of the football. With two of those being offensive linemen, that means that they took two potentially fantasy football-relevant players in the 2023 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at their fantasy football potential for their rookie seasons, shall we?
FULL BUFFALO BILLS 2023 DRAFT RESULTS
|7||230||Nick Broeker||OG||Ole Miss|
|7||252||Alex Austin||CB||Oregon State|
Round 1, Pick 25 Overall: Dalton Kincaid, Tight End, Utah (6’4” 247 lbs)
Dalton Kincaid is not a blocker by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a massive wide receiver who is fluid running with the football, possesses great hands, is fast as all get out (for his size), and has a desire to punish would-be tacklers. He is just a giant wide receiver tasked with playing tight end, as he doesn’t possess any of the physicality you would expect for a receiver his size. While Mayer is the best tight end in the class, Dalton Kincaid has the ability to be the best fantasy football asset, since he could be a 125+ target tight end in the league, out of the slot. Before the draft, he was my favorite of the rookies to potentially break the tight end curse. After the draft, I would give that title to Michael Mayer, as the Raiders traded Darren Waller to the Giants this offseason and brought in Mayer to replace him.
There’s a world where Josh Allen got his Travis Kelce, or his George Kittle, or his Mark Andrews. While I don’t know if he can contribute right away, I don’t see a world where he’s not helping the Bills—and fantasy teams—sooner rather than later. The Bills gave Josh Allen a weapon that combines his two favorite things: slot receivers and tight ends and put them in one gigantic package. Outside of Stefon Diggs, there isn’t really a rock-solid receiver on the Bills, and it’s no hyperbole to state that Kincaid could already be the second-best receiver on this team, and would be the first-best receiver on a lot of teams. He will have every opportunity to succeed, whether you consider him a slot receiver (Cole Beasley had three-straight 100+ target years with Josh Allen) or a tight end (among tight ends with at least 100 red zone snaps last year, Knox was fifth in target share), Dalton Kincaid will get enough opportunity to matter this season.
2023 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
If you want a tight end who will hit the ground running and never look back, then you probably want to look somewhere other than Kincaid. But, if you want to deploy him as a part of a two-TE setup in your fantasy football league while he develops, I can advocate for snagging Kincaid with one of your last picks. He is TE11 by 4for4 composite ADP as of May 21st, so I’m not really breaking big news here, but I am advocating for the news to be broken. He hasn’t played a snap in the NFL and given his talent, offense, and opportunity, I’m already ready to put him in The Blob. The only thing that gives me pause is the rookie tight end bottleneck, but given that he doesn’t block (at all) and is more Marques Colston than anything else, I feel good about his 2023 prospects.
Round 5, Pick 150 Overall: Justin Shorter, Wide Receiver, Florida (6’3” 224 lbs)
Justin Shorter has one of the more ironic games in the 2023 NFL Draft, since at 6’3” and 224 pounds, he’s one of the bigger receivers in this class. Shorter also has a skill set that will mesh well with Josh Allen, mostly because his skill set meshed well with Anthony Richardson at Florida, and Richardson is basically a poor man’s Josh Allen in terms of size, strength, and proclivity to throw it downfield. Shorter is big and fast, and has the ability to be an incredible deep threat for Josh Allen. Unfortunately, that’s likely all that he has the ability to be, at least in his rookie year. He is more of a sprinter than a route runner at this point, with his change-of-direction and get off the snap not being completely not up to snuff for the NFL. Still, he is an excellent 50-50 ball receiver and one who will help Josh Allen immensely, should he make it onto the field in 2023.
Shorter is a bigger version of Gabriel Davis, who the Bills already have on their roster. He is the type of player that tops out at 40 targets his rookie year unless something goes catastrophically wrong in the wide receiver room ahead of him. But, he will get a good number of big, deep plays as evidenced by his college usage (19.9 yards per reception on 54 targets across 9 games in 2022). Unfortunately, without injuries to several key contributors along the Bills’ passing game, I can’t see him getting a big enough opportunity to make waves in 2023/
2023 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
I don’t see a world where Shorter helps your fantasy team on a consistent basis in 2023.