Greg Dulcich is this Year’s League Winning TE

by Shervon Fakhimi · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

We’ve all grown accustomed to tight end being a wasteland outside of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and George Kittle. T.J. Hockenson has shown flashes, Kyle Pitts has yet to breakout, and then there’s a fall-off. Every year there is a tight end that emerges from the late round that becomes a league winner in fantasy football. Last year, it was Evan Engram. This year, it’s Greg Dulcich.

Rookie Surprise

It’s a cliche, but tight ends don’t often jump off the stat sheet as a rookie. Data backs this up. In J.J. Zachariason’s 2022 Late Round Draft Guide, he broke down breakout rates for tight end by year of NFL experience. Rookies had the lowest breakout rates of any experienced group from Year 1 to Year 10. Well, nobody shared that data with Greg Dulcich.

Interpreting the Data

Greg Dulcich‘s underlying data actually does jump off the page. His yards per route run (1.44 rank No. 23 among tight ends according to and yards per target (7.5 rank No. 19) aren’t spectacular. However, Denver’s putrid offense last season (they ranked No. 29 in offensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders) make those number more impressive. Additionally, Dulcich ranked No. 13 in target share (17.2-percent), No. 5 in route participation (84.1-percent), No. 6 in slot snaps (193), No. 7 in air yards share (18.6-percent), and No. 3 in average depth of target (10.6 yards) and deep targets (12). Now is a good time to remind you all that Dulcich only played in ten games last season.

Dulcich was a factor for fantasy purposes too. In tight end premium scoring (1.5 PPR), Dulcich was the TE14 in points per game at 10.3. In normal PPR scoring, he was the TE16. This is nothing special but certainly usable. He also had a three-week stretch of scoring at least 11 PPR points. That may seem innocuous, but of the top 30 tight end scorers on the season, only nine tight ends accomplished that feat in 2022: Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Hockenson, Evan Engram, Taysom Hill, Dallas Goedert, Dawson Knox, Juwan Johnson (another sleeper for this season), and Greg Dulcich. When you’re running a lot of routes and a lot of those routes are aimed downfield, you tilt the odds of fantasy success at the tight end position in your direction.

Improvement is Coming in 2023

There are many paths for Greg Dulcich to improve upon his impressive 2022 campaign. Let’s start with his situation first. The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett as head coach before he could even finish his first season as an NFL head coach. They replaced him with Sean Payton. Head coach analysis when it comes to fantasy football can be faulty. But in this case, it’s safe to assume that change alone should be a boon for every player on the Broncos’ offense. It also can’t hurt that Sean Payton has made plenty tight ends fantasy relevant over the years in New Orleans. Many of those players were not as talented as Dulcich.

While the Broncos did reunite Payton with former Saint Adam Trautman, he should not infringe on much of Dulcich’s pass game utilization. Trautman ran 355 routes in 28 games under Sean Payton’s stewardship in New Orleans. Dulcich ran 285 routes in 10 games last season. Albert Okwuebugnam will likely not be a factor and both he and the Broncos would benefit from a change of scenery. Dulcich has 21 fewer receptions than Okwuebugnam despite playing two fewer seasons and 16 fewer games. There isn’t much to sweat out in this tight end room.

The Other Pass Catchers

There isn’t a lot to sweat out in the wide receiver room either. There are a lot of names and solid players, but Dulcich should be able to move past most of them in the target pecking order. Jerry Jeudy seems the least likely. His target rate and target share weren’t exemplary (he ranked No. 35 among receivers in both metrics), but his 2.29 yards per route run, 2.17 formation-adjusted yards per route run, and 9.7 yards per target were. All these metrics ranked inside the top 16 among receivers. Courtland Sutton didn’t crack the top 50 of either metric at receiver. Tim Patrick missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Marvin Mims is an impressive prospect and should fit well next to Russell Wilson, but he’s also a rookie.

Jeudy, Sutton, and Patrick have all been subject to trade rumors this offseason too. It’s possible more targets get freed up for Dulcich to vacuum before Week 1. And let’s not forget it’s likely Javonte Williams, he who registered 22 targets in four games last season, will likely not be available for Week 1 either. He also should see plenty of improvement himself going into Year 2.

Greg Dulcich isn’t just another random second-year tight end with how well he played as a rookie. Remember that stat I mentioned from JJ Zachariason’s 2022 Late Round Draft Guide about rookie tight ends? Well, what if I told you that second-year tight ends had the highest breakout rate of any year of NFL experience at the tight end position?

Dulcich as a Prospect

We’ve mentioned how well he played as a rookie, but we haven’t yet discussed Greg Dulcich‘s merits as a prospect before entering the NFL. Dulcich was as productive a tight end prospect you’ll find anywhere and was regarded as the best receiving tight end prospect last season. He posted an 84th-percentile college dominator rating (27.3-percent), a 98th-percentile college yards per reception (18.6 yards), and a 70th-percentile breakout age (20.4 years old). He’s plenty athletic with a 61st-percentile speed score.

His prospect profile looks eerily similar to Dalton Kincaid‘s, a first-round selection by the Buffalo Bills in the 2023 NFL Draft. But Dulcich, with a productive NFL rookie season already under his belt, is younger than Kincaid by five months. Yet, Dulcich is already being bypassed in dynasty rankings by Kincaid.

Though that is understandable when accounting for Kincaid’s first-round draft capital, that hasn’t always equated to fantasy success. Since 2013, here are the tight ends who have been drafted in the first round: Tyler Eifert, Eric Ebron, O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, David Njoku, Hayden Hurst, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, Kyle Pitts, and now Dalton Kincaid. If you need any more evidence Dulcich isn’t that far off from Kincaid as a prospect/talent, take a look at the tweet above.


Greg Dulcich is a young, athletic tight end in a situation conducive to him becoming a top pass catcher on his team with a coach who has a history of utilizing tight ends effectively. He’s one of the few tight ends to become a useful fantasy commodity as a rookie. And yet, Dulcich isn’t getting much love from the fantasy industry.

I made the case for Dulcich over Kincaid above. The other rookie tight ends are younger than Dulcich, but a similar case could be made there too. I won’t dispute the merits of Pat Freiermuth over Dulcich other than if you’re worried about the three concussions Freiermuth has suffered in his two NFL seasons. Fantasy gamers could pivot to Dulcich and get something extra too.

Dulcich Dynasty Value

Greg Dulcich is getting respect in dynasty formats but not so much in best ball currently. Dulcich is being drafted as the TE15, just behind Cole Kmet and Dalton Schultz. He’s going 28 spots behind the aforementioned rookie Kincaid, and we’ve already established how difficult it is for rookie tight ends to produce. The Bears just brought in D.J. Moore, and Schultz isn’t Dak Prescott‘s security blanket anymore.

Neither of those three has a good case to go ahead of Dulcich, let alone a full round or two. If there’s anybody that does it’s Tennessee’s Chig Okonkwo who put together an otherworldly rookie season from an efficiency standpoint as well and has only Treylon Burks to compete with for targets at the moment. Dulcich looks like a screaming buy at his ADP. He showcased his skills in a wretched situation that only improve in 2023. He’s got a real shot at becoming the next late-round breakout tight end that helps people win their leagues. Not only that, but he should be able to sustain that over the next few years.