Otton has some sleeper appeal in 2023 after the Buccaneers got rid of Cameron Brate this offseason. Otton had a quietly productive rookie season with 391 yards and two touchdowns on 42 receptions. The quarterback situation and passing game overall is risky, but Otton could have weekly streamer appeal if he takes a step forward in his development.
Otton was a fine player last year, which qualified as impressive for a Day 3 rookie at TE.
But this year’s offense figures to lose both passing volume and efficiency. And both could drop precipitously.
Otton’s OK as a late TE3 for best ball rosters but doesn’t look interesting beyond that.
What We Learned Last YearOtton jumped immediately into a Bucs offense needy at TE and grew his role as the season wore on.He played 48% and 49% of offensive snaps the first two weeks. After sitting out Week 3, the fourth-round rookie topped 50% playing time every week until a meaningless finale that saw starters get pulled early.For the season, only five TEs ran more pass routes than Otton. That’s impressive involvement for a Day 3 rookie. Of course, a big part of that was also the Bucs tying the Chargers for the league lead with 778 dropbacks. Only four QBs reached 700 dropbacks for the season, with Tom Brady at 761 trailing Justin Herbert by 3, leading No. 3 Patrick Mahomes by 39, and fifth-place Joe Burrow reaching 676.Otton’s performance wasn’t as impressive as his level of involvement. Among 43 TEs who saw 30+ targets, he ranked:39th in Pro Football Focus receiving gradeT-40th in yards per routeT-24th in yards after catch per reception36th in average depth of target28th in passer rating on balls thrown his wayHis 94.1 there did beat WR teammate Mike Evans, at least.Otton tied for the 12th-highest rate of slot routes among that TE group. We’ll see whether that type of usage continues under a new coordinator.What to Expect in 2023This year’s offense promises to be far less pass-heavy. The Buccaneers passed at the league’s highest rate each of the past two years, leading the NFL in pass attempts each time.Now they go from Tom Brady to either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. One is coming off his worst NFL campaign, which saw one team trade him away, another release him, and a third let him walk in free agency. (To be fair, on that last one: He was looking for a starting opportunity, which the Rams didn’t offer.) Trask has attempted nine regular-season passes over two years since being selected at the end of Round 2.Otton faces little competition at his position, at least.Draft classmate Ko Kieft drew just 10 targets as a rookie and looks like more of a blocker.Rookie Payne Durham lasted until Round 5 of the draft.The other three TEs on the roster heading into training camp have a combined four NFL receptions (all by Dominique Dafney).Durham will bear watching in camp. He matches Otton in size and posted strong college production. He’s slow for the position, though.The Buccaneers aren’t expected to be very good. Only Arizona holds a lower projected win total (4.5) by Vegas numbers than Tampa’s 6.5. Losing would help the passing volume, but a bad offense won’t be good for Otton’s scoring opportunities.
Otton was a busy man during his rookie season, finishing 11th in snaps and fifth in routes at the TE position. Despite the generous playing time, the 2022 fourth-round pick wasn't much of a factor in fantasy. He finished outside the top 15 in targets, receptions, yards and TDs en route to a 26th-place fantasy campaign and only two weekly finishes better than 10th. The 24-year-old's target share may increase in his second season, but this offense is a good bet for substantially less volume and production with Tom Brady out and either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask in at quarterback. Otton is a deep sleeper whose primary value is as a dynasty hold.