A second-round pick, LaPorta is expected to start right away in the Lions offense and contribute much in the same way T.J. Hockenson did. In seven games before he was traded last year, Hockenson averaged 6.1 targets per game, but caught only 3.7 per for 56.4 yards on average and three scores. That came out to an average of 12.2 PPR points per game, which isn't far off from Hockenson's 11.7 PPR points per game in 2021. Unfortunately, LaPorta isn't a replica of Hockenson -- he was a strong tight end for Iowa but only scored once over 58 receptions in 2022 and totaled five touchdowns while averaging 11.7 yards per catch over 46 career games. LaPorta is agile, but not fast, so he'll need really good volume to make an impact. Typically rookie tight ends do not make an impact, plus the Lions offense will be more explosive than ever this year. Don't get too excited about LaPorta -- he's worth a late-round flier at best in seasonal leagues but does have long-term appeal in rookie-only drafts after 15th overall.
LaPorta was selected in the second round of April's draft. The Iowa product handled a hefty 245 targets (19% share) during his 46 collegiate games (only Michael Mayer had more in this year's rookie TE class). He managed a share of at least 21% in each of his final three seasons (30% in 2022), though he only found the end zone five times in his career. LaPorta has wheels (4.59 40-yard dash) and not much competition for work in a Detroit TE room that also includes Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra and James Mitchell. Rookie TEs are rarely fantasy options, but LaPorta's path to playing time could allow him to make an impact at some point in 2023. Deep leaguers can consider him with a late pick.