2023 Fantasy Football Player Profile: Greg Dulcich, TE Denver Broncos
Britt Flinn breaks down Denver Broncos TE Greg Dulcich at his Fantasy Football ADP for the 2023 NFL season.
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for this year’s breakout tight end to roster on your fantasy football teams. Last year it was Evan Engram, who was drafted around TE18 depending on your format and finished as TE5. The year before it was Dalton Schultz who finished as TE3. So who should be on your radar this year? That guy, my friends, is Greg Dulcich, the Denver Broncos second-year tight end out of UCLA. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of Dulcich last year after starting the year on injured reserve and missing the final two games of the season, but when he was on the field, he was absolutely electric. But what makes me think that he’ll break out this season when the Broncos were last in the NFL in scoring in 2022? Well, there are several reasons. Let’s dive in; and fair warning…I guarantee you’ll leave this article a Greg Dulcich fan.
First, let’s get down to the elephant in the room, the head coaching change. Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton came out of retirement to get this Broncos offense on track, and there’s every indication that there will be a massive upgrade in scoring in 2023. Payton is one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the game, finishing in the top ten in points scored 12 out of his 15 seasons in the Big Easy. One of the biggest flaws in Dulcich’s stat line last year was that he scored only two touchdowns, ranking 32nd at the position. He only had two red zone targets the entire year last year, mainly due to the fact that the Broncos couldn’t move the ball downfield. Even if you’re not expecting a ton of positive regression, there will be more opportunity for Dulcich in the red zone in Payton’s system.
Sean Payton also has a history of utilizing tight ends when they fit into his system. Think Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, etc. Graham, in particular, had HUGE seasons with Payton at the helm, finishing as the TE1 twice and TE3 twice. While Graham was a bit bigger than Dulcich, recent remarks from Payton seem to hint that he will be used in a similar fashion. Even on the third day of OTAs, Payton is already hinting that Dulcich could be used in that “Joker” role in this new offense. Take a look at the change in his tone from January to June.
It looks to me like there are already big things planned for the second-year man.
Another interesting bit of statistical goodness that makes me think that Dulcich will break out this season is both his snap share and snaps out of the slot. Even in just ten games, he had a 75.2% snap share, and 41% of those snaps were out of the slot, ranking 6th in the league. Obviously, if you’re going to produce for fantasy, you have to see the targets, and lining up in the slot sure helps that. Another part of getting those targets is having a quarterback that actually throws the ball to your tight end, so how does Russell Wilson stack up? Historically, Wilson has targeted the tight end at a rate of 15.5%, but Dulcich exceeded that average in just ten games at a rate of 17.2%. I think this number increases dramatically this season, as Payton will choose to utilize shorter throws to prevent Wilson from throwing deep interceptions. And who will those underneath routes go to? You guessed it, the guy in the slot.
Dulcich is also nearly impossible to bring down. In his final two years at UCLA, he averaged 19.9 and 17.3 yards per catch, and even though he registered a more modest 12.5 yards per catch average his rookie season, it ranked 9th among tight ends. He’s also great at creating separation, ranking 7th in target separation, so he is going to be a nightmare for defenders to cover when he gets the ball
So where can you get a player with such a huge upside in drafts right now. Underdog currently has Dulcich going off the board as TE15 at an ADP of 146.8. Someone call the FBI, because that is interstate robbery! Think about it; he finished as the TE17 in points per game last season on THE lowest scoring team in the NFL, and now he has Sean Payton as his head coach and another year under his belt. The sky's the limit for this guy, and when the end of the season rolls around, don’t be surprised if he’s a top five tight end. You heard it here first!