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  • Writer's pictureElijah Southwick

Fantasy Football Rookies: Tank Dell Goes Off

Elijah Southwick


Rookie WR Tank Dell’s first season in the NFL had been a bit up and down before his fantasy football explosion in Week 9.

In the Houston Texans’ dramatic 39-37 comeback victory in Week 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dell caught six passes on 11 targets for 114 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Dell had two catches for 41 yards and the game-winning score on the Texans’ ridiculous forty-second do or die possession. His 29.6 PPR points were good for the WR1 overall on the week.

Dell went crazy in Week 9, but it wasn’t his first remarkable performance of the season. Sunday was actually the third 20-point PPR output for Dell in just seven games played. Dell was injured in the first half of the team’s Week 5 loss to the Falcons, and he had scored 8.3 PPR fantasy points before his exit.

The Texans drafted Tank Dell with the 69th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, pairing him with QB C.J. Stroud, their No. 2 overall selection. Dell played college football at the University of Houston, making him a local pick for the Texans. His college production numbers were eye-popping, making him a popular sleeper pick in fantasy football drafts this offseason. It seems like a match made in heaven right now between the Texans, Stroud and Dell.

C.J. Stroud broke the single-game rookie passing yards record in the win against the Buccaneers with 470 yards. His instant impact as a rookie is taking the league by storm, and he’s supporting several good fantasy football options as a result. Dell, Nico Collins and Dalton Schultz are all thriving with Stroud commanding the offense. Noah Brown, usually a role player, also popped in the win to the tune of six catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.

The Texans are past their bye week already, which is a positive for Dell’s rest of season outlook. He has a favorable schedule moving forward, but does face a tough matchup next week on the road against Cincinnati. Later, he’ll take on the tough Jets secondary on the road against New York in Week 14.

Outside of a couple difficult games on his schedule, Dell has a runway to major fantasy football success in the second half of the season. He’s a clear #1 waiver wire type of pickup if he’d been dropped in your league while out due to injury. If you do have Dell, he’s in serious consideration for being an every week starter as at least a flex play in nearly every league other than in the shallowest of formats.

In dynasty formats, Dell is a great long-term asset. He’s tied to Stroud for the next several years, and has a legitimate teammate in Nico Collins under contract for at least one more year to give the offense an additional weapon. His value is approaching being worth a first round rookie pick in single quarterback leagues. He’s more likely worth a mid to early second round pick in superflex leagues, where quarterback value drives up the value of all picks in a rookie draft.

Dell is on his way to becoming an every week fantasy football impact player. His big performance in Week 9 may have already solidified him in that discussion. Go get him while you still can.

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