The 2023 NFL season is right around the corner and that means fantasy football draft season is upon us. If you’re here, you’re probably seeking out draft advice for your best ball league. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
As a quick refresher, best ball is really simple. You draft a roster of players and the highest-scoring players are assembled as your starting lineup for the week. That means there’s no strategizing about who to start and who to bench. Your best-performing players gets counted towards your point total. It’s that simple! Because of its format, best ball also incentivizes you to take some risks in later rounds of the draft by selecting players who you think have tremendous upside. If they go off in certain weeks, that’s a huge benefit to your roster. If they don’t, then they’ll most likely just be slotted onto your bench. It’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition.
Below, we’ll go over some of the sleeper names at tight end you should be considering during your best ball drafts.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Chicago’s passing attack was a mess last season, but Kmet still managed to end the year as a top-10 fantasy tight end. Starting all 17 games, he led the team in receiving with 50 receptions for 544 yards, and seven touchdowns, averaging a solid 8.7 fantasy points per game in PPR.
The Justin Fields-led Bears offense is expected to improve this season and Kmet should once again play a major role as one of his top, trusted targets over the middle. Heading into his fourth season, this could be the last time we look at him in the sleeper category. Keep him on your radar as you get deeper into your best ball drafts.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
Okonkwo quietly showed flashes of his potential in 2022 and is stealthily someone who could have a breakout season this fall. Appearing in all 17 games and starting eight as a rookie last year, he hauled in 32 receptions for 450 yards and three touchdowns. What’s notable about this is his 14.1 yards per reception led all tight ends who were regularly in their respective team’s lineups.
What makes him a big-play threat is his blazing speed, clocking a 4.38 40-yard dash at one point. He’s the very definition of someone who is low risk, with extremely high reward if you take him in your best ball drafts this year.
Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints
Johnson proved to be a consistent presence for the Saints last season, even as the offense struggled at times with Andy Dalton starting for most of the year. He ended the campaign as the 15th-ranked fantasy tight end in PPR, accumulating 134.8 points total by catching 42 targets for 508 yards and seven touchdowns.
Five of those touchdowns came in the red zone, making him the fifth-ranked red zone tight end in the entire league. He could potentially put up even bigger numbers in the RZ with Derek Carr now throwing to him and there’s potential for him to effectively play the Darren Waller role in New Orleans. Keep the third-year product out of Penn State/Oregon on your radars as well.
Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
Dawson Knox is the established TE1 in Buffalo, but don’t sleep on the rookie Kincaid. The rookie first-rounder just wrapped up an excellent collegiate career at Utah, hauling in 70 receptions for 890 yards and eight touchdowns last season to become a Mackey finalist.
Drawing comparisons to Zach Ertz heading into the draft, he exemplified the growing TE/WR hybrids that are becoming more prevalent with his great route-running abilities. He is also a part of the tried and true basketball player to tight end pipeline and that athleticism should give him a boost when snatching passes from the sky. He could very much emerge as yet another monster weapon for Josh Allen and could be putting up sizable fantasy numbers by the end of the season.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay offense was a mess last season, but there were a few silver linings. One of them was the rookie tight end Otton getting plenty of valuable targets and experience during the campaign. He ended the regular season with a decent 42 receptions for 391 yards and two touchdowns and had a productive night in their playoff loss to the Cowboys.
With that experience under his belt, Otton will enter his second year as the TE1 for the Bucs and is a good candidate to make a big leap in production this season. If you’re bullish on the upside of the former Washington standout, then go ahead and use a late pick on him.