It’s officially the best time of the year, as NFL Best Ball is back on DraftKings.
This format gives players a chance to draft a fantasy football team for a season-long competition that requires no active in-season management, but still provides a full season of drama and competition.
You can find all the details, scoring and rules for the format in this overview post along with links to the rest of our season preview content.
Below I have ranked my top-30 tight ends for the 2023 DraftKings NFL Best Ball season.
Check back throughout draft season for more content to help get you ready for all your Best Ball contests.
|21||Irv Smith Jr.||CIN|
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce continues to be a cheat code at the tight end position. He finished as the TE1 last season by a whopping 113 DKFP over T.J. Hockenson. In fact, Kelce’s 334.3 DKFP would have ranked him as the WR5 in 2022. The positional advantage he gives you is massive, which is why he will yet again be a top-five pick this season.
Kelce posted a whopping 113 receptions last season which ranked him third in the NFL. He also finished with 12 receiving touchdowns, which was second to only Davante Adams. Kelce will be 34 in October, but you’d never know it considering he’s coming off his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season. The first ballot Hall-of-Famer has an unmatchable rapport with Patrick Mahomes, and assuming health will finish as the overall TE1 yet again in 2023.
Oh by the way, the Chiefs play the Bengals in Week 17. Load up.
11. Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
The Bills traded up two spots in this year’s draft to select Kincaid with the 25th overall pick, signaling they have extremely high hopes for him. The Utah product is a monster, standing six-foot-four and weighing 248 pounds with 10 1/4” hands. Kincaid had a very productive senior season, posting 70 receptions for 890 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also a Mackey Award semi-finalist.
He could not have gone to a better situation in terms of fantasy outlooks are concerned, as Buffalo is lacking a true secondary pass catcher opposite Stefon Diggs. Kincaid can play in the slot, and it’s likely Buffalo uses him akin to how the Chiefs use Travis Kelce. His size makes him a natural red zone threat, and with Josh Allen throwing him the football, his floor is quite high, even for a rookie tight end.
I have him as my TE11, but that could rise as we get deeper into the Summer and into training camp. It should not surprise anyone if he finished higher than the David Njoku’s/Pat Freiermuth’s of the world. Kincaid is also a cheap (for now) way to get exposure to this Buffalo offense if you missed out on Josh Allen or Stef Diggs.
13. Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
Despite splitting snaps with both Geoff Swaim and Austin Hooper, Okonkwo had an insanely efficient season for Tennessee in 2022. He finished second among all tight ends in target per route run and ranked No. 1 in yards per route run. He did this on only 156 routes, which ranked 44th at the position.
Things have changed a bit since last season, however, as Austin Hooper is now a Raider while Geoff Swaim is a free-agent. Okonkwo will step into the TE1 role for the Titans and see his usage rise quite a bit. Whether or not it’s Ryan Tannehill or Will Levis at quarterback, Onkonkwo has a very intriguing ceiling.
Grabbing him as your TE2 in two tight end builds would be a pretty nice luxury in best ball drafts, but he can also comfortably be your TE1 on three tight end builds.
21. Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals
After injuries marred Smith Jr.’s tenure with the Vikings, things will begin anew for him after signing a one-year deal with the Bengals. Cincy had a major hole at tight end after Hayden Hurst signed with the Panthers. They’re showing serious confidence in Smith Jr. to remain healthy, considering his only backup right now is Drew Sample.
The former Alabama product is still only 24 years old, and is getting a pretty substantial situation upgrade going from the Vikings to this high octane Bengals offense. With Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd all commanding the majority of opposing defenses’ attention, Smith Jr. should thrive as the fourth option in single coverage.
You can do far worse than Smith Jr. in the later rounds of drafts, and he should especially be a target if you already have Chiefs on your roster, as the Week 17 matchup between these teams has a high likelihood of blasting off.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.