SGPN is here with our 2023 Top 10 Best Ball Tight Ends on Underdog for the 2023 season.
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2023 Top 10 Best Ball Tight Ends
1. Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Bye Week- 10
Week 17 Matchup- Cincinnati Bengals
Kelce just dominates the position (Queue Marshawn Lynch clip) over and over and over and over again. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to smash again. There really isn’t much to say about Kelce that hasn’t been said already. He is an absolute beast with a high target volume in arguably the NFL’s most explosive offense!
The only issue I have with Kelce right now is his current ADP. He is currently going as the 6th player off the board. That is a steep price to pay for a TE, even if it is Kelce. I’m one of those people who prefer to wait on TE or take the value if one of the great TEs falls. Taking a TE early makes you kind of look at the draft differently, be that good or bad. With that said, it’s Travis freaking Kelce! He’s the no-brainer TE 1 pick.
My strategy, if you take Kelce, is to really wait on your second TE. Maybe take another in the last 3 or 4 rounds. Don’t overdo it, though.
2. Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
Bye Week- 13
Week 17 Matchup- Miami Dolphins
Welcome back, Lamar Jackson! Time to get Mark Andrews back on track for a top 3 TE finish.
Andrews is going to get more involved and be more efficient this year. Last year he finished as TE 5. He missed two games and still was one of only four TEs with more than 100 targets. Lamar being gone for a good portion of the season last year didn’t help Andrews’ case, as the QB play was less than ideal. Lamar’s back = Good for Andrews’ consistency and efficiency.
Tallying 73 receptions for 847 yards and 5 TDs, Andrews has room to improve on each one of these stats. But look around the locker room in Baltimore. There aren’t many options that scare you into thinking Andrews won’t get targets.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman will be involved, but do you really think either one of them will be a top-16 receiver this year? Of course, the running backs will get theirs, and of course, Lamar will do Lamar things while scrambling. Still, I don’t believe this takes away from Andrews at all.
You can currently take Andrews at ADP 31 in the 3rd round. That is probably just a tad too high, but it’s not unreasonable, and you have a chance to stack him with Lamar.
3. T.J. Hockenson – Minnesota Vikings
Bye Week- 13
Week 17 Matchup- Green Bay Packers
T.J. Hockenson was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Minnesota Vikings in week eight last season. After week eight, his PPR fantasy points were as follows: 16.0 points, 11.5 points, 8.4 points, 15.3 points,7.3 points, 13.7 points, 6.3 points, 35.9 points, 12.9 points, and 2.6 points. That is pretty good for a TE.
Some may look at this and see that one game really boosted his point total. However, I see an opportunity for multiple spike weeks from a TE that is being drafted at ADP 47, round 4.
A change of scenery really helped this man!
When he joined the Vikings, he all but immediately took the role of 2nd on the team in targets. Do we see that as an option again this year? The short answer is yes. The Vikings did draft Jordan Addison but got rid of Adam Theilen. Dalvin Cook looks like he will be traded, and that’s another mouth that doesn’t need to be fed.
KJ Osborn is still there too, but I don’t see his role really changing, and his target volume most likely won’t go up. Hockensons target volume should remain steady.
Lastly, he is easily stackable with Kirk Cousins and Addison or Alexander Mattison.
4. Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons
Bye Week- 11
Week 17 Matchup- Chicago Bears
What isn’t there to love about Pitts? Some people may say that the Falcons won’t score many points. It could be true, but it may surprise you to know that last year they scored the 16th most points in the NFL, middle of the pack. Do you think they will be worse than that this year? I believe they could take a bit of a step forward.
I’m ready to be hurt again. But I just can’t quit Kyle Pitts!
People will point out that he finished as TE 33 in PPR scoring last season. However, he did miss seven games due to injury. If he played all 17 games, he would have probably finished around TE16, factoring in his points per game average. 16th is still not what you want out of a TE you were drafting early. With that said, let’s not give up on the faith just yet.
My thought process with Pitts is this. He’s an extremely athletic TE. We don’t see a TE with his skill set come and go every year. So his athleticism can’t be counted out in factoring him in as my TE 4. Plus, he is on a team that doesn’t have much at the receiving core besides Drake London. So his ability to be second on the team in targets is valuable, even in a Falcons offense that wants to run the ball.
5. Darren Waller – New York Giants
Bye Week- 13
Week 17 Matchup- Los Angeles Rams
Darren Waller could be a candidate to lead his team in targets. It’s the truth, and you know it. The New York Giants didn’t trade for him so that he could come in and block.
He is a sure-handed TE on a team that has failed to produce a true number-one receiver. Sure, they have some guys I think have value, such as Isiah Hodgins, Jalin Hyatt, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Darius Slayton. Still, Waller’s upside in this Brian Daboll offense is high.
His current ADP in Underdog is 78.4, which is round 7. That feels like a value right now. We will probably get some hype videos coming out of the Giants camp, which should boost up his ADP. Honestly, I’m ok taking him up into the early to middle of the 6th round.
The last couple of seasons are forgettable for Waller. He had some injuries, and the new coaching regime didn’t impress me. However, when healthy, he is one of the best TEs, and we are banking on a resurgence with Brian Daboll and the Giants.
Last note, he is easy to stack with Dan Jones and whatever Giants receivers you want to pair with him.
6. Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles
Bye Week- 10
Week 17 Matchup- Arizona Cardinals
The Super Bowl-losing Philadelphia Eagles have themselves a heck of a TE in Dallas Goedert! He does everything they ask of him, and he does it well. When looking over some Goedert stats, I noticed how efficient he is with the targets he gets. Over the last two seasons, he averaged 10.6 yards per target. That is pretty good for a TE, let alone a tight end which is, at best third on his team in target share.
One downfall for Goedert is he is on a team who was one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses last year. Will that change this year? I doubt it. Though, last season, they had a super easy schedule against defenses that weren’t proficient (except for the Commanders, of course). This year it looks like they have a tougher schedule. That could lead to more passing opportunities and potential targets for Goedert.
AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith will definitely get the ball, and Hurts will run the ball. These are things we all know and understand about the Eagle’s offense. Dallas Goedert is kind of the wildcard on the team. I could see the potential for him to finish closer to TE 3 and also a down year where he is closer to TE 10. Still, I don’t think drafting him at his ADP of 68, round 6, will kill you if he doesn’t finish as a top-six TE.
7. George Kittle – San Francisco 49ers
Bye Week- 9
Week 17 Matchup- Washington Commanders
This ranking could come as a surprise to some of you. George Kittle finished as TE 3 in PPR scoring, so how can I have him ranked as TE 7? Let’s take a look at the factors I think will work against Kittle this year.
He had a career-high 11 touchdowns last year. Call me crazy, but I don’t think he will repeat his touchdown total. Those 11 touchdowns came on 60 catches, which is a touchdown every 5.45 catches. Let’s also not forget that he had four games where he caught two touchdowns.
The touchdown regression is real with Kittle. Something else I found interesting about Kittle was that in half of the games he played last season, he had 30 or fewer receiving yards. So if he isn’t finding the endzone, the points won’t be there on a weekly basis.
The QB situation right now is a total mess in San Francisco. Will it be Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, or Sam Darnold? For Kittles sake, I hope it’s Purdy. A lot of Kittle production came with Purdy behind center last season. As I said, it’s unknown who will be the starting QB for the 49ers, and right now, I don’t want to get involved with this mess. If and when we get more clarity about the situation, I could be convinced to get more involved with Kittle and the 49ers in general.
With an offseason to get McCaffrey more involved and implemented into the offense, it seems like some of those shorts area targets could go to McCaffrey and not Kittle. However, McCaffrey can definitely be dangerous in the red zone and eat into what Kittle could get.
His target volume increased when Deebo Samuel was out last season, which caused Kittle to have more production. But, unfortunately, we can’t count on that again this year. With Deebo, McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk all still in San Francisco, Kittle will really need to dominate to pay back his current ADP of 54.
8. David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
Bye Week- 5
Week 17 Matchup- New York Jets
I know, I know, Njoku hasn’t been Mr.Consistent or Mr. Reliable in his first six years in the NFL. But that is changing this season. He is in his prime right now and has the athletic profile to be a top 6 TE.
Last season, Njoku had a stat line of 58 receptions, 628 yards, and four touchdowns. That was good enough for a TE 11 finish in PPR scoring. He showed flashes last year with Deshaun Watson, and it wasn’t even a good season for Watson. With Watson actually fully integrated into Brown’s offense this year, Njoku is primed to have a breakout season.
The Browns didn’t really do much in the off-season in terms of adding playmakers. They did draft Cedric Tillman and traded for Elijah Moore, but they let Kareem Hunt go, and I personally think that Njoku is the second-best pass catcher on the team. The Browns strike me as a team that will show off Watson this year since he looked like crap last season, and they spent a boatload to get him. That obviously means they will throw the ball more than in recent years.
The opportunity is there for Njoku, and his ADP of 103.7 is a great value for a guy that could end up giving you top-5 TE production.
9. Evan Engram – Jacksonville Jaguars
Bye Week- 9
Week 17 Matchup- Carolina Panthers
Talk about a resurgence with a change of scenery! Evan Engram moved from the Giants to the Jags last season, and boy, did it pay off! It’s like he found his hands again in Jacksonville. Having Trevor Lawrence take a big step forward helped Engram succeed last season.
Engram is currently ranked TE 9 for me and is going at ADP 91.6. That feels very appropriate to me due to the fact that he had a resurgence in this offense but didn’t have Calvin Ridley in the mix. Now enter Mr.Ridley, and naturally, I think Engram loses out on some work here and there. Not saying he couldn’t finish inside the top 6, but I think closer to TE10 is what we should expect.
Engram is currently on the franchise tag, and if he and the Jags don’t come to a long-term deal before the season, then he could really make a push to show off his skills once again this year. Either way, I think he will have some spike weeks but could be a little inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. However, he won’t hurt you ultimately at his ADP.
10. Chigoziem Okonkwo – Tennessee Titans
Bye Week- 7
Week 17 Matchup- Houston Texans
Finally, we are at my favorite sleeper TE of this upcoming season. It may be because Chig and I share the same birthday(September 8th). Aside from our shared Birthdays, it’s also because of the spark and big play upside he showed in his rookie year. He also has surprising speed and the ability to break tackles. There is a clear lack of weapons around him in the Titans’ offense. Which could lead to more targets than most people believe he could see.
Chig caught 32 passes on 45 targets for 449 yards and three touchdowns. That isn’t super impressive, but he didn’t really get involved in the offense until week 12. If you take what he did from week 12, it would have been 24 receptions for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
Now let’s take that and break it down per game for the seven games he was more involved in and then times that per game data by 17 games. That equates to 58 catches for 675 and 5 touchdowns. In PPR scoring, that would put him at 155.5 fantasy points, which would have been 6th amongst TEs.
The starting QB is still a mystery in Tennessee. However, I still feel great about Chig, no matter who the QB is. If it’s Will Levis, then I feel he could lean on Chig even more due to rookie QBs tending to rely on their TEs to help them ease into the offense.
If it’s Tannehill, then Chig could probably still be a top-10 TE, but his upside games could be more sporadic than they would probably be with Levis. Nevertheless, the upside and opportunity are there for him regardless.
Now let’s get Chiggy with it in 2023!