Tight End Sleepers | Win Your League with the PlayerProfiler Staff

Welcome back to PlayerProfiler’s Win Your League with the PlayerProfiler Staff series. This week was a little more challenging. We asked the guys to come up with a TE that has never finished as a top 10 TE before. This is Tight End Sleepers with the PlayerProfiler Staff!

TE – Chigoziem Okonkwo

Matty Kiwoom

Calling the Tennessee Titans pass catching group thin would be the understatement of the decade. Second year wideout, Treylon Burks, projects to be at the top of the pass catching hierarchy. After him, it appears to be sophomore tight end, Chigoziem Okonkwo. He is athletic. He flashed in his rookie campaign and with all of these opportunities projected to go his way, Okonkwo is my pick to breakout at the tight end position.

Okonkwo did not have a lot of hype after recording just over 470 yards and five touchdowns his last year at Maryland. But after the combine Okonkwo put himself on the map. His 4.52 40-Yard Dash (96th-percentile) and 112.8 Speed Score (92nd-percentile) propelled the tight end to be selected with the No. 38 pick in the Round 4 of the 2022 NFL Draft. Okonkwo also posted a 109.7 Athleticism Score which means he was a 78th-percentile athlete in his entire draft class and 82nd-percentile all time. Athletic tight ends are the guys that are worth betting on and Chig certainly fits that description. 

Last Season

Last year was Okonkwo’s rookie campaign. In his rookie season, he showed the football world that he has the skillset to produce at the NFL level. Don’t focus on the surface stats because 32 catches for 450 yards are not enough to get anyone excited. Not even the three touchdowns stand out. But let’s take a deeper look at his performance profile. He played all 17 games but only saw 46 total targets. Volume was not his friend during his rookie season.

However, there are some key efficiency metrics that pop in his profile. Okonkwo posted a 9.8 Yards per Target (no. 2 amongst qualified tight ends), 62.5-percent Contested Catch Rate (no. 3), 2.11 Fantasy Points per Target (no. 5), and a 122.6 QB Rating per Target (no. 4). If that isn’t exciting enough, he also ranked No. 1 in Fantasy Points per Route Run (0.70), Yards per Reception (14.1), and Yards per Route Run (3.26). If Chig’s volume goes up, so will his surface stats and that will boost his fantasy output.

Speaking of volume, the Titans have 199 vacated targets from 2022 to 2023. Don’t believe me? Check out the WORLD FAMOUS DRAFT KIT and check it out first hand. The draft kit is world famous for a reason and one of those reasons are the team by team insights. Austin Hooper and Robert Woods accounted for about 35-percent of the total targets in 2022. Neither of those players will be suiting up for the Titans. With so many targets up for grabs, Okonkwo is going to get peppered in 2023 and that increase in volume will launch him to be the 2023 breakout tight end. 

TE – Luke Musgrave

Jack Cavanagh

It’s a new era for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is gone. Jordan Love is the guy. Additionally, the team finally loaded up on offensive weapons in the draft. Jayden Reed gets the hype because he’s a receiver but remember: the first offensive player drafted to kick off the Packers new era was super freak tight end Luke Musgrave. The Oregon State product had a pretty standard start to his college career jumping from two catches for 18 yards as a freshman to 12 for 142 as a sophomore before reaching career highs with 304 yards on 22 receptions. 

Luke Musgrave was ready to go nuclear in 2022, leading the Beavers across the board over their first two games with 15 targets, 11 receptions, 169 yards and a touchdown. An MCL tear kept Musgrave from playing for the rest of the season. He’d ignore the recommendations of his doctors to participate in and dominate at the Senior Bowl simply because he wanted to play football.

Musgrave then went on to blow up the NFL Combine while still just five months removed from knee surgery. Running 4.61 at 6-6, 253 pounds gives Musgrave a 94th percentile Speed Score while also repping an 87th percentile Burst Score, 61st percentile Agility Score, and an 84th percentile Catch Radius. A 115.8 Athleticism Score makes Luke Musgrave the No. 3 most athletic tight end of the class and the No. 15 most athletic tight end in the entire PlayerProfiler database.

Elite Athleticism

Musgrave’s elite athleticism saw him drafted with the No. 11 pick of Round 2, the fourth tight end off the board. Dalton Kincaid, Sam LaPorta, and Michael Mayer all heard their names called ahead of Musgrave, but Musgrave is the only rookie tight end to have won the starting job at OTA’s and minicamp. Musgrave is also the only Packers rookie to become a full-time starter entering training camp, with Jayden Reed starting in 3-WR sets but currently heading to the bench when the team goes 2-Wide.

We all know that Jayden Reed will beat out Romeo Doubs sooner rather than later, but what happens when this extra time to build a connection with Jordan Love makes Musgrave the second read, not Reed? Luke Musgrave is going to be the best rookie tight end by far and will have an Evan Engram like start to his NFL career.

TE – David Njoku

Seth Diewold

If you are looking for a discount tight end this season, look no further than David Njoku. Njoku has the profile fantasy football gamers dream of. His 97th percentile Burst Score combined with his 94th percentile Catch Radius made Njoku one of the most hyped tight end prospects we had seen in quite a while. As is the story with most tight end prospects, Njoku needed some time to develop and adjust to the NFL game. In his rookie season, Njoku finished as the TE 28 in fantasy points per game despite playing in 16 games during the regular season. Last season, Njoku showed glimpses of why he was drafted so highly in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Last season, Njoku finished as the TE 11 overall and the TE 8 in fantasy points per game. This was despite seeing the No. 2 most Red Zone Targets amongst tight ends. This should have resulted in more touchdowns for Njoku who only caught four touchdowns last season which ranked No. 12 amongst tight ends. Njoku also ranked highly in many of the metrics that matter. He ranked No. 8 in Deep Targets, No. 7 in Yards after the Catch, and No. 10 in Yards per Route Run amongst tight ends.

A Loaded Offense

If Deshaun Watson can return to his former self this season, one of the primary benefactors would have to be Njoku in an offense that is looking to take the next step and compete with Kansas City, Cincinatti, and Buffalo. If this offense can get going, that means Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Nick Chubb, and Elijah Moore combined with Deshaun Watson could be one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. They are certainly playing in a division that will likely have a lot of shootout games as they will play against the Bengals, Ravens, and Steelers twice. Stacking Njoku with Watson could be one of the more fruitful stacks in best ball and season long leagues. It’s certainly a good bet to make in 2023.

TE- Juwan Johnson

Jason Allwine

When it comes to betting on a Saints pass catcher, the obvious answer is of course Chris Olave. But another answer could very well be fourth year TE Juwan Johnson. Johnson started his breakout in 2022 and will fully break out in 2023. He has prototypical size at 6-4 230 pounds and great workout metrics highlighted by a 92nd percentile 40-yard dash and 80th percentile agility. He also averaged a huge 14.8 Yards per Reception in college. This has led into back-to-back season with 12+ Yards per Reception in the NFL- which was No. 12 in the NFL last year. 

It doesn’t stop there either. Despite only averaging the No. 18 most PPG in 2022, he was top 10 in more than a few key metrics. Johnson ranked top 1o in Slot Snaps, Average Depth of Target, Air Yards, Total TDs, Fantasy Points per Target, Dominator Rating, Production Premium, Expected Points Added, and even Unrealized Air Yards. These are all great signs of things to come for the TE going into his age 27 season.

Current ADP

Juwan Johnson is currently being drafted between tight ends Tyler Higbee and Mike Gesicki. He has much better upside than both of these players. One factor is the Saints signed Foster Moreau. This has caused some concerns for the potential workload. However, Moreau might not be ready this season. Also, Johnson has reportedly been studying Julian Edelman route-running film in order to unlock better route-running skills next season. That’s a skill that will definitely come in handy with a QB like Derek Carr who loves slot receivers and routes. 

There’s also a ton of uncertainty surrounding Saints stars Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. If anything happens to either of those players, Juwan Johnson has a clear path to be No. 2 in targets for the Saints. That could be a dangerous amount of volume especially since the Saints should have good game scripts all year. The Saints were No. 11 in Game Script in 2022, and the team projects to be better in 2023. When the dominoes start to fall, Johnson’s ADP will rise. Get him now while you can.

TE – Trey McBride

Matt Babich

With all of the hoopla surrounding the Arizona Cardinals, the people are forgetting about one of the most obvious breakout TE candidates in Trey McBride. The rookie was drafted in the second round out of Colorado State, where he recorded an absurd 46.3-percent (99th-percentile) Dominator Rating despite being the defense’s only focal point. Standing at 6-4, 245 pounds and complemented by a 107.9 (85th-percentile) Speed Score, he possesses an elite size-athleticism combination that is sought after when identifying potentially dominant pass catchers.

Trey McBride Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Last season, McBride didn’t get much run until Week 10 when Zach Ertz succumbed to his knee injury. After that point, the rookie began showing flashes of why he received second-round draft capital. He became a full-time player, drawing a 12-percent Target Share and racking up 1.38 Yards per Route Run and 3.9 Yards After Catch per Reception. He made his name known in Week 10. In this game, he torched the Falcons for a 7-78-1 receiving line on 10 targets with David Blough as his quarterback. 

Year 2 ADP

Now in year 2, McBride’s ADP is through the floor because Ertz, a 33-year-old who is coming off a torn ACL, is still rostered. Not only is there no guarantee that Ertz is still rostered by Week 1, but there is also a solid chance that Ertz is out through at least the first two-thirds of the season. With the absence of DeAndre Hopkins, there will be more targets for McBride. However, the absence of Kyler Murray leaves a huge question mark at quarterback. If McBride can thrive under Colt McCoy and David Blough, he can thrive under anyone.

TE – Dalton Kincaid

Theo Gremminger

It is rare for rookie TEs to make significant impacts on our fantasy teams. The position is challenging to navigate, and talented young players can struggle to play the snaps necessary to score fantasy numbers that can move the needle for our teams. However, there are always exceptions to this rule. My choice for Tight End Breakout is Dalton Kincaid. When talent meets opportunity, good things can happen. When talent meets opportunity, and Josh Allen quarterbacks that opportunity, GREAT things can happen. 

Kincaid is a classic move TE. Are you worried about his blocking responsibilities as a rookie? Don’t be. He will be a DeFacto WR and lineup at multiple positions to exploit matchups, including the slot. Kincaid is a weapon for one of the NFL’s best offenses. Buffalo traded up to select Kincaid in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. They chose him over other highly touted TEs, Michael Mayer and Sam LaPorta. After Stefon Diggs, few players on Buffalo’s roster command targets. There is a path for 90 + targets in Year 1 for Kincaid. 

Kincaid’s ADP

Kincaid’s ADP has steamed up to the TE1 range. There is no rookie discount, as cagey drafters and Josh Allen stackers are making significant bets on Year 1 production. The cost should not deter you. Kincaid scored 16 TDs in his final two seasons as a Utah Ute, and he will be a constant threat for an offense that will live in the Red Zone all season long. He also can be a safety blanket for Josh Allen as Buffalo attempts to emulate the effectiveness of the Patrick MahomesTravis Kelce combination in Kansas City. Kincaid has top-8 TE potential, and his role should increase as the season progresses. Draft him with confidence.

Theo Gremminger:

Jack Cavanagh:

Matt Babich:

Jason Allwine:

Matty Kiwoom:

Seth Diewold: