Now that we’re in best ball mode here on Fantasy Alarm and Bettor Sports Network, we'll have regular fantasy football best ball drafts with the Fantasy Alarm #FAmily starting soon. That means we’ll be hitting the fantasy football best ball coverage very hard now with the NFL Draft in our rearview mirror and fantasy football rookie landing spots intact. Watching the 2023 fantasy football ADP shift from week to week will be fantastic as we will now be inundated with more rookie hype, plus a slew of new fantasy football projections and, of course, a whole new set of fantasy football rankings to study. Are you ready?
Make sure you register for Underdog Fantasy by clicking here and using promo code “FANTASYALARM” so you can come draft with Howard Bender, Andrew Cooper, Britt Flinn, Jon Impemba, myself and other analysts.
Now starts one of the biggest lulls of the NFL offseason, where news trickles in slowly, and it’s usually dominated by veterans signing with teams. With that, we’ll be going position by position to pick out some tight end targets that are attractive values at their ADP.
All ADP is per Underdog Fantasy and is from Best Ball Mania IV.
If you missed the other positions in this series, check them out here:
- 2023 Fantasy Football: Best Ball Running Back Targets
- 2023 Fantasy Football: Best Ball Wide Receiver Targets
Best Ball Fantasy Football Tight End Early-Round Target
T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings (TE3)
Full disclosure: I’m a Green Bay Packers fan, so it pains me to have written so much about the Minnesota Vikings after the NFL Draft, but they’re one of the offenses I’m targeting in all of my best ball drafts. As we’ve talked about with Jordan Addison, the offense in Minnesota is so condensed that players like T.J. Hockenson never come off the field.
Hockenson joined the Vikings in Week 9, and from then until Week 17, Hockenson ran 93% of all routes for the Vikings while maintaining an 89% snap rate. He was an immediate fixture in Minnesota’s shallow personnel rotation, and he didn’t do too shabby on the fantasy side either, as TE2 in total fantasy points per game and in total points.
With Adam Thielen gone to Carolina and the Vikings breaking in a new WR2 option in first-round pick Addison, Hockenson will be relied upon even more so in 2023. As the season continues with all-world receiver Justin Jefferson taking attention away, Hockenson is a top-two option on his offense and has a path to overall TE1.
He’s expensive on Underdog Fantasy as a late-fourth-round best ball pick and overall TE3, but he’s a much better value at cost than Mark Andrews (TE2), has much less week-to-week volatility than George Kittle (TE4) and has no quarterback or offensive scheme issues like Kyle Pitts (TE5).
Again: the price tag is a bit lofty, but the talent is there, he’ll always be on the field, and he’s as safe of a fantasy asset as they come at the tight end position in best ball.
Best Ball Fantasy Football Tight End Mid-Round Target
Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (TE16)
Things were gross in the passing game for much of the season if your name wasn’t Chris Olave. Or if you had drafted Taysom Hill like a sicko, and he hit for your best ball team in tournaments during playoff weeks.
2022 was a bit of a mixed bag for Juwan Johnson. He flashed a bit during stretches, including Weeks 7-17 where Johnson was TE7 in fantasy points per game. He caught all seven of his touchdowns in this timeframe and had all five of his TE8 or better weekly performances.
Things are getting a bit rosier for Johnson, as he signed a two-year, $12m deal to remain in New Orleans for the next two seasons. The Saints also shipped out Adam Trautman to former Saints head coach Sean Payton and the Broncos. All that’s left is the ghost of Taysom Hill at the position.
The addition of Derek Carr should make the Saints lean a bit more to the pass than last season, where they were bottom-10 in raw pass rate (56%) and bottom-seven in pass rate over expected (-6.8%). Whether Johnson can be a top-two target on the Saints is still up in the air, with a reportedly “healthy” Michael Thomas adding to Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. It’s reasonable to expect Johnson to tick up in routes run per drop back in 2022 as well.
Still, Johnson is more of a TE2 in best ball, but one that carries heavy upside as a former basketball player who was seventh in the NFL in average depth of target at tight end behind elite receiving names at the position like Darren Waller, Kyle Pitts, Greg Dulcich, Mike Gesicki, Jelani Woods and Mark Andrews.
Johnson has the archetype we want, but more pass volume in New Orleans will do wonders for him in 2023.
Best Ball Fantasy Football Tight End Late-Round Target
Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers (TE33)
We’re going deep here in the Underdog ranks, but at TE33 in Luke Musgrave, you’re getting a tight end who was selected in the second round and the first of two tight ends drafted by the Packers. While the Packers also drafted South Dakota St.’s Tucker Kraft in the third round, Musgrave will likely get the first crack at making the biggest impact of the two.
Green Bay entered free agency with leftovers (not holdovers) Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis at tight end. With those two, the Packers returned 22 targets, 17 receptions and zero touchdowns at the position from 2022. It was imperative that the Packers stock the cupboard, and they did just that.
By drafting two tight ends on Day 2 of the draft, Green Bay did Green Bay things. Going back to 2017, this regime, with former GM Ted Thompson and current GM Brian Gutekunst, has drafted multiple skill-position players in the same draft to hit on one (or more) key contributors, like:
- 2017 (RB): Jamaal Williams (4th), Aaron Jones (5th), Devante Mays (7th)
- 2018 (WR): J’Mon Moore (4th), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (5th), Equanimeous St. Brown (6th)
- 2022 (WR): Christian Watson (2nd), Romeo Doubs (4th), Samori Toure (7th)
- 2023 (TE): Luke Musgrave (2nd), Tucker Kraft (3rd)
- 2023 (WR): Jayden Reed (2nd), Dontayvion Wicks (5th), Grant Dubose (7th)
Luke Musgrave was healthy for only two games last season at Oregon St. but flashed a 3.38 yards per route run and lined up in the slot for almost half of his pass routes. He also has a class-high 12.5 average depth of target for his career. He may not be the most adept blocker, that’s fine if he’s going to play in the slot.
Musgrave checks every box:
- Opportunity at his position
- Size (6-foot-6, 253 lbs.)
- Athleticism (94th-percentile speed score per Player Profiler)
- Questions about target competition.
Factoring in price in best ball drafts. Musgrave will never be cheaper than right now. His profile is of somebody that will be drafted near the top-20 tight ends in best ball as we get closer to the season rather than the TE33 he’s coming off of the board with right now. He’s a perfect last-round pick and an add-on to Green Bay stacks for tournaments.
Related NFL Links:
- Best Ball Fantasy Football Draft Recap: Fantasy Alarm & Bettor Sports Staff Draft
- 2023 NFL Draft: First Round Winners and Losers for Fantasy Football
- 2023 NFL Draft: Second and Third Round Winners and Losers for Fantasy Football
- Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2023 NFL Rookie Wide Receiver Rankings