There is an alarming trend within the 2023 fantasy football draft community. One that has The Brotherhood of Tight End Whisperers quite concerned. It seems that some folks out there have been petitioning for the removal of tight ends from fantasy football leagues for the 2023 NFL season. They say it’s too hard to put together fantasy football tight end rankings and 2023 NFL projections, behind Travis Kelce. They can’t draft the tight end sleepers and find fantasy football ADP risers like Darren Waller. Well, we're here to debunk those worries and find the next fantasy football sleeper tight end to target for this upcoming season. It's time to break down Tennessee Titans TE Chigoziem Okonkwo as a potential fantasy football breakout player and fantasy football sleeper for the 2023 NFL season. Chig Okonkwo, as some call him, is the focus of this latest fantasy football player profile as you dive into your dynasty rookie drafts, fantasy football best ball drafts, and update fantasy football player rankings. 


2023 Fantasy Football ADP Tight End Sleepers

Before we take a closer look at Chigoziem Okonkwo, let's break down the current landscape for tight ends in 2023 fantasy football ADP circles. As mentioned above, there has been a push to remove tight ends from fantasy football drafts because it's, simply, too hard to find those next TE sleepers after Kelce is off the board. Fantasy football managers don’t want to scour the fantasy football waiver wire for the next Logan Thomas. They want to remove the kickers, team defense, tight ends, and quarterbacks and just do fantasy football ball drafts with running backs and wide receivers. Because that’s the easy thing to do. The lazy thing to do.

Not us, though. We’re going to play fantasy football the way it was meant to be played. The way our forefathers played it (except not standard because that’s dumb). And you know what else we are going to do? We’re going to find this year’s breakout tight end. Because there always is one. Don’t believe me? Here are some examples of guys over the last half decade or so that have come from outside the top 15 in ADP to finish top five in the final fantasy football rankings.






Evan Engram




Eric Ebron




Darren Waller




Logan Thomas




Dalton Schultz




Evan Engram



That’s six years in a row now, for those keeping track at home. Last May, we did a full write-up on why Evan Engram was going to be the sleeper tight end of 2022. That’s because Engram had the exact combination of talent, scheme, and opportunity that creates upside. This year, we have a new name being drafted outside the top 12 that we believe has what it takes. And that name is Chigoziem Okonkwo. Or as some call him, Chig.


Tennessee Titans TE Chigoziem Okonkwo Fantasy Football Player Profile


We mentioned the three pieces of the puzzle above: talent, scheme, and opportunity. Talent is the obvious one. It’s easiest to measure. Is he big? Is he fast? Can he produce?

For Chig, athleticism is a strong suit. Here is a glimpse at his workout metrics, per our friends over at

I don’t have to tell you that 96th percentile speed is good. And speed is a key component for tight end breakouts, as we laid out in our Tight End Bible. That 4.52 forty yard dash is the same as George Kittle. Over the last six years, no one has more 40+ yard plays than George Kittle’s 13. The great Travis Kelce is next with 12 and no active tight end has more than five. Kittle is also the only tight end with multiple 70+ yard plays (of which he has three). And, over that span, there are currently only three tight ends in the league with three or more 40+ yard plays in a single season. 2018 George Kittle. 2019 Noah Fant (who ran a 4.5 forty), and 2022 Chigoziem Okonkwo. And Chig did that as a rookie on a 36% snap share. 

In fact, his rookie year reminds me a bit of another rookie tight end who later broke out. In Mark Andrews’ first year, the Ravens had Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst so Andrews played just a 35% snap share. Here are how some of the numbers stack up when you compare his rookie season to Okonkwo’s.

Pretty similar. The one thing rookie Mark Andrews beat Chig out on was average depth of target (Andrews was at 11.2 yards, Chig was at 8). That likely accounts for the difference in yards on similar receptions. They had virtually the same catch rate right around ~71%. Then Chig was better in a few areas. Chig had a contested catch rate of 62.5% (5 of 8) vs. 20% for Andrews (2 of 10). Chig had a YAC per reception of 7.8 to 5.8 for Andrews. Chig broke seven tackles while Andrews broke one. And guess what? We LOVED the rookie year for Andrews - that’s how we flagged him as a breakout player. He had great metrics and all he needed was more playing time. And most of those same metrics are even BETTER for Chigoziem Okonkwo.


The scheme matters for tight end more than it does any other position. The easiest example of this is the Mike Gesicki example laid out in our Tight End Bible under the “Pass Blocking” section. For those too lazy to go read that one article that tells you exactly how to handle the tight end position in every league for the rest of your life, the short and sweet of the Gesicki example is this:

  • Under Adam Gase, Mike Gesicki was asked to play inline and block on 17% of his plays. That sucked for fantasy. He finished TE53 in PPR
  • Under Brian Flores/Chan Gailey, he lined up at slot WR and blocked on only ~2% of pass plays. He was a TE1 all three years, finishing as high as TE7.
  • Under Mike McDaniel, Mike Gesicki only played a 45% snap share because the scheme needs a two-way blocking tight end (Durham Smythe played more snaps than Gesicki). He finished TE23.

The player did not change. The scheme changed. Now Gesicki leaves to go play in New England where he will presumably play “Big Slot” once again. But this isn’t about Mike Gesicki, it’s about Chigoziem Okonkwo.

Lucky for us, the scheme was pretty friendly to Chig when he was in the game. He was never asked to pass block on more than two pass plays in any single game and finished with a respectable 7.2% overall pass block percentage for the season. For those that didn’t read that article I linked, anything under 15% is fine and 7.2% is right there in between guys like Kyle Pitts (6.3%), George Kittle (6.8%), and TJ Hockenson (10%). The lower the better but that works for us. His alignment was good as well - between playing slot and fully out wide, he lined up at WR for 48.4% of his snaps. So essentially he played half his snaps at WR, which we like. We mentioned his aDot of 8 earlier which is solid - the higher the better but Zach Ertz and TJ Hockenson also operate at ~8 while George Kittle (7.7) and Travis Kelce (7.6) are a little under. So no problem there.

The real question mark with this scheme and perhaps the only major hangup for the player, in general, is this – are the Titans going to throw the damn ball? Arthur Smith and Toddy Downing are gone but they promoted from within with passing game coordinator Tim Kelly so the offense likely won’t be drastically different. The Titans had the third-fewest pass attempts last year after finishing sixth-fewest in 2021 and third-fewest in 2020. It’s not the end of the world if they aren’t a high-flying offense but there is a reason Chigoziem Okonkwo only ran 172 routes last year. It would be a nice bonus if the pass game coordinator turned offensive coordinator decided to, well, pass.



This is the key piece to the puzzle. It’s what separates the guys with top-five upside from the glob of guys in the TE8-15 range. Opportunity. And it’s not just about being the best pass-catching tight end on the team or playing a full snap share. That’s just how you get your foot in the door. But, to truly be the life of the party, the player needs to be a focal point of the offense. As we laid out in this article, the vast majority of elite tight ends either lead their team in targets or are at least second. At the end of the day, yards per route run, contested catch rate, broken tackles - none of that matters without those targets. They make the world go round.

Lucky enough for Chigoziem Okonkwo, he’ll lead the tight end depth chart this year. The snap leaders last year, Geoff Swaim and Austin Hooper, are BOTH gone. They did draft a tight end but it wasn’t until the third day of the draft in the fifth round. And Josh Whyle will likely play the in-line tight end role while Okonkwo gets those valuable slot snaps. On top of that, the Titans didn’t do much to address the wide receiver position. Of course, they could still make a big splash via trade for a guy like DeAndre Hopkins but, as of the writing of this article, that depth chart is pretty thin. 

Last year’s first-round pick, Treylon Burks, feels like a guy who could battle Chig for the team lead in targets. In fact, I’d put my money on Burks leading the team if I had to pick. But the rest of the depth chart is wide open. Journeyman outside WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is back. They have a slot guy they got in the fifth round last year in Kyle Phillips. Are Racey McMath and Chris Moore going to do anything? The only wide receiver they drafted was Colton Dowell in the seventh round. Plus, Derrick Henry has never really been one to soak up targets.


Edit: Since this article was originally published, the Tennessee Titans signed star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Also since then, Treylon Burks suffered a knee injury that will reportedly keep him out a couple weeks to start the season. What a rollercoaster of emotions. At least a the start of the season, we will get a glimpse of what Chig Okonkwo can do!

The Stars Align

The way I see it is the Titans have two sophomore studs in Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo. We don’t care who leads the team in targets as long as those targets are highly consolidated at the top. Chig has the talent. He’s a great fit within the scheme. And the opportunity should be there. Now we just have to hope that his ADP stays low so that we can get him in every league. Every league that isn’t too scared to have a designated tight end spot, that is.


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