The dynasty debate series rolls on! The series works like this: we take two Dynasty Nerds writers and have them argue over two players at each position they prefer in a dynasty league format. In this article, Corey Easterday (@CoreyEasterday) and Mychal Warno (@DynastyDadMike) debate which TE you want on your dynasty roster moving forward, Chigoziem Okonkwo or Cole Kmet?
Welcome back to the final installment of our Dynasty Debate Series! Second-year tight end Okonkwo was a force for the Titans in his rookie year. He is a freak athlete boasting numbers like a 4.52 40-yard dash at 6 ‘2″ and 243 pounds. Chig finished the season with 32 receptions, 450 receiving yards which led all rookie tight ends, and three touchdowns. Those 450 receiving yards were also second most on the Titans, behind only Robert Woods (no longer on the team). Chig also led all tight ends in yards per route run with 2.61. He was also targeted on 33% of his routes run, which was the third-highest rate at the position in 2022.
Per camp reports, Okonkwo is reportedly showing improvement as a blocker and pass-catcher. Those improvements as a blocker should lend to Chig never coming off the field. New Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said that he wants to use tight end Okonkwo more in 2023.
Tennessee has since moved on from Austin Hooper, who was the team’s 2022 starting tight end, leaving the starter role firmly with Chig. Tennessee has 151 vacated targets with the departures of Woods and Austin Hooper. Now I know Tennessee has signed DeAndre Hopkins, but I see that move hurting Treylon Burks more than it will Okonkwo. Use the news of D-Hop signing with the Titans as a buying opportunity for Okonkwo. You won’t regret it!
Thank you, Corey, for another great debate. I hope readers enjoy this series as much as I enjoy debating it. Please follow me on Twitter @dynastydadmike, where I love to chat about all things football. Make sure you are signed up for the Dynasty Nerds App, which is the #1 fantasy tool for all dynasty players! USE PROMO CODE “DYNASTYDAD15” to save 15% off your membership.
Going into the 2022 season, expectations were high for Kmet. After being targeted 93 times during his sophomore season in 2021, Kmet was predicted by many to be a breakout candidate. He quickly turned into one of the most frustrating players. He caught a mere 14 receptions on 20 targets for 159 receiving yards and a touchdown through the first eight games. Kmet began to turn it around with back-to-back two touchdown games in Weeks 9 and 10. The rest of the season was pretty middling. He finished as the TE15 in FPTS/G (8.7), logging a total of 50 receptions on 69 targets for 544 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
There were many reasons last season wasn’t great for Kmet. One was the Bears’ overall lack of focus on the passing game. However, even within a low-volume passing attack, Kmet still received a 19.3% Target Share (seventh among TEs). So why the optimism for 2023? I believe Kmet’s lack of production was largely tied to his situation and not talent. As I argued in our previous debate of Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, I think 2023 will be a big bounce-back season for this entire Bears offense, including Kmet.
Even though the Bears added the likes of DJ Moore and Robert Tonyan, Kmet’s role in this offense isn’t going anywhere. The additions on offense for the Bears, the continued improvement of Justin Fields as a passer, a better team situation, his talent, and the key role he plays make me believe 2023 will be the Kmet breakout season.
I like Okonkwo a lot, and I think both players are in a similar tier of tight ends. But for both Redraft and Dynasty, I would prefer to invest in Kmet. The Bears’ offense should only build on the good parts of last season. I think he is being valued appropriately right now, but don’t be surprised if the Bears’ offense finally starts putting it together, and he benefits big time. “Buy the dip,” as they say on Kmet, and watch that frustration turn into pure fantasy football joy.
*All Stats from Fantasy Data, unless otherwise noted
Thank you, Mychal, for another great debate! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @CoreyEasterday and become a member of the #NerdHerd. Exclusive Content, Rankings, Dynasty GM, and more! USE PROMO CODE ‘EASTERDAY’ for 15% off ANY SUBSCRIPTION – CLICK HERE to sign up today. Dynasty Nerds has all the tools you need to dominate your league!