When you think of the great fantasy football tight ends, Travis Kelce is one of the first names you think of. Last year, he had the greatest statistical season ever by a tight end in NFL history. His stat line for the season was 105 catches for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns. This year, Kelce is ranked as a high first-round pick on ESPN, which is rare for a tight end. So should you draft Travis Kelce this year in fantasy football? Like with every first round pick, there are risks and there are rewards.
Travis Kelce Fantasy Football Profile 2021
Kelce is easily the best and most consistent tight end in fantasy football. Over the last five years, his lowest totals for a season were 83 receptions and 1,038 receiving yards. He is also one of the most durable players in football, not having missed a single game due to injury since 2014. The other good news is that no major changes have happened on the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive depth chart or coaching staff. Patrick Mahomes is still the quarterback and Andy Reid is still the head coach. The Chiefs didn’t add new wide receivers in the draft that could potentially steal a lot of targets away from Kelce. The difference between Kelce and the second and third-best tight ends (Darren Waller and George Kittle) is substantial. If you draft Kelce, you are getting a major advantage at a scarce position. His consistency combined with the lack of good tight ends makes drafting him a no-brainer.
It’s hard to find things to be concerned about with Kelce, but there are some issues. Kelce is currently 31 and will be 32 in October. The Chiefs also drafted rookie tight end, Noah Gray, out of Duke in the fifth round of this year’s draft. The Chiefs are expected to run more 12 personnel this season (two tight ends, one running back) meaning Gray could steal some targets from Kelce. The most concerning fact with Kelce is his average draft position. He is currently ranked fourth overall on ESPN. You will basically be paying for what Kelce did last year (the greatest statistical season ever by a tight end) if you draft him that high this year. Based on the facts stated, it seems highly unlikely that Kelce will come close to repeating his numbers from this year. And if you pay up for him to not live up to those standards, the opportunity cost of a top running back or wide receiver is huge.
Travis Kelce is a safe fantasy pick. If you draft him in the first round, there is a high probability he will not bust. However, for an early first-round pick, you should not take him. ESPN is ranking him based on last year and as we know, he is very unlikely to replicate his 2020 season. On the other hand, there aren’t any other tight ends that are nearly as good as Kelce which makes him valuable. If Kelce falls past pick six or seven in a 10 or 12 team league, then it would make sense to take him. But if you have a top-five pick in your fantasy league, you are better off going with one of the elite bell-cow running backs instead.
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