Travis Kelce is an elite tight end. He is the best in the game, even though some would argue that George Kittle is better. Looking at Kelce’s numbers, he has a chance to be one of the best to ever do it.
Since 2014, Kelce has eclipsed 800 yards in every season. Over the last four years, Kelce has gone over 1,000 yards and has scored 27 touchdowns. In 2018, Kelce caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 30-year-old tight end will continue his dominance this season. Kelce leads an offensive group that has Patrick Mahomes under center and Andy Reid on the sidelines.
Kelce will look to finish at the top of the tight end position in fantasy football once again in 2020. There is no doubt that the Kansas City Chiefs will be throwing the ball around all over the field. So where should Kelce be drafted and what will his 2020 season look like from a fantasy aspect?
2019 Fantasy Stats
According to ESPN, Kelce was the scoring leader at the tight end position once again in 2019. He finished with 254.3 fantasy points in standard leagues and averaged 15.9 points per game. This is no surprise given his production throughout the season.
Travis Kelce finished with 97 catches for 1,229 yards last season. His touchdowns dropped from 10 in 2018 to just five last season. There were seven tight ends above him including some surprise names like breakout star Mark Andrews, Darren Fells, and Taysom Hill (who is now listed as a tight end). This should not be a concern moving forward. The main thing to keep an eye on is targets. How many times a quarterback looks at a certain pass-catcher and how often his number is called within the offense. Kelce was targeted 136 times, which was the fifth year in a row going over 100.
Kelce’s game-by-game numbers were as strong as ever. He was targeted eight or more times in 13 games and reached double-digits in three games. In Week 3, Kelce caught 11 passes for 142 times. This was one of two 100-yard games in 2019. The other came against the Oakland Raiders when he caught nine balls for 107 yards and a touchdown. Kelce logged seven or more catches nine times in 2019.
The 2019 season marked the fourth consecutive season that Kelce led tight ends in scoring. He has been in the top five every year since 2014. He finished with over 30 more points than Kittle, who finished in second. There has been a clear dominance at the position and it continued in 2019.
2020 Fantasy Projections
Heading into the 2020 season, Kelce is expected to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL. How can he not have high expectations after finishing at the top of the leaderboard in each of the last four years? The Chiefs are coming off a Super Bowl victory and the way to get back is to ride their explosive offense. Mahomes has a shiny new contract and he will be looking for his tight end all season.
ESPN projects Kelce to be the No. 1 tight end once again in 2020. He is projected to finish with 88 catches for 1,029 yards and nine touchdowns. This would mark his fifth straight season with at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards. These numbers still seem a bit low. Kelce is a pass-catcher that can go north of 1,200 yards. He has done so over the last two years.
In 2020, expect Kelce to finish with similar yardage numbers with a few more scores. Five touchdowns were the fewest for Kelce since 2016. He had scored a combined 18 in 2017 and 2018. He is a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro. Kelce is worthy of an early-round selection in any format. Over the last two years, he has totaled 286 targets and 200 catches. He is is going to give more points than most wide receivers and running backs.
Rank at Tight End Position
Travis Kelce is worthy of an early-round selection, but exactly how early? He should be picked in the late first or early second round—that is how good he is. Kelce is the 23rd-ranked player heading into 2020. This is overall. Obviously quarterbacks are going to put up bigger numbers but there are plenty from which to choose.
The value of a quarterback has gone down. They can be found in the late rounds and still give you good numbers. There is a significant drop off after the top-ranked tight ends. This is a list that begins with Kelce.
As far as his rank at the tight end position, it is No. 1 and it will be entering the 2020 season. Next on the list is George Kittle.
Kittle went missing during the 2019 postseason catching only eight passes for 71 yards in three games. This is because the 49ers decided to commit to the run game and not throw the ball. This will not be the case during the regular season. Kittle totaled 85 catches for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. He has completely arrived as one of the two best tight ends in football.
After Kelce and Kittle, there is Zach Ertz and everybody else. Ertz is just two years removed from 2018 where he set a tight end record with 116 catches. After Ertz, the league is full of up-an-coming players at the position. Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson, and Evan Engram are young tight ends looking to take the next step. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that Ron Gronkowski is back in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The tight end position is one that has all of a sudden become deep in the league. The pass-catching tight end has taken over and there are plenty on tier two such as Austin Hooper and Jared Cook. As far as tier one goes, Kelce is at the top. In points-per-reception (PPR) formats, Kelce has scored 123.5 more fantasy points over the last two years than any other tight end. He has doubled the production from TE13 in that span.
The bottom line is, Travis Kelce has put up incredible numbers. If you have a late-round pick, consider taking Kelce. He should be the first tight end taken in any league playing in any format.