Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce has a higher floor than any other fantasy football player. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Travis Kelce Is A Top Five Pick In 2021 Fantasy Football

Travis Kelce has finished as the top tight end in fantasy football every year since 2016, and it has not been close. He has outscored the second-best tight end from each of the last four years by a total of 123.3 points. 

In that timeframe, no other player has finished as the best at their position even twice. Yet Kelce remains undervalued, currently being drafted an average of ninth overall behind talented but injury-prone running backs like Saquon Barkley and Dalvin Cook.

Kelce might not score as much as Cook or Davante Adams, but the first round of a fantasy draft is all about minimizing risk. A miscalculated first-round pick in a fantasy draft can spell doom for a season, so Kelce’s floor makes him worth reaching for in your 2021 fantasy draft.

Production and Consistency

Kelce is just about the safest player one could draft this year. He scored 313 fantasy points last year, the second-most ever by a tight end, and had 10 games with at least 20 fantasy points. Kelce only got better as the season progressed, averaging 101 yards per game over the final eight weeks.

More importantly, Kelce is almost guaranteed to put up similar numbers every year. He has had five straight 1,000-yard seasons; even Rob Gronkowski never had more than two in a row.

Kelce’s success is not some flash in the pan. Kelce is part of a historically great offense with a new and improved offensive line, and like it or not, quarterback Patrick Mahomes is only going to get better in the upcoming years, so Kelce should be expected to post similar stats for a while.

Positional Value

Kelce’s main value comes from simply being the best overall tight end, and tight ends sucked last year – Robert Tonyan finished as TE3 while scoring about half as many points as Kelce.

Darren Waller was TE2, but a big chunk of his points came from his absurd Week 13 performance against the Jets. He was boom-or-bust all season long, and it is impossible to count on him putting up 200-yard games again this year.

In terms of talent, George Kittle is the only tight end comparable to Kelce, but Kittle has missed 11 games over the past four years and could be playing alongside rookie quarterback Trey Lance this year, who is skilled but still unpolished.

In short, there are no other tight ends that have the floor that Kelce does. There are plenty who could be outstanding, but throwing darts at a position that only starts one fantasy player is not worthwhile.

Every other skill position player in the NFL has at least some minor question marks heading into 2021. Drafting a tight end in the top five is definitely unusual, but exceptions must be made for extraordinary players like Kelce.

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