When the season started, many were getting Travis “Baby Gronk” Kelce as their sole fantasy football tight end option. He was coming off a season wherein he had 875 yards and 5 touchdowns. This was good enough for TE7 last season, and that was right around the range where he was taken in this year’s fantasy football drafts.[embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
However, Kelce has not been a consistent option for you, despite the fact that he has been an option that you have to slot into your lineup weekly. However, he has hurt you as many times as he has helped you so far this year, ending up TE20 or worse as many times as he’s ended up in the top ten tight ends. He has finished as a top five tight end only twice this year. Kelce was drafted for consistent, reliable middling tight end production, but he has been unable to provide that. He’s pretty much the poster boy for not drafting a tight end earlier than double-digit rounds, as he was drafted to be a consistent, middling tight end option and he’s been anything but that this season.
This week, however, Kelce should finish as a top-ten tight end as his opponent and his team’s game planning will find him with the ball in his hands more often than not. Alex Smith is back under center for the Chiefs this weekend, and his quarterbacking style means a lot of check downs and designed plays to his tight ends. He made Vernon Davis a fantasy superstar with this formula, and this should be a game where Andy Reid dials up this same style. Smith will be going up against a Panthers squad that has given up the third-most fantasy football points to tight ends this year, and they’ve done that while spending two weeks going up against some of the worst TE opponents you’ll find. Before the Jermaine Gresham-Lance Kendricks two-step over the last couple of games, they averaged yielding a tight end touchdown per game.
Kelce was probably overdrafted when you consider his inconsistent production this season, but this is a week where you should get him into your lineups. The Chiefs will have Alex Smith back under center, and he faces a plus matchup against the Panthers who spent a large chunk of the season giving up a score to a tight end per game, on average. You may have gotten frustrated with him and gotten a backup tight end like C.J. Fiedorowicz, but don’t start anyone you have over Kelce (unless you have Eifert, Graham, Olsen or Gronk).