Yeah, I said it. This season we will see Travis Kelce overcome Rob Gronkowski in scoring. I know it may sound crazy, but that is why it is called a hot take. Rob Gronkowski is the undisputed champ at tight end, but I believe if there is one tight end who can dethrone the king, it is Travis Kelce, not Jimmy Graham. Graham’s best seasons may or may not be behind him, but Travis Kelce’s are definitely ahead of him.
Here are a few reasons why I think Travis Kelce will take the crown.
If there is one man who can make Bill Belichick lose sleep at night, it’s his good pal Rex Ryan. Imagine Belichick’s relief when Rex was fired followed by the face palm when the Bills hired him. Last season, Rex Ryan’s Jets were able to tame the beast that is Gronk, holding him to 99 yards on 11 catches for one touchdown. Gronk will still Gronk, but Rex Ryan will give him hell and hold the champ to his lowest scoring fantasy weeks in 2015.
Is there anyone more cunning and conniving than Revis? The master contract negotiator could care less about his traitor ways, and don’t think for one second that he isn’t already spilling Patriot secrets to the Jets new coaching staff. After spending a season practicing opposite of Gronkowski and company, it’s easy to conceive that the Jets will have an advantage in both games against the Patriots this season. Revis is arguably one of the best defenders in the league and he will be re-joining one of the top defenses. These are two more games I see Gronk putting out mediocre fantasy production.
We all know Alex Smith did not throw a touchdown to a wide receiver last season. We all know that it is highly improbable for that to happen again this season. Alex Smith is a serviceable quarterback who is somewhat underrated in fantasy circles. The best thing Travis Kelce has going for him his Smith’s lack of ability when it comes to the deep ball. Smith averaged just 7 yards per attempt last season, and just 6.5 yards per attempt in his career. Jamaal Charles receives a healthy dose of those small passes, but Travis Kelce gets his share, too. Alex Smiths inability to air the ball out is about as tight end friendly for a quarter back that you can ask for.
Travis Kelce is really, really good
In his rookie season, Travis Kelce proved his fantasy relevance with 67 receptions, 862 yards, and five touchdowns. Anthony Fasano’s four touchdowns from 2014 can easily be added to Kelce’s projections for this season since he is no longer with the team. Andy Reid kept Kelce’s snaps limited in the beginning of the season, but gave him more and more each week so we have to assume Reid is ready to take the leash off of Kelce and let him thrive. Travis Kelce’s 12.9% average yards per reception is impressive in itself, but when you consider his 503 yards after the catch you can let your imagination run wild with the upside Kelce brings to the table. Athletically he is a gifted freak, and NFL.com compared him to none other than Rob Gronkowski in his rookie profile last season. After finishing 2014 as the TE8 I believe Travis Kelce will finish the 2015 season as the top tight end in fantasy scoring.
None of this minimizes Rob Gronkowski or his super human talent. When you consider all factors, including Travis Kelce’s rising super human talent, it becomes clear that Kelce has the ability, opportunity, and upside to unseat Gronk has the TE1 for the upcoming season.