by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Kelce made little noise in his rookie season, but that’s often the case with tight ends. The ones who comes out with guns blazing and sets the world on fire are the exception, not the rule. Instead it often takes a year or two before their impact is truly felt (take that for what it’s worth if you are targeting Eric Ebron and/or Jace Amaro).
Kelce was even quieter than most, appearing in just one game after needing microfracture surgery. That could simply make him more attractive to fantasy owners, as the former third round pick is garnering little attention.
With Anthony Fasano all that’s ahead of him on the depth chart and a receiving corps that is questionable, at best, would it really be surprising to see him make an impact in what is essentially his rookie season?
For those unfamiliar with his ability, prior to the draft NFL.com compared him to Rob Gronkowski saying:
“Kelce has been a tremendous run blocker throughout his career for the Bearcats, but really elevated his game as a receiver in his senior season. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but he does a lot of things very well. It’s a deep tight end class, but Kelce’s play suggests that he should be highly sought after.”
Obviously comparing him to Gronkowski is a bit of a stretch, but his ability to run block should get him on the field considering the offense is going to go through Jamaal Charles. He also showed an ability to make plays, reeling off a 69 yard TD catch in the team’s first preseason game.
As it is, does anyone really have faith in Dwayne Bowe, the team’s “top” receiver? Behind him is Donnie Avery, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins and a host of questionable options. In other words, the team just doesn’t have a better option.
Listed at 6’5″ and 260 lbs., Kelce also has the potential to be the main red zone target (especially off of a play action). While it’s hard to say he’s going to be a TE1, he certainly has that type of upside.
In dynasty leagues he’s well worth stashing. In other formats, if you have room on your bench keep a close eye. There’s a chance he emerges as the breakout tight end of 2014 or, at the very least, proves to be a viable fill-in option.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: