There are many who already had Kansas City Chiefs rookie tight end Travis Kelce pegged as a sleeper for the 2013 fantasy football season, but the second-round pick really caught a big break over the weekend (no pun intended). The Chiefs’ incumbent starter at tight end, Tony Moeaki, fractured his shoulder during a preseason “win” over the Pittsburgh Steelers, opening the door for Kelce — or possibly free agent signee Anthony Fasano — to emerge as the starter.
New Chiefs coach Andy Reid‘s exotic version of the West Coast Offense doesn’t feature the tight end, but new Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith was a huge boost to Vernon Davis during his days as the San Francisco 49ers‘ signal-caller. So surely between Reid’s pass-happy attack and Smith’s reliance on his tight ends, Kelce can have a decent rookie season.
As a senior at Cincinnati, Kelce hauled in 45 passes for 722 yards and eight touchdowns. The best part for fantasy owners is that he averaged 16 yards per catch, so he knows how to pile up yards and touchdowns.
Of course, Kelce is battling a bruised knee and Fasano isn’t on the roster just to ride the bench with Moeaki out, so the rookie will have to earn the starting job, but that task is now a little easier with Moeaki out of the picture for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t drafted your fantasy team yet this year, Kelce is worth a look as a late-round sleeper and if you’ve already selected your squad, you’d be wise to give Kelce a long look if you’re thin at tight end.