What most fantasy players have hopefully learned from the 2013 season is that Alex Smith loves to pass to his running backs and tight ends. If you have been someone who continually drafts Dwayne Bowe in hopes of a monster season, realize that it will never happen with Smith as the signal caller.
Bowe finished behind running back Jamaal Charles in receiving yards and touchdowns, and there isn’t much reason to believe he will become the leader in receiving yards or touchdowns in 2014.
The tight ends and Charles, however, were very productive under Smith. Charles racked up 693 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, and he was looked to often to convert tough downs. Tight ends Sean McGrath and Anthony Fasano were not fantasy relevant by themselves, but each tight end combined for 73 targets, 502 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
With defenses trying to find ways to limit Charles, Smith will look for his tight ends early and often in 2014.
Although Kelce hasn’t seen any NFL action due to having microfracture knee surgery during his rookie season, there are high expectations for the young tight end in 2014. In his final season in college, Kelce totaled 722 receiving yards and caught eight touchdowns. If he were able to have transferred those numbers to the NFL in 2013, Kelce would have had the 10th-most receiving yards among tight ends, and he would have been tied for the fourth-most touchdowns.
The fact that Dexter McCluster is gone is also a benefit for Kelce, as McCluster totaled 511 receiving yards and two touchdowns this past season. Head coach Andy Reid has also coached his brother, so he is familiar with the family work ethic and how to capitalize on the strength of his players.
While he may not be as exciting as Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis, you shouldn’t sleep on this potential top-10 tight end.