NFL player prop of the day: Travis Kelce is great, but his stat projections are enormous

·2-min read

Travis Kelce is the rare tight end who should go in the first round of your fantasy football draft. He has a strong case as the best tight end in NFL history. 

Everyone knows how good the Kansas City Chiefs tight end is. He and Tyreek Hill are the focal points of an offense that is among the best in the NFL. Any tight end would be better with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball, and Kelce would be phenomenal with anyone throwing him the ball. 

It's a perfect storm for yet another big season. But it's not like BetMGM's oddsmakers don't know that. They've posted big numbers for Kelce to hit this season. 

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce runs up field after making a reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce runs up field after making a reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Travis Kelce's yardage and TD projections

Kelce's total for receiving yards at BetMGM is 1,300.5. His total for receiving touchdowns is 10. 

For practically any tight end aside from maybe prime Rob Gronkowski or Tony Gonzalez, we'd take the unders without thinking and happily cash a ticket in a few months. But Kelce actually could hit those numbers. 

Here are Kelce's three seasons with Mahomes as his QB: 

2018: 103-1,336-10
2019: 97-1,229-5
2020: 105-1,416-11

Last season, Kelce played only 15 games. And of course, this season the NFL is moving to a 17-game schedule. 

But the old rule applies: More things can go wrong with a season-long future than can go right. I don't want to fade Kelce's yardage, but going under on the touchdowns might be the way to go. Kelce has posted more than 10 touchdowns only once. Touchdowns are volatile in nature for pass catchers. It's also worth noting that Kelce will turn 32 this season. Aside from Pete Retzlaff, Gonzalez and one season from Antonio Gates, no 32-year-old tight end has put up more than 825 yards in a season (Retzlaff did it three times, Gonzalez did it five times) and only five have put up more than eight touchdowns (Wesley Walls, Gates, Retzlaff and Gonzalez hit double digits and Jared Cook had nine in 2019), according to Stathead

Kelce is obviously special and normal rules of age don't always apply to Hall of Fame talents. But it's worth noting that he is fighting against history at age 32. 

It's not going to be fun to take any unders on Kelce. He's a monster in a historic offense, and he could make any under bet look silly by Thanksgiving. Maybe sooner. But even for an all-time great, 10 touchdowns isn't assured. The under is the play. 

Previous BetMGM player prop breakdowns

Dak Prescott 4,775.5 passing yards

Derrick Henry 1,525.5 rushing yards and 13.5 rushing TDs

Baker Mayfield 3975.5 passing yards

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