There are many challenging aspects to dynasty fantasy football leagues that managers must navigate. Near the top of that list is weighing the value of short-term elite production. Travis Kelce is far closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Is he still worth drafting at his current dynasty ADP?
Travis Kelce’s Dynasty Value
Perhaps you’ve already read my dynasty profile on Kelce. If so, you know how I feel about him. He’s the greatest fantasy tight end of all time.
Since 2016, Kelce has finished as the overall TE1 or TE2 every season. That’s seven straight years of unprecedented dominance. For a guy who missed his entire rookie season due to microfracture surgery, Kelce has been remarkably durable.
Last season, he was as dominant as ever. He averaged 18.6 PPR fantasy points per game, finishing as the overall TE1 yet again.
Kelce provided the single most decisive edge in fantasy football last season. His 8.2 ppg gap over the TE2 was the largest in fantasy history. There is absolutely no question as to who the TE1 is for 2023. If you find a single person or entity ranking another tight end above Kelce for 2023, please let me know — I’d be very interested to see it.
With all that said, dynasty is a different beast. You can’t only consider the upcoming season. While Kelce has shown no signs of decline, and I fully expect another elite season, this can’t continue forever.
We can’t even look at historical tight end cliff years to really gauge anything. Antonio Gates was effective through his age-36 season, but even peak Gates wasn’t anywhere near the elite fantasy factor Kelce has been. The same goes for Tony Gonzalez, who was still good until his final campaign at age 37.
Kelce could very well have another 3-5 years of quality, fantasy-relevant tight end play. But if he’s merely a low TE1, he’s simply not that valuable, especially given how old he will be.
Dynasty ADPs vary by source, but Kelce typically goes around 30th overall in Superflex dynasty startup drafts.
Dynasty managers looking to spend an early-round pick on a 34-year-old tight end are not doing so for one year of elite production followed by a couple more mediocre years.
Should You Draft Travis Kelce at His Current Dynasty ADP?
This is a loaded question because there are multiple factors that go into it. If your goal entering your dynasty startup draft is to build a team that can win now, then absolutely.
Kelce will be a first-round pick in 2023 redraft leagues. So, for at least 2023, you are getting a first-round value at a third-round price. That’s a strategy you can apply to pretty much any older elite fantasy asset. But if you’re thinking more long-term, you have to ask yourself how much time you think Kelce has left at the top.
When it comes to dynasty strategies, of course, every league is different. In my experience, I’ve found the majority of dynasty managers are hyper-focused on the future. So many people want to acquire young players, accumulate rookie draft picks, and build a team of ascending, young stars. So much so that they often do it at the expense of the now.
In the year 2023, I couldn’t care less about what my team will look like in 2026. I really don’t even care much about 2025. Unless I know my team is completely toast this season, I would rather roster elite players that can help me for the next 2-3 years than uncertain players that can help me for the next 6-8 years.
For example, there is no doubt in my mind I’d rather roster Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill over Drake London and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Applying that logic to Kelce, combined with the fact that I do believe he has at least two more years left of being the TE1, and I’m in on him at his current ADP.
Unless you truly believe your dynasty roster has no shot at contending until 2025, Kelce is an excellent pick in the middle of the third round of 2023 dynasty startup drafts.
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