Who is the best fantasy tight end 2020 Travis Kelce vs George Kittle
THE GREAT DEBATE: WHO IS THE BEST FANTASY TE IN 2020 – TRAVIS KELCE OR GEORGE KITTLE?
By: John Falabella
Want to win your fantasy league? Grab one the best TE’s in the draft. This will give you a point surplus and give you an advantage in most of your games since the number of elite TE’s are so few… the real question is who is the best option for 2020?
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Best 2020 Tight Ends – Travis Kelce vs George Kittle
One of the obvious candidates would be the TE that has scored more fantasy points than any other tight end over the past four years, Travis Kelce. Kelce has been ranked #1 three out of the last four seasons in Andy Reid’s high powered offense with the Kansas City Chiefs. Kelce has been a model of consistency throughout his career, only missing one game over his first six seasons.
Another candidate for the best TE in 2020 is George Kittle, the San Francisco 49ers TE, who has been on the coattails of Travis Kelce over the past two seasons. Kittle was drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL draft and, after opening some eyes his rookie season, ascended all the way to the number two ranked tight end in 2018. He followed up that great 2018 season with another fine season in 2019. He finished the year as the #3 overall TE but he missed two games and if you add his projected stats for the games he missed into his season total he would have finished neck and neck with Kelce.
KELCE – 97 catches – 1229 yards (76.8 yards/game) – 5 TD
FANTASY POINTS – 152.9 (Standard)
KITTLE* – 97 catches – 1203 Y (75.2 yards/game) – 5 TD
FANTASY POINTS – 150.3
* Stats are for 14 games that Kittle played plus season averages to compensate for the two games that he missed.
Why George Kittle will be #1 in 2020
George Kittle plays for Kyle Shanahan and he has loved to incorporate his TE into his passing offense wherever he has been. If you go back and look at the stats for the teams that he has coached (as an offensive coordinator) the primary TE has always put up excellent numbers.
When Shanahan was the Offensive coordinator in Houston (2008-2009) he had:
2008 – Owen Daniels – 70 catches – 862 yards – 2 TDs.
He then moved on to Washington where he had:
2010 – Chris Cooley – 77 catches – 849 yards – 3 TDs
2011 – Fred Davis – 59 catches – 796 yards – 3 TDs
2013 – Jordan Reed – 45 catches – 499 yards – 3 TDs (9 games)
Even in Atlanta one year he had:
2015 – Jacob Tamme – 59 catches – 657 yards
When it comes to George Kittle, he has been the number one receiver in San Francisco for the past two seasons and has a great rapport with Coach Shanahan as well as QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Kittle might also be more athletic and tougher than the other guys listed above which is why he will continue to out produce the numbers put up by those guys. Drafting Kittle means drafting about 1150 yards and 5 TDs from your TE.
Why Travis Kelce is #1 TE in 2020
Travis Kelce, who was drafted by the Chiefs in 2013, has only played for one coach, Andy Reid, and he knows the system well. One of the best parts about the Chiefs is that they are able to space the field with talented players and speed which opens up the middle for the tight end. Kelce has been able to capitalize on this by leading the Chiefs in catches in five out of the last six seasons. Kelce can put up big numbers with any QB but his production has gone way up the past two seasons with QB Patrick Mahomes under center.
Averages his first 4 years (Alex Smith as QB)
77 Catches – 975 yards – 6 TDs
Averages his last 2 seasons (Patrick Mahomes as QB)
100 Catches – 1283 yards – 7 TDs*
* Numbers dipped a bit in 2019 as Patrick Mahomes missed two games with a knee injury.
I would expect another season of 1200 yards and 7 TDs from Travis Kelce in 2020.
So who is the best TE option for 2020?
I like George Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers but I expect them to be a 13 win team again in 2020 which means that they will be running the ball a ton. Last season, the 49ers dominated the league with a power running game and in many of those games they ran the ball to control the clock late to secure victories. The 49ers ended up passing the ball just 49% of the time (479 pass attempts) in 2019 and although George Kittle will be the #1 receiver in San Francisco his opportunities will be limited by the lack of passing late in games.
While the 49ers were winning with the running game, the Chiefs were bringing home victories through the air. The Chiefs have won 12 games a year in each of the past two seasons and they have done it passing the ball 60% of the time (576 pass attempts in 2019). Most teams like to run out the clock to win games, but that has never been Andy Reid’s style.
These extra opportunities is what sets Travis Kelce apart and why he should be the #1 TE off the board in 2020.
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