King Kelce is Key To Fantasy Gold

Sup everyone! Recently did some in depth analysis on positional scoring advantages for SF/TE premium leagues. Just got added as a writer to Dynasty Nerds and published my first ever fantasy football article today! Check it out, you’ll find some interesting tid bits which may help you in the draft. Can also follow me on twitter @MikeMeUpP if anyone cares about my silly fantasy football opinions going forward!


Mike THE KING at it again.

Appreciate you!

Your help is a big reason I got to the championship last year. Started out 1-5 made it all the way to the ship, and would have won, if not for my opponent lucking out with CJ Anderson and Ty Montgomery on his roster.

But I just wanted to say thank you once again for always taking the time to respond to a post or dm, and ALWAYS with unbiased and thoughtful analysis with evidence. You are a key component of this sub and we are all lucky to have to around chiming in.

Really pumped that you are now writing articles and getting some love for your work brotha.

Glad I was able to help out but wow! 1-5 to championship game is no small feat so you def crushed it there. Way to go on that front! Unfortunately you still do need some lady luck on your side to go all the way and no one saw CJ anderson coming.

Appreciate the kind words and hope you have another great season!

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thanks, good article. the main flaw I see is this: if people drafted 2 of the top 3 TEs won just 33% of the time, how often did the teams who selected 2 of the top 3 scoring RBs win the league? or 2 of the top 3 WRs?
Kelce is good and all,but he’s due for a regression, as is Mahomes who can’t possibly keep up the same historic pace as last season. Brady threw 50 TDs in '07, never threw more than 39 in any season since. Similar regression for P. Manning. it happens to everyone, even RBs who go over 2k yards, they don’t sniff that number the following season.
To get Kelce you’ll have to burn a late 1st, early 2nd on him. you’ll leave yourself with lesser RBs, lesser WRs and basically chasing the league every round. I’d prefer to take to pRBs and WRs in the first 4 rounds, then snag Hunter Henry or Kittle, and work from there.

Thanks for the note. See my responses below:

If you have a strategy that allows you to win 1/3 of your leagues, I don’t think it can be understated how big of an advantage that is given the likelihood of you winning any competitive league is low. So even small edges like this can be helpful in the long run.

I don’t have the exactly stats for the others but I think there was a twitter thread by another analytics guy lately that ranked top finishes by opening. Going with multiple RBs in the first rounds yielded the lowest win probability. Followed by going QB/RB, followed by QB/QB. Opening with 2-3WR with 1 TE was at the top, especially if the TE was one of the big 3.

Mahomes doesn’t need to throw for 50 TDs for the strategy to pay off. The strategy is based on point differential by position and how you gain the positional advantage and I’m spreading numbers to back it up. At no point in the article did I suggest Mahomes would throw for 50+ TDs again. In fact I think he will regress. But even regressing from where he was still puts him in elite company. You mention Brady and Manning. Brady has never had the same weapons as mahomes. The only time he did, he broke the league record in TDs. Also patriots offense is constantly evolving to play for wins not stats. If Brady can win a game by throwing for 150 yards and 0 TDs, he’ll do it. The same can’t be said for Reid’s offenses who consistently put up top end production year after year. Even if Mahomes regresses, kelce is still a shoe in for elite TE production. He was the top performing TE even with Alex Smith leading that offense. The talent gap between Mahomes and Smith is gigantic. So I’d be careful with laying this blanket regression narrative all players performing above expectations cause sometimes, the player is just that good. If you do that, you’d probably be missing out on every Kamara, Jamaal Charles, Aaron Jones that you see. And the difference here is Mahomes did what he did his first season as a starter at age 22 whereas Manning and Brady didn’t do that until many years into their respective careers. He still has so much room to grow. What we saw with Mahomes is something we have never seen before so to draw comparisons with Brady and Manning there may also not be the most appropriate. And even in years manning did regress post 49 TD season, he was still posting incredibly efficient numbers of 4k+ yards and 30-40 TDs which is more than enough for Kelce to light it up.

And the strategy here is all about finding the cheapest production. As i outlined, paying a 5th round price for 2nd tier TEs just isn’t worth it. And not sure what leagues you’re playing in but you can’t get kittle in the 4th or 5th round in any TE premium leagues. His ADP is typically in the top 15. Again, the importance of understanding your scoring settings. And yes you have to burn a late 1st or early second on kelce, but as the table shows, it’s worth it cause the point differential advantage you gain there is easily made up for by taking a tier 2 RB and filling out with tier 3 WRs in the 3rd/4th.

Interesting read. I have a question for you though. If you’re sitting at a late pick for your draft, lets say HPPR 12-team snake 2RB 2WR 2FLEX 1TE in a redraft league. You could get one of your tier 1 WRs or a tier 2 RB and then add Kelce in the early 2nd. Which would you prefer? I’ve tested the zero RB strategy and my WRs I’m very confident in, but my RBs I’m looking at guys like Lindsay, Michel, Drake, Carson etc as my RB1. Last season I went RB heavy and somehow managed to make it to the championship but lost because of the injuries to my RBs (Gurley). I struggle with my first pick because in mocks it’s usually either OBJ/MT or Conner/Mixon I’m choosing from. That selection really determines my round 3-5 selections.

I’m always taking Tier 1 WRs over Tier 2 RBs, especially in redraft where waiver wires are rich with replacement talent. Every single year there is someone like a Damien Williams who helps you win your league. That doesn’t exist in dynasty formats cause all backup RBs are already rostered. If I’m not getting a top 4 pick, I’m always looking to get late round 1st with an early round second so I can snag WR/WR. In a non TE premium and in a redraft format, I’m less likely to take Kelce that early because streaming TEs is always an option that does not exist in dynasty leagues. I would personally get 2 of the top 6 WRs (Nuk, JJ, Adams, OBJ, JJSS, MT, Evans) and open my draft that way. Then take one of the big TEs that falls to the 3rd round (preferably kittle). And then in the 4th round is when rookie RBs start going off the board but I personally like to get another stud WR. Someone along the lines of Cooks/Hilton/etc. And then I start thinking of high upside RBs in the 5th and beyond. I just smash a bunch of RBs in good or run heavy offenses (Henderson, Murray, Penny, Carson, Breida, Harris, Hill, etc.) But if you don’t feel as comfortable doing that, snag someone like Josh Jacobs in the 4th. I’d be perfectly fine with him as my RB1 knowing I have 2 stud WRs and a TE position locked in for that positional advantage.

I definitely prefer like a JJ/Hill or JJ/JJSS open to a Conner/Mixon open and play the waiver wire. Last season I got Lindsay off the waiver wire and he was gold for me as an RB2 option with all my WRs loaded.


Yeah that’s where I was leaning. Thanks for the info. I try to go first 4 rounds WR heavy with a top 3 TE if available, but I find myself getting nervous at the RB position and usually take one in the 4th instead lol.

Why draft Kelce when Kittle is the clear TE #1?

If that’s your belief, then no problem with drafting kittle. If you read the article, I even suggested going Mixon in the 1st and Kittle in the 2nd was definitely a viable strategy. If you are making the argument based on age or whatever else, no issues with it. I was one of the biggest kittle proponents last year. Drafted him on a tonne of my leagues. But I think in terms of near term production for next year or 2, there are still some risks there with Kittle whereas Kelce is still the clear cut leader for me personally.

Isn’t actually any evidence to support Kittle being the TE1 this year or next, especially with the target competition there and if you look at his splits with and without Jimmy G, it’s actually pretty drastic.

In a dynasty startup with 0.5 per super flex league, I have pick 1.02 and am looking to move back in the draft with a 1st/2nd round pick swap and also receive a 2019 1st or 2nd round pick. With these scoring settings (not TE premium) do you think the Mixon/Kittle (or other top 3 TE) in the first 2 rounds is still a strong strategy to start?

I probably wouldn’t take kittle with an early 2nd round pick in a non-TE premium league. You aren’t getting the same point differential. In a non-TE Premium, I’m probably not taking a TE in the 1st 2 rounds. If kittle falls to the 3rd, then I’d consider it but i’d much rather open with Mixon + Evans or something along those lines. If you can get Kelce though, I’d consider it. Probably still no but I’d consider it.

@MikeMeUpp So I feel like you are saying both Draft Kelce early AND don’t draft Kelce early. I’m in a re-draft league and having won last season, I’m drafting at the turn: 1.10 and 2.01. I’ve already mocked with and w/o Kelce as my 2.01 selection and I’m not unhappy with how it turns out - it’s gonna be tough no matter what b/c there are no Tier 1 RBs left by 1.10 (why do I keep getting stuck with the choice between Lev Bell and Nick Chubb??? Yuck). And I completely agree that WRs are much deeper so spending round 1/ round 2 capital on them isn’t necessary. Didn’t I hear Andy say that Kelce was likely to have WR production with all the drama/ changes happening in KC? I feel like drafting Kelce could be like drafting a WR by the time it’s all said and done. IS that crazy?

Sorry for the confusion but not sure where you got that from. My article specifically refers to TE Premium leagues and specifically dynasty. In that format, I’m saying take Kelce in the 1st and never look back.

A redraft non-TE Premium league is a totally different animal. The reason being that people rarely carry multiple TEs in redraft. At least ones who know what they’re doing. So you have the option to stream TEs. That option does not exist in dynasty as every single starting TE and their backups even their backups are sometimes rostered. And you are right in that Kelce is similar to a WR but he is still a tier below the elite WRs without the 1.5 TE PPR premium. He would’ve finished as WR9 behind JJSS in 2018 in regular PPR compared to the WR1 with TE premium. This is why I stress the importance of really understanding your scoring format before making decisions.

You’re not crazy in thinking that Kelce is a WR and the positional advantage you gain from draft him is still very good. But 2.01 is just a bit too early for me to take him. At that point, you can likely snag back to back elite WRs and implement a zero RB strategy and grab Ertz/Kittle in the 3rd. I will say that the fact you are in a 10 team league also boosts the value of elite TEs. The reason being that in a 10 team league, everyone’s team will actually be much stronger and pretty stacked with rich waiver wire adds all season. In those scenarios, it’s about winning the positional battles and gaining advantages where you can. And securing an Elite TE is one of the easiest ways to do that. But I’d be much more comfortable doing that strat if I could snag one of the top RBs and then get Kelce in the later 2nd vs 2.01.

I am in a new unique 16 team survivor dynasty league that will run for 4 seasons eliminating lowest teams as we go with no players eligable for redraft once those teams are eliminated. We will have rookie drafts each year. Also no trades. I have unfortunately been selected to draft last in the 16 spot and I am wondering what strategies I might be able to make the best of this situation. Because it is a 4 year team i guess youth is an asset… but also need to make a splash with the first 2 back to back picks. Do I go best WR and best RB I can get? Or 2 best RB and get mid tier WRs… go for RB and Kelce maybe?

I am running it in the mock draft on sleeper and started taking Mahomes and Kelce with first two picks. Usually leaves me in the range of Freeman and Montgomery for RBs or M Willams WR … and then a mixed crowd of MVS , Edleman, Geronimo, Tate… also need to think of age of guys for the 4 years… justice hill comes up… agholor, montcrief, anthony miller… any of those guys to favor? I guess stacking Mahomes and Kelce can benefit in covering some points lost on lesser WRs

Is this The Last Nerd Standing league? I think they have a very similar format.

I definitely would fade RBs there. In an elimination league with only rookie drafts and no trades, I am most certainly going Zero RB. I am a big proponent for that. You can fill up your RB via rookie drafts because drafting rookie WRs won’t be the best use of your time as it often takes 2-3 years for them to become viable.

Is this a SF league? If it is, then you almost certainly have to take a QB, maybe even 2 if you’re choosing from the 16th slot. If it’s not a SF, I’m probably rolling with best possible WR and Kittle given age concerns for Kelce. I think Kelce is in his prime for maybe 2 more years whereas Kittle is just starting. As of most recently, Engram has also slid up my ranks into my TE3 so he’s another potential target for you later.

Thanks for the article Mike! I respect your analysis. Quick question- would you burn the # 1 overall waiver wire priority on Malcolm Brown if you are deep at WR but shallow at RB? It’s a 12 team league and my RBs are Saquon, Carson and Singletary. Thanks!

No. Because Brown is still just a handcuff.