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How Many Receiving Yards Will Travis Kelce Have in 2020?

Travis Kelce puts up wide receiver numbers from the tight end position. How many yards will he rack up in 2020?

Despite objections from fans in San Francisco or Philadelphia, it's hard to argue that Kansas City's Travis Kelce isn't the best tight end in football. Here are just some of the categories the Chief finished No. 1 or No. 2 in at his position last season:

  • Receiving yards (1,229) - 1st
  • Receiving yards per game (76.8) - 1st
  • Receptions (97) - 1st
  • Receptions per game (6.1) - 2nd
  • Targets (136) - 1st
  • Targets per game (8.5) - 2nd

Kelce is an absolute stud who's found an extra gear since Patrick Mahomes took over as the Chiefs' starting quarterback two years ago. So what could he do 2020? DraftKings Sportsbook has the following posted total for receiving yards in 2020:

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DraftKings is asking whether or not Kelce can stay somewhat close to his high level of production that he's displayed over the last two seasons, posting this total 103.5 yards below his 2019 output. 

Pros for betting OVER; Cons for betting UNDER

Kelce is remarkably consistent and remarkably healthy. He's missed only one game over the past six seasons. Staying on the field for 16 games is imperative to the over cashing. Injuries can happen to anyone, but Kelce's history suggests it's less of a risk than the average player.

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Another positive is that Mahomes missed two games last season, and Kelce was still able to exceed 1,125.5 yards. While there's not much injury insurance built-in for Kelce himself with a total that high, there's a little wiggle room for his quarterback. 

In 29 games that Mahomes started and finished uninjured, Kelce is averaging 6.3 receptions, 82.6 receiving yards, and 0.48 touchdowns per game. That equals 101 catches, 1,322 yards, and 7.7 touchdowns over a 16-game period. Kelce needs to average 70.3 yards per game in 2020 to hit the over. Assuming that remains constant, Kelce can still hit the over if he misses a game or two due to injury.

Pros for betting UNDER; Cons for betting OVER

This total is high and there's only a little margin for error. Does an abridged offseason program lead to an increase in soft tissue injuries? Will offenses, even in the same systems, take longer to gel? Will the Chiefs be inclined to rest players a little more late in games with a double-digit lead after a long playoff run? Is it also possible the Chiefs lead the AFC by enough to rest players in Week 17? Any of those factors can negatively impact Kelce's ability to reach 1,125.5 yards.

Missing three or more games equals an automatic under for this bet. You never want to bet on injuries, but it's a major factor to consider. Talent certainly won't prevent Kelce from hitting the over, only opportunity will. Betting the under is a bet on less volume (for one reason or another).

Betting Advice

Kelce has surpassed the posted total each of the last two seasons and three of the last four at the peak of his career, but it's important to know that this is the peak. Kelce won't exceed his 2018 numbers in 2020. The question is whether his peak lasts another season. With Mahomes, I think it does.

The Play: OVER 1,125.5 yards (-110)