If You Miss Out On An Elite TE, Target 49ers’ TE George Kittle
The tight end position isn’t going to get you excited in Fantasy Football in 2018. Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz usually go in the first three rounds, and many don’t like to invest that highly in a tight end.
If you pass on the top tier, one of the tight ends to target later in drafts is George Kittle. The 49ers tight ends are in a good spot to see an increase in volume. Many are excited about the 49ers offense with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
The 49ers have Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin at wide receiver and neither are the prototypical red zone threat being shorter than 6-feet. Kittle can become the guy to get looks in the red zone. He received at least one target inside the 20 in nine of his 16 games.
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Kittle, a 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, was a rookie last season and it’s rare for tight ends to make a significant impact in their first season. It’s a position that is difficult to adjust to at the NFL level. Kittle had 43 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns last season and missed one game with an injury and played banged up in a few.
Kittle played more snaps earlier in the season as he didn’t play more than 56 percent of the snaps in the final six weeks. When he was on the field, he ran a lot of routes. Kittle had his best game with Garoppolo in Week 17, catching four passes for 100 yards on six targets. Kittle caught 11 of his 14 targets for 194 yards and a touchdown in the final three weeks.
Kittle has a full offseason to work with Garoppolo and get more involved in the offense. He has a great athletic profile and is an excellent blocker. Kittle also worked with three different quarterbacks. In addition to Garoppolo, he caught passes from Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard. He averaged 14.9 yards per catch with Garoppolo.
The best has yet to come for Kittle. All the underlying stats indicate he can be better is an excellent target if you wait on tight ends. He averaged 8.2 yards per target, while Kelce was at 8.5. Kittle currently as an ADP of 113 in the FFWC as the 11th tight end off the board and I am comfortable taking him in that spot.
I recently participated in an industry best ball draft in which we have to start two tight ends. I waited on my first tight end and took Kittle as the 12th tight end to cap round six at pick 72 overall.
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