Start or Sit George Kittle?
This is the part where I’m supposed to pretend to be shocked that tight ends have been an absolute mess for fantasy football so far this season. This is where I feign disgust for the problems that have befallen the position. This definitely isn’t where I remind you that all tight ends are bad (except Gronk & Kelce) and that drafting them high is a farcical pursuit. Year over year, we convince ourselves that drafting tight ends outside of the bottom five rounds will pay positive dividends. Annually, we look back in contempt at our high-drafted tight end. Whether they’re hurt (Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen), merely ineffective (Jimmy Graham, Trey Burton) or both (Evan Engram), tight end has been a dreadful position to try to figure out in fantasy football (just like every year). This week, we try to help you figure out which of these trash garbage tight ends we want to try to begrudgingly trust this week. First, let’s tackle the question: should you start or sit George Kittle this week as the San Francisco 49ers head to the Big Scalper as StubHub Arena and the Los Angeles Chargers play host to Jimmy G C.J. Beathard and the 49ers offense?
The big allure of George Kittle headed into the season was Jimmy Garoppolo’s preference for the tight end in his five games with the Niners last season. Both Kittle and Celek saw a massive uptick in target volume and overall production compared to their time with C.J. Beathard and Brian Hoyer under Kyle Shanahan’s tutelage last year. When C.J. Beathard was at the helm… oh boy. Things were not great for the tight ends in San Francisco. With Beathard under center, one-of-three passes went to the running backs. That isn’t rounding up, either; 78-of-233 Beathard passes went to a running back. The tight ends divvied up a paltry 41 targets across six games. Kittle had 8, 2, 4, 5, 0, 2 targets in the six games with Beathard under center. That’s… not great, and something that might make Kittle a drop candidate going forward.
Well, what if you’re desperate? Can you feel good about hovering your mouse over the “Submit Lineup” button before begging your significant other to click it, knowing deep down that you’ve adequately absolved yourself of responsibility for the ensuing carnage? Well, no. Not only will Beathard pilot an anemic, running back-based offense, but Kittle will also face the second-worst possible tight end matchup. The Chargers have yielded just the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season, including holding Super-TE Travis Kelce to just one catch for six yards on six targets in week one.
George Kittle owners lost their lifeline to production when Jimmy G went down last Sunday, as 49ers fans lost their brief glimmer of hope for the 2018 season. With C.J. Beathard under center, the 49ers focused their passing game through the running backs, and not the tight ends. With that in mind, as well as a terrible matchup for Kittle this week, things aren’t looking good. There are several decent waiver wire options that you would be better playing this week than Kittle, and you should probably seek those out. If you’re wondering if you should start or sit George Kittle this week… you should definitely sit him.