It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the tight ends. Today, we take a look at George Kittle, who vanished down the stretch in 2021, but who continues to end up inside the top-five at tight end. What can we expect from Kittle in the new-look San Francisco 49ers offense in 2022?
George Kittle ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: TE5, 42 overall
Average Auction Value: $12.1
George Kittle Statistics:
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tgt||HPPR Pts/Tgt||PPR Pts/Tgt|
|Year||Air Yards||aDOT||YAC||YAC/Tgt||YAC/Rec||AYMS||Tgt MS|
2022 George Kittle Overview:
2021 was once again the best of times for George Kittle, and the worst of times for George Kittle. He missed three games with an injury, disappeared in two different stints, and didn’t get enough playing time with incoming quarterback Trey Lance to make a difference (his 1 catch, 29 yard effort with Lance came between 2/21 and 5/10 games with Garoppolo).
But, then there was the best of times with Kittle, where we saw the how and why we draft him where we draft him. From weeks 9 through 14, Kittle averaged 6 catches, 88 yards, and one touchdown per game. So, we have the yin and yang of George Kittle. This has been true of all his time in the league, except for his record-breaking 2019 campaign. The key difference between that campaign and the others? Health. Health… and Jimmy Garoppolo. While Kittle & Garoppolo are buddies, it stands to reason that the 49ers protected their passing game by running the ball a ton, considering they didn’t trust Garoppolo to throw his way out of a paper bag, unless the paper bag was short of the line of scrimmage.
So, it could have just been a Jimmy Garoppolo issue. That certainly seems to be the case, as Kittle’s blocking prowess was pointed to as a potential culprit, but his routes run figures don’t imply that he stayed in to block any more often in his down games than his good games. In fact, he had 93 yards on six targets when he ran just 19 routes, the third-lowest total of the season. So, it doesn’t seem to be a target issue.
Still, I feel… itchy about George Kittle. There are few players who have a higher realistic ceiling, given their talent and their role in the offense. But sometimes that role just disappears and we are left holding the bag. That’s likely why he’s dropped down to TE5 by ADP and AAV. With that in mind, let’s figure out what to do with George Kittle in your drafts.
2022 George Kittle Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
In a snake draft, if you want to stay out of the Tight End Blob, then George Kittle is likely your last shot. It’s pretty simple: once Kyle Pitts goes, get ready to take whoever is left of Kittle or Waller. If both are left, I’m likely leaning toward Kittle, considering that Waller now has a Davante Adams-sized elephant in the room when it comes to his usage. But, if you want to stay out of the blob, just get one of them, and you should be fine.
Just do not reach for them. Kittle is TE5 by ADP, pick 40 overall. This is a bit rich, but it’s at least Waller and Kittle are fourth-round picks. Pitts is going in the third round, for some inexplicable reason. Let someone else hop on the Pitts Grenade, and take the cue to take Kittle/Waller after that point.
If you already read the Kyle Pitts article, you can skip this part, but it’s starting to make a lot of sense to me to smooth out the potential downside of TE3 through TE5: call “two out of three ain’t bad.” It involves Kyle Pitts, George Kittle, and Darren Waller. The goal is to get two of them for less than the price of a Travis Kelce in your draft. It’s incredibly doable, and it’s even possible to get two of the three for less than Mark Andrews. By AAV, Pitts is $16, and Kittle & Waller are both $12 whereas Travis Kelce is $45 and Mark Andrews is $34. Snatch the first two that get nominated for cheap, there. It’s possible to get a smash start TE1 for most weeks for $28, for less than the price of a Mark Andrews, who may or may not be a smash start, given the potential Ravens’ downturn.
Best Case Scenario:
George Kittle and Trey Lance click immediately and Kittle becomes his favorite release valve.
Worst Case Scenario:
Trey Lance’s legs are his favorite release valve, and George Kittle longs for the days of Jimmy Garoppolo. He roams the countryside trying to find Garoppolo, having forgotten that his cell phone has GPS.
Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.
If you would like our $7 Draft Kit, then follow this link!
Want more 2022 fantasy football draft discussion? Check out these links!
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Header Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/George_Kittle_2_%28cropped%29.jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]