George Kittle Getting Vertical, Skyrocketing Fantasy Upside

George Kittle's 5 catch, 90 yard day was impressive... but could've been so much more. Take note of the massive upside before it's too late.

George Kittle’s 5 catches and 90 yards against a tough Vikings defense were highly impressive. But these stats barely reflect the massive, season-changing upside he flashed in this contest. Coming off a shoulder injury, Kittle played 80% of the 49ers snaps, leading the team in targets (9), receptions, and yardage in the process. He ran a route on 33 of Jimmy Garoppolo’s 38 dropbacks, as compared to Garrett Celek’s meager 5. Meanwhile Kittle could’ve easily topped 200 yards and scored multiple TDs, as he dropped a surefire 80 yard TD, was overthrown while streaking open downfield for at least 30+ yards, and was missed while wide open on a four-yard end zone route. 

Kittle’s 4.52 forty is unfair for his 6’4″, 247 lbs frame, and Kyle Shanahan sent him streaking in this one. Kittle averaged 13.1 yards per target, which just barely trailed Rob Gronkowski (13.4) for the position lead in Week One. Especially after Delanie Walker‘s season-ending ankle injury and Greg Olsen re-injuring his surgically repaired foot, Kittle is staring at a clear path to a Top-5 TE season. He’s among Week 1’s fastest risers, and should be heavily targeted in case his owners don’t recognize just how much production was left on the field. Marquise Goodwin‘s questionable status only furthers Kittle’s target-hog upside in Week 2.


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