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FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS

George Kittle not slowing down

By Jared Smola | Updated on Sun, 09 Jun 2024, 8:43 PM EDT
George Kittle Headshot

San Francisco's George Kittle remained one of the most efficient TEs in the NFL last year, despite playing most of the season at 30 years old. He led the position in both yards per route (2.22) and Pro Football Focus receiving grade. Kittle also averaged a career-high and TE-leading 15.7 yards per catch. He finished sixth among TEs in total PPR points and seventh in PPR points per game -- his sixth straight top-seven finish.

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Kittle returns to a very similar situation this season with HC Kyle Shanahan, QB Brock Purdy, WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and RB Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers added WR Ricky Pearsall in the first round of this spring's draft, but don’t expect him to significantly impact Kittle’s volume or production.

Kittle will turn 31 in October, but our aging-curve data says we can expect 80-85% of peak production from a 31-year-old TE – down just slightly from age-30. And Kittle's advanced metrics show no signs of decline.

Durability is always the biggest concern with Kittle. He missed 15 games between 2019 and 2022 with two knee injuries, a foot fracture, a calf injury, and a groin injury. He had core-muscle surgery this offseason for an injury he suffered in Week 9 or 10 last year, although Kittle expects to be ready for training camp. Our Injury Predictor gives him an 80.6% chance of injury and 2.0 projected games missed this season.

But that injury risk is baked into his Round 6, TE7 best-ball ADP. Kittle's lofty weekly ceiling makes him a nice pick at that price tag.

Dynasty Impact

Kittle is a riskier investment in dynasty than redraft. The biggest age cliff at TE tends to come at 32 or 33, so Kittle is approaching danger zone.

He's a fine hold or buy-low for contending dynasty teams. But teams in rebuilding mode should look to unload Kittle this year.

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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