San Francisco 49ers superstar tight end George Kittle enjoyed a true breakout season back in 2018. And he used the 2019 season to prove that it was no fluke.
Now firmly implanted as one of the best tight ends in the entire NFL, Kittle is getting the respect he deserves.
And what’s even more important, the stats are not empty. Kittle leads the San Francisco passing offense. That’s incredibly important as it keeps the team from being too one-dimensional.
And this absolutely helped lead the 49ers to a 13-3 record in the 2019 regular season. That was the best record in the NFC, giving San Francisco a number one seed in the playoffs.
Kittle did not stop there though, helping guide that number one seed San Francisco team to the Super Bowl. And although they lost in the biggest game of the year, it was proof that they had arrived.
Kittle is here to stay, one of the most gifted tight ends in the NFL, he’s going to continue to put up big numbers.
With that in mind, what is the George Kittle fantasy football outlook for 2020? Let’s take a look back at Kittle’s past, consider his present and think ahead to his future – and try to figure that out.
2019 George Kittle Fantasy Football Stats
Kittle came into the NFL in 2017 as a fifth-round pick in the draft that year. With the position he was drafted, no one was really expecting him to take the league by storm.
However, the tight end sort of did exactly that. In his rookie year, Kittle managed 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a very strong first-year campaign, especially for a tight end.
2018 was the breakout year though. Kittle reeled in 88 receptions for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns. Just absolutely massive numbers that put him on the map. Suddenly, he was in the conversation as one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
In fact, you could go further than that. He was one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL, period.
Then came 2019. While the numbers were not as good as they were the year prior, Kittle was still amazing. He racked up 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. What’s more impressive, he did that in just 14 games (he appeared in all 16 the year prior).
So it’s safe to assume he actually would have outdone his 2018 performance (except maybe the yards) had he played all 16 games in 2019.
This cemented Kittle as one of the best players in the NFL, no matter what position.
And of course, it makes him a hot commodity in the fantasy world as well.
Kittle was fourth amongst all tight ends in receptions, and third in receiving yards. Meanwhile, he was tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns.
Most importantly, and something I absolutely love, he was consistent. Kittle had just three games with fewer than five receptions. In only one of those games did he have under thirty receiving yards.
That means he only really had one truly bad week when it comes to fantasy.
Meanwhile, he spread out his five touchdowns through five different weeks. That means that he gave you a bunch of different weeks with high scoring totals.
Kittle was a stud in 2019, and that did not really come as a surprise to many people. What about 2020 though?
2020 George Kittle Fantasy Football Projections
There are a lot of things to consider when looking at fantasy projections for an upcoming season. The good news for Kittle, is there are very few negatives when considering him.
He will still have the same quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. While he’s not the perfect quarterback, he made plenty of marked improvements last season. And 2020 could see him improve even more.
At the same time, there are inconsistencies in his game. And those inconsistencies could cause Kittle to have some off weeks. If the quarterback can’t get the ball to the tight end, there’s really no way for that tight end to score many fantasy points.
There is some more good news though. San Francisco has a great group of weapons around Kittle. The running game is strong and they have some young and exciting weapons in the passing game.
That will help Kittle immensely. Defense can not just zero in on the tight end. If they do, San Francisco does have other ways to attack a defense. And they will use them.
This gives the tight end some insurance. Teams can focus on him to an extent, but they can’t go all out in that pursuit. This leaves him open to wreak havoc on occasion.
It’s hard to see Kittle dropping off any in 2020. The situation around him is even better, and he’s made major improvements to his game each of the last two seasons.
Due to that, expect another uptick in production for Kittle in 2020. 94 receptions for 1,400 yards and eight touchdowns. An absolutely massive season that sees him give his fantasy owners big numbers weekly.
A must-get, Kittle should be one of the first tight ends off the board.
Rank At Position
Speaking of other tight ends, where exactly does Kittle rank amongst the rest of the league at his position?
He might be the top tight end in the entire NFL pending on who you ask. He certainly does it all, and only has Travis Kelce (and maybe Rob Gronkowski but it’s hard to tell after he took a year off) to contend for that top spot with him.
Mark Andrews is great, and so is Darren Waller. Both need to prove it a little more though, and have a few holes in their game that Kittle does not.
Zach Ertz is a great pass catcher, but struggles with yards after catch and can disappear at times.
You could argue that adding Jordan Reed hurts Kittle, but it will actually help. First of all, Reed needs to prove he’s healthy enough to even take snaps from Kittle.
Second, Reed is not there to take away from the star. He is there to help him. Imagine two tight end sets with those two? Teams will have headaches and it’s going to lead to a lot of easy plays for Kittle.
That’s going to help him put up big numbers. Numbers big enough that he will find himself in the top two when it comes to fantasy football tight ends.
Gronkowski is great, but there are too many weapons in Tampa Bay to assume a player who just took a year off is going to be the dominant one.
Ertz took a step back in 2019 and Waller and Andrews will be getting much more attention from the defenses in 2020.
That leaves Kittle and Kelce. It’s hard to tell who will put up the bigger numbers in 2020. But for the sake of argument we have to pick. And sadly for Kittle, it will be Kelce that comes away with the better overall stats.
Kelce will be the top fantasy tight end in 2020, but Kittle will be right behind him, coming in at number two.