Pay Up or Punt?
The tight end position is even top-heavier than usual this year. Spending a second-or-third-round pick on Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce -- the only two tight ends who provide a substantial edge over your opponents on a weekly basis -- isn't necessarily a strategy to avoid, but it will leave your roster short one high-end running back or wide receiver.
If you choose to forego Gronkowski and/or Kelce, your choices at tight end are either spending a mid-round pick on a perceived reliable starter -- again leaving running back and wide receiver value on the table -- or punting the position altogether with hopes you can turn a late-round pick into more than just a weekly streaming option.
George Kittle makes the latter strategy preferable. Stockpiling running backs and wide receivers until you reach the double-digit rounds can provide you with a potential edge over your opponents at fantasy football's most important positions, along with the roster depth needed to withstand injuries and pre-plan for the inevitably one (or more) of your early-round picks will bust. When you can secure these advantages and still get top-10 weekly production from your tight end, you will be well positioned for a deep playoff run.
There are several reasons Kittle is the tight end to target to help you execute a late-round tight end draft strategy:
- Kyle Shanahan has an established history of featuring tight ends in his offense.
- Jimmy Garoppolo is a rising tide that lifts all boats. Kittle performed as a cumulative top-10 fantasy tight end during Garoppolo's five starts.
- It flew a bit under the radar, but Kittle's rookie year production placed him in rarified air among tight ends.
- Kittle is the only pass-catching option on San Francisco's roster who profiles as a red zone threat.
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