George Kittle is set to return to the 49ers lineup this week, but can he be trusted in the masterful fantasy lineups in Week 16?
Injuries have been a big part of the San Francisco 49ers 5-9 this season, but they’re about to get a key player back. According to Omar Ruiz from NFL NetworkHis tight end George Kittle will play against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.
Kittle hasn’t played since week 8 due to a foot injury that landed him at IR. Week 16 was always his most likely return, assuming the 49ers still had something to play. You have been kicked out of the playoff competition, but Kittle will continue to play.
Can George Kittle be Trusted in Week 16 Fantasy Lineups?
By week 8, Kittle had TE2 in standard and 0.5 point PPR scoring (TE3 in full PPR). He also missed two early games during that period with a knee injury. He was injured in Week 1 against the Cardinals, a game in which he had four catches for 44 yards.
The phrase that Kittle will be “something in the pitch” on Saturday will shiver fantasy managers. As well as the fact that the 49ers, with Nick Mullens (elbow) out now, will have CJ Beathard under the middle. However, it’s worth noting that Beathard and Kittle have a history that dates back to the University of Iowa.
The Cardinals were a sieve against tight ends for a couple of years, but 2020 was a different story. In Week 16, fueled by just three touchdowns on position throughout the season, they narrowed the sixth fewest Fantasy points (8.31 per game; Yahoo 0.5 point PPR).
Of course, Kittle, when he’s healthy and with no questions about his Snap number, is a no-brainer fantasy starter. When his snap count is indeed limited on Saturday, his workload seems to be focused on situations (red zone, third down, etc.).
Anyone who has designed Kittle surely captured him during his IR stint, unless there was a serious roster / IR spot crunch at some point. So even with a great deal of risk associated with him, his return is a late Christmas present to his fantasy managers and it’s well worth wagering on the odds, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.