Sleeper or Bust: Will The 49ers’ George Kittle Make An Impact In ’17?

The News:
The San Francisco 49ers have rookie TE George Kittle listed as the starter for Week 1

 

The Fallout:
This news shouldn’t come as a big surprise, after the team traded Vance McDonald to Pittsburgh.  That said it’s just going to further the hype machine that has been building behind Kittle since being selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.  While he didn’t post big numbers at Iowa (22 receptions and 314 yards in his senior season were both career highs), there is the belief that he could develop into a viable pass catcher.  As NFL.com described him prior to the draft:

He has good hands and flashes an ability to challenge as a pass catcher on all three levels. Kittle has the athleticism and blocking ability to become an effective move tight end if paired in the right system.

Despite the hype he didn’t do much in the preseason, with 3 receptions for 33 yards and 1 TD.  There is some upside and the potential for opportunity, as the 49ers have little talent in the receiver ranks outside of Pierre Garcon.  That doesn’t mean that Kittle is a lock to produce though, potential or not.

We’ve often seen rookie tight ends need time to learn the NFL game, from first round picks to late round fliers.  So why would we expect Kittle to be anything different?

In dynasty formats he could be worth the stash, but in yearly leagues it’s a hard sell.  There could be some big weeks, but chances are he’ll bring more bust then boom.  Impossible to count on in Week 1, he’s more of a player to monitor than one to invest in for most owners.  Leave him on the waiver wire for now unless you are desperate.

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 Rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Three Potential Week 1 Breakouts (Zay Jones & More)
Deep League Sleepers: Three Late Round Tight Ends Worth Targeting

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