Celek's lone catch went for a one-yard touchdown in Thursday's 41-39 loss to the Rams. Celek trailed starter George Kittle in targets for the third consecutive week, but he provided the better stat line after hauling in one of Brian Hoyer's two touchdown passes. The veteran tight end saw just one target over the 49ers' previous two games, so there isn't much to read into from a fantasy perspective.
Celek could start at tight end in the Week 1 opener against the Panthers if George Kittle (hamstring) isn't able to suit up, Cam Inman of The Mercury News reports. Celek won the 49ers' top backup job during the preseason, but he could join the first team in Week 1 after the rookie Kittle suffered the hamstring injury during Wednesday's practice. Kittle's status should become clearer as Sunday's contest draws closer. If Celek were to start, he would be nothing more than a desperation play in deeper formats after posting underwhelming numbers (350 yards and three touchdowns) as a part-time starter in 2016.
Celek logged just 12 snaps on offense Saturday, finishing without a reception in a 33-14 preseason loss to the Broncos. The veteran tight end spend a good chunk of the 2016 season as the 49ers' starting tight end, performing adequately in the role. Since then, the new regime in San Francisco has brought in three new tight ends to compete for jobs this preseason, and Celek appears to be competing with Logan Paulsen for a backup/blocking tight end role.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he has "been a fan of [Celek] throughout his career," which bodes well for the tight end's chances of making the 53-man roster as the 49ers head toward training camp, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports. Celek's toughness and blocking ability fits the mold of Shanahan's past tight ends. It helps that the 29-year-old took a step forward offensively last season with 350 yards and three touchdowns on 29 receptions, but he has more real football value to the 49ers than he does as a receiver for fantasy. Celek will compete with a handful of candidates during training camp for a spot in Shanahan's offense.
Celek hauled in his only target for a nine-yard touchdown in Sunday's loss to Seattle. Celek set career-highs in receptions (28) and yards (341) while tying last year's mark of three touchdowns with Sunday's score. He boasts great run blocking skills and sure hands, but lacks the athleticism of fellow tight end Vance McDonald that translates to fantasy production. Both tight ends were signed to extensions in 2016, so they should begin next season as the team's one-two punch yet again.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|10||11/12||New York Giants||27||11.00|
|17||12/31||@Los Angeles Rams||13||5.00|
|3 Year Avg||27||17||196||2||11||11.53||31|