Kittle hauled in four of his six targets for 100 yards in Sunday's season-finale victory over the Rams. The athletic rookie appeared to have regained the starting tight end role in San Francisco last week against the Jaguars, and Sunday's team-leading six targets and 100 receiving yards fortified that notion. Kittle battled a myriad of minor injuries and briefly lost his starting job to Garrett Celek, but it is no coincidence that his strong finish to the season (194 yards and a touchdown over last three games) coincided with the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo. Both Celek and Kittle are under contract heading into the 2018 season, but the latter's superior athleticism and late-season momentum should propel him into the starting role barring any unforeseen circumstances. The aforementioned Garoppolo appears to have brought out the best in all of his receiving options, no matter how inconsistent they may have been prior to his arrival, so Kittle should be on fantasy owners' radars heading into the 2018 season, especially considering the Yakety-Sax nature of the tight end position in fantasy this past year.
Kittle caught three passes on three targets for 42 yards and one touchdown against Jacksonville on Sunday. Three targets isn't normally enough to get it done reliably, but Kittle has generally shown well as a rookie, and he was an important contributor in the 49ers' exciting upset of the Jaguars. The rookie has a more positive long-term outlook than most young tight ends generally, let alone those drafted in the fifth round like Kittle was. With QB Jimmy Garoppolo looking like a promising foundation of the new era in San Francisco, Kittle's future appears favorable.
Kittle caught four passes (five targets) for 52 yards in Sunday's 25-23 win over the Titans. This was arguably the rookie's second-best performance of the season. Fantasy owners should be wary of the production as Kittle is still clearly second on the tight end depth chart, as evidenced by his 28 snaps compared to Garrett Celek's 46. Celek also outclassed Kittle in terms of production with 63 yards and his fourth touchdown of the season. The Jaguars are the fourth-stingiest defense against opposing tight ends, so Kittle shouldn't be considered a standard-league option next week.
Kittle caught two passes (two targets) for 10 yards in Sunday's 26-16 victory over the Texans. This was the second consecutive week where we saw veteran Garrett Celek not only out-snap the rookie (61 to 20), but also outpace him in production as well. The developing timeshare was already damaging to Kittle's chances of being a standard league fantasy asset, but it now appears that he has become the clear-cut backup to Celek going forward.
Kittle (ankle) doesn't have a designation on the 49ers' final injury report for Sunday's game against the Bears. It's unclear if the current ankle issue is related to the leg injury that held Kittle out in Week 10, but either way, he'll be fine to play Sunday. He returned from the aforementioned injury with a limited role in last week's 24-13 loss to Seattle, catching one pass for 14 yards on two targets while playing just 35 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps. Kittle seems to be stuck in a timeshare with Garrett Celek for the time being, but the 49ers could give the rookie another shot in a full-time role at some point before the end of the season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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