Which tight is the better starting option in Week 3? Let’s take a closer look.
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George Kittle’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
The 49ers’ passing offense is off to an admirable start through the first two weeks of the NFL season.
Brandon Aiyuk scored two touchdowns in Week 1. Deebo Samuel scored via a screen play that went down in the books as a rushing score in Week 2.
The odd man out so far this season has been Kittle. Fantasy managers who invested high draft capital in the talented tight end have been very disappointed with his six receptions for 49 yards and no scores through the first two games of the year.
Now, Kittle may not be producing big numbers in the passing game quite yet, but his impact as a blocker paving the way for these other playmakers likely doesn’t go unnoticed.
George Kittle: wrecking ball pic.twitter.com/3LXWJ6UbU7
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) September 13, 2023
Deebo fooled so many defenders on this play 🤫 @49ers
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2023
Aiyuk is a game-time decision for the matchup against the Giants, which should mean Kittle gets an uptick of looks in the passing game in Week 3.
Darren Waller’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
While the Giants’ passing game looked putrid through the first six quarters of the 2023 NFL season, things opened up considerably for Waller in the second half of their 31-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Darren Waller had 6 catches for 76 yards yesterday. Used a lot in RPO game.
He leads the Giants in receiving & all TE’s in the NFL with 112 yards over 2 games. pic.twitter.com/MxKoAGdF7K
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) September 18, 2023
Through the first two games of the year, Waller leads the Giants in targets (13), receptions (nine), and receiving yards (112).
Waller also ranks sixth amongst tight ends in targets across the league.
The Giants could be in for a rough day offensively with running back Saquon Barkley unavailable and could be throwing the ball a lot if they fall behind quickly again in Week 3.
The problem is that the 49ers defense has been stingy against opposing tight ends this season, allowing just six receptions for 34 yards to the position.
The game script could favor Waller, but the matchup certainly doesn’t.
Which TE Should You Start?
These two elite pass-catching options at the tight end position have vastly different situations heading into this Week 3 matchup. The weekly floor appears to be a bit higher for Waller as the top option in a below-average passing attack, while Kittle is surrounded by other dynamic playmakers, which makes his production a bit more volatile.
Ultimately, I’ve stayed away from starting tight ends against the Niners’ talented linebacker and safety groups, which has proven successful this season.
While I admit Kittle is the riskier play, the injury to Aiyuk certainly makes Kittle a great candidate to see an expanded role in an explosive offense.
I’m going to go with Kittle’s ceiling over Waller’s floor against a stingy Niners defense.
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