A mid-week groin injury instilled fear in the minds of George Kittle fantasy managers. Unfortunately, that fear turned into a worst-case scenario ahead of the San Francisco 49ers' Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed that Kittle, who is listed as questionable, will "not likely" play on Sunday. He hadn't practiced since Wednesday and Rapoport believes the 49ers will play it safe with their star tight end so early in the year.
George Kittle Injury Update
Kittle fantasy managers will have to evaluate the best tight end streaming options to fill his Week 1 void.
George Kittle Fantasy Outlook
Charlie Woerner is listed as TE2 on the team's depth chart behind Kittle, although there's obvious risk with simply plugging in Kittle's backup. Woerner didn't crack the top three of San Francisco's tight end rotation a year ago and sat firmly behind Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley, ending up with just five receptions on six targets.
Kittle managers are better off looking at tight ends on other teams to stream. Some names that stand out include Albert Okwuegbunam of the Denver Broncos and Irv Smith Jr. of the Minnesota Vikings.
Okwuegbunam is the clear TE1 option for Russell Willson's Broncos. Largely unproven, the third-year pro looked serviceable in limited action in 2021. He caught 33 receptions on 40 targets for 330 yards and two scores. The hope is that improved quarterback play and the departure of Noah Fant will sweeten his outlook, opening up more looks for him in the passing game.
Smith Jr. is another intriguing option. Considered a risky fantasy option, the injury-troubled playmaker stands alone atop Minnesota's depth chart at tight end after the departures of Chris Herndon and Tyler Conklin. His injury history is concerning and he hasn't played since 2020, but this was once a player who caught five touchdowns on just 43 total targets in his most recent campaign.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.