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Would You Rather: Draft George Kittle or Darren Waller for 2021 Fantasy Football

Larry Rupp
Would You Rather: draft George Kittle or Darren Waller in 2021 fantasy football leagues.
Would You Rather: draft George Kittle or Darren Waller in 2021 fantasy football leagues. / Chris Coduto/Getty Images
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One of the biggest debates in fantasy football is whether or not it is worth spending a top draft pick to grab an elite tight end. If that is the way fantasy managers decide to go, a new debate is born after Travis Kelce is taken off the board. It's not clear if George Kittle or Darren Waller is the next best option.

The decision regarding which big-bodied pass-catcher to take is not an easy one, so let's break it down.

George Kittle Fantasy Outlook

George Kittle has quickly built a reputation for being one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers' star has averaged at least 75.2 yards per game in each of the last three seasons. He is also a target machine for head coach Kyle Shanahan and averaged a whopping 7.9 targets per game last year.

The only thing that held Kittle back from finishing among the best in 2020 was a number of injuries. He only played in 8 games last year, but did rank No. 3 among TEs, averaging 15.6 fantasy points per game. The 27-year-old remains the go-to target in a passing attack poised to improve this season.

During Kittle's healthiest stretch in 2020 from Weeks 4-8, he led all tight ends in total fantasy points (88.8) and average PPR points per week (17.8). He is dominant on the field when he is at his best.

Darren Waller Fantasy Outlook

Darren Waller has burst onto the NFL scene finishing as the No. 3 TE or better in fantasy football in each of the last two seasons. He has become quarterback Derek Carr's favorite player to throw the ball to and racked up 145 targets in 2020. That mark tied with Kelce as tops at the tight end position.

Overall, the veteran playmaker has put together back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and posted a career-high 9 touchdowns last year. Waller also caught fire to end his 2020 campaign, putting up a total of 654 yards and four touchdowns in Weeks 13-17. That was right in the heart of fantasy football playoffs.

One big advantage Waller has compared to Kittle is the offensive scheme he finds himself playing in. Shanahan will always look to run the ball first, but that's not the case with the Las Vegas Raiders. This is a team that ranked eighth in the NFL by averaging 263.6 passing yards per game last year.

George Kittle or Darren Waller

This competition is about as tight as they come, but the edge has to be given to Waller. Kittle is constantly getting banged up and comes with a lot more risk involved this fall. Waller has proven he is a consistent weekly scorer and simply finds himself in a better situation to succeed.

Waller checks in at TE2 in The Duel's 2021 fantasy football rankings, while Kittle comes in just one spot lower at TE3.


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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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. 

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