Who will be the better fantasy tight end: Travis Kelce or George Kittle?
Thursday was a great day to be a top-tier tight end in the NFL, unless you’re named Zach Ertz, then it was a rough day for you. The presumptive top-two tight ends in football, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs and George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers, earned massive extensions from their respective organizations. Both are great players but, who should be TE1 in fantasy?
Kittle is the superior blocker over Kelce, and that was a big reason why he ended up making the most money on his mega deal. He is also a good bit younger than Kelce. While Kittle was still on his rookie contract, Kelce was on the wrong side of 30, waiting patiently for one last huge payday before exiting his prime. He will now be with the Chiefs through his age-36 season.
For the last four years, Kelce has been the No. 1 tight end in fantasy football. It helps having the best player in the game in Patrick Mahomes throwing him the football, although Kelce did just fine when it was Mahomes’ predecessor Alex Smith spiraling him the pigskin. As for Kittle, there is no denying the great rapport he has with his quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Can he get to TE1 status?
Who will win more often for you in fantasy: Travis Kelce or George Kittle?
At this point, you wouldn’t be wrong with taking either of them as the first tight end off the board in your fantasy league. Kelce benefits from playing with the superior quarterback, but Kittle doesn’t have the other established receivers to take targets away from him. While Kelce will get his because he always does, an increased workload in terms of volume could get Kittle to TE1.
Age will be a factor here with these two elite tight ends. Both star players have a birthday in early October, as Kelce will be turning 31 on Oct. 5 while Kittle will be turning 27 on Oct. 9. Father Time remains undefeated, but he is more on Kittle’s side than Kelce’s at this point. Eventually, Kittle will surpass Kelce as the NFL’s TE1, but that might be pushed down the line a year or so more.
What this really comes down to is if Garoppolo progresses in his second full season as the 49ers’ starting quarterback. If he can build off a Super Bowl run, become a top-10 passer and get to a Pro Bowl, then maybe the disparity between he and Mahomes won’t be so gargantuan. As long as Kelce stays healthy and has the better quarterback, he should remain the TE1 in fantasy football.