In Week 6, four underachieving tight ends started their climb up the rankings. Mike Gesicki (6/69/2) led the position in scoring, while Robert Tonyan (10/90), George Kittle (8/83), and Hunter Henry (4/61/1) started to round into form. Travis Kelce (8/112) and Mark Andrews (7/106/1) remain at the top of the tight end rankings. Last week's busts were Dallas Goedert (2/22) and Tyler Higbee (1/7).
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (DraftKings – $5,300/FanDuel – $6,600)
After six weeks, Kittle sits 22nd in fantasy points (36.20) in PPR leagues due to two missed games and three quiet showings (6.60, 4.40, and 8.70). A chaser game against the Falcons led to his best showing (8/83 on 10 targets) of the year, but he still doesn’t have a touchdown in 2022. San Francisco had him on the field for 98 percent of their plays in Week 6. Kansas City ranks 19th in tight end defense (28/257/4 on 42 targets). Gerald Everett has the best game in catches (6) and receiving yards (71) against the Chiefs, while Jelani Woods (2/13/2) beat them for two scores in Week 2. Over the first five weeks, the 49ers attempted 30 passes or fewer in each contest, with a peak of 18 completions against Denver and Carolina. If they run the ball well, Kittle won’t have impact chances. Last week, San Francisco threw the ball 41 times with 29 completions, giving their receivers a much better opportunity to post relevant fantasy games. Kansas City will keep the game competitive, giving Kittle a chance to build on his Week 6 success. He’ll need a touchdown to be a difference-maker in the daily contests.
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers (DraftKings – $4,000/FanDuel – $6,300)
Everett played well in three of his first four games (3/54/1, 6/71, 5/61/1), but only his Week 4 fantasy points (17.10) supported his current salary. After two dull showings (1.20 and 7.90 fantasy points), he slipped to ninth in the tight end rankings. Everett only has one game with more than seven targets (10 in Week 2), leading to him averaging six chances. Seattle has the worst tight end defense (30/474/4 on 45 targets), with most of the damage coming vs. T.J. Hockenson (8/179/2). Some of their failures are skewed by Taysom Hill (9/112/3) running the ball in Week 5 while having a TE qualification. Everett needs a 5/50/1 game to be viable for his salary at DraftKings.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (DraftKings – $4,200/FanDuel – $5,900)
Pitts continues to be a fantasy bust based on his expected ceiling before the season. Last week he scored his first touchdown of the year, but 11 other tight ends beat him in scoring in Week 6. Pitts sits 23rd in tight end scoring (35.90 fantasy points) with one missed game. He must make up 30 to 40 fantasy points over the remainder of the season to finish third or fourth in the tight end rankings. Similar to George Kittle, Pitts' lack of success is tied to a low number of pass attempts (137 – 22.8 per game) and completions (84 – 14 per game). The Bengals struggled in three games (7/115, 9/89, and 10/96/1) defending tight ends, leading to the 19th ranking (35/390/1). Pitts continues to have a favorable salary when compared to his potential. If Cincinnati can jump out to a big lead, Pitts should have his best opportunity of the year. However, he can only soar as high as the Falcons throw the ball.