The San Francisco 49ers will officially be without their top offensive playmaker this Sunday. Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle has been ruled out for the team’s Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets with a sprained left knee.
With kickoff quickly approaching, the Niners and fantasy football owners alike are left scavenging to replace Kittle’s production in their lineups. However, the answer for both parties’ pressing needs could be right in front of them, as former Pro Bowler Jordan Reed is waiting in the wings.
Follow Heavy on Fantasy for the latest rankings, start-sit advice, insight & more!
Jordan Reed’s Fantasy Outlook vs. New York Jets
Reed’s 49ers debut was far less than spectacular. The former Washington pass-catcher logged a mere 10 snaps vs. the Arizona Cardinals hauling in each of his two targets for just 12 receiving yards. With that said, Kittle’s injury opens the door for a massive amount of added playing time, as the team’s star tight end played 61 of their 62 offensive snaps this past Sunday. The other two tight ends on the 49ers roster, Ross Dwelley and Charlie Woerner, combined for eight total snaps together.
The concerning factor for Reed is less the amount of snaps he will play vs. the Jets, but more the number of passes that will come his way. While Kittle did tie for the team-lead in targets last week, he accomplished this feat with just five passes coming his way. Furthermore, it was actually a five-way tie for the lead in targets with wideouts Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor, as well as running backs Raheem Mostert and Jet McKinnon.
If that wasn’t enough, 2020 first-round pick, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is expected to make his NFL debut this Sunday after being held out of Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Recently signed veteran Mohamed Sanu may also be at Jimmy Garoppolo’s disposal when San Francisco takes the field against the Jets.
Speaking of Gang Green, New York has quietly been one of the league’s best defenses in football over the past year-plus when it comes to defending the tight end position. In 2019, only the Bills and Ravens surrendered fewer fantasy points than the Jets did to opposing tight ends, allowing only three touchdowns to the position group all season. Even with stud safety Jamal Adams no longer in town, New York has continued a similar trend into this season, allowing the eighth-fewest points and just two receptions total to the position in Week 1.
For More Fantasy Content Follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.
Should You Start or Sit Jordan Reed in Week 2?
With Reed no longer the player he was back in 2015 and a budding number of mouths to feed in the 49ers passing game, he presents more risk than boom, especially at this time of the year. Unless you’re a Kittle owner, you should have a player better suited to plug into your lineup.
If you are indeed a Kittle owner, a player such as Washington’s Logan Thomas (26% rostered in Yahoo) may be better worth your time. Thomas saw eight targets (team-high) come his way in Week 1 and has a dream matchup against the Cardinals who allowed a league-leading 16 touchdowns to tight ends in 2019.
- *Check out our Week 2 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
- Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]