Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on George Kittle, Zach Ertz affecting Week 1 TE start 'em, sit 'em calls – Sporting News

  • September 12, 2022

Entering Week 1, injury issues have the statuses of two upper-tier TEs, George Kittle and Zach Ertz, are up in the air. Before games kick off on Sunday afternoon, it’s crucial to know if these TEs are active ahead of locking in your fantasy lineup. If either pass-catcher is out, it will surely shake up your start ’em, sit ’em decisions and likely cause many owners to head to the waiver wire for a TE streamer.
Below, we’ll give you the latest updates on Kittle and Ertz and break down how their injuries could potentially affect their fantasy outlooks heading into Week 1. 
WEEK 1 INJURY UPDATES:
Wide Receivers | Dobbins | Godwin | Walker
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WEEK 1 FANTASY PICKS: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late Saturday night that Kittle is not expected to play against Chicago.
UPDATE 2: Kittle is officially OUT.
Kittle (groin) failed to practice all week, and despite being officially listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s early-afternoon game against the Bears, he seems unlikely to suit up.
If Kittle is indeed out, Tyler Kroft and Ross Dwelley would likely split TE snaps for the 49ers, but neither can be trusted in fantasy leagues. If Kittle plays, he’s tough to sit, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him be on a snap count. No matter what, Kittle owners are in a tough spot and should look for a replacement like Albert Okwuegbunam or Irv Smith Jr. in shallow leagues and guys like Mike Gesicki, Evan Engram, Cameron Brate, Robert Tonyan, or Noah Fant in deeper leagues. We’d prioritize Smith first, then Gesicki and Albert O, but if you’re in a deeper league, you might have to try your luck with Engram in PPR leagues or Brate/Tonyan in standard leagues.
WEEK 1 FANTASY PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kicker

UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that Ertz is “likely to play” against the Chiefs.
UPDATE 2: Ertz is officially ACTIVE.
Ertz managed to get in a limited practice on Friday and is officially “questionable” for Sunday’s late-afternoon game against Kansas City.
WEEK 1 STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kicker

Ertz is too good to sit if he’s active, even if he’s on a “snap count,” which has been suggested. He should still see a fair amount of targets when he’s in, and given how weak TE is, he’s still a better bet than most lower-tier guys. However, if you’re going to wait out Ertz, you need a potential replacement from the late/prime-time games. Arizona’s backups, Trey McBride and Maxx Williams, aren’t great bets, so you’re better off picking up Cameron Brate, Noah Fant, or Robert Tonyan, all of whom are available in over 75 percent of Yahoo leagues. In shallower leagues, you could get Albert Okwuegbunam or Irv Smith Jr.

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