Fantasy football: George Kittle, 4 others who bounce back big in 2022

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle didn’t have a bad fantasy football season in 2021, per se, but he and these other four players are poised to return to greatness in 2022.

Fantasy football owners are probably warming up their study sessions and beginning the long and arduous preparations for putting together the best teams possible heading into the 2022 season.

True, training camp and the preseason have yet to pan out, and most leagues won’t kick off their fantasy drafts until late August, so we’ve got some time.

Yet the experienced fantasy general manager will tell you that studying now will pay off handsomely once draft day arrives.

One of the risks (or secret strategies) of achieving fantasy football success is to find players who may have underachieved the previous season. The contexts for why any player might have struggled a year ago can vary (injuries, poor quarterbacking, etc.), but as any NFL fan can attest, the landscape of the league dramatically changes on a year-to-year basis anyway.

So, it can be good to look at last year’s underperformers and bank on getting better value for them in your fantasy draft.

Let’s look at five such players who are poised to bounce back big in 2022, starting off with one of the San Francisco 49ers’ own, tight end George Kittle.

Fantasy football bounce-back player No. 5: TE George Kittle, 49ers

2021 was certainly a fantasy improvement for Kittle over his injury-plagued 2020 campaign in which he missed half the season with setbacks.

While Kittle still carries a notable injury history, last year resulted in him netting 71 catches for 910 yards and five touchdowns over 14 games, and that translated into him garnering 198.0 fantasy points in ESPN leagues.

That’s still great for a starting tight end, although the influx of other high-end players at his position, such as the Atlanta Falcons’ Kyle Pitts, in recent years means it’s possible owners are bearish on using an early pick to grab the Niners’ All-Pro star.

Read More: George Kittle must revert back to being 49ers’ alpha receiver

Another caveat is San Francisco is transitioning from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to second-year pro Trey Lance, creating more uncertainty about Kittle being able to get back to 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2019, which seems like a long time ago now.

Yet the bounce-back suggestion comes from the realization young quarterbacks love to target tight ends, as they tend to serve as “safety blankets” on offense. With opposing defenses likely to hone in on the 49ers’ No. 1 offensive threat, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, it’s certainly reasonable to look at Kittle as the next go-to option for the young signal-caller.

And that could end up netting plenty of fantasy football points, especially considering Kittle’s ability to pick up yards after the catch.