The tight end position is always among the thinnest in fantasy football, and with the fantasy playoffs in full swing, owners will be sweating out some key injuries at the position. George Kittle (foot), Mike Gesicki (shoulder), and Noah Fant (illness) are among the banged-up TEs, and they will surely have an impact on our Week 15 TE rankings and key start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
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Is George Kittle playing this week?
Kittle (foot) has been out since suffering a foot fracture against the Seahawks in Week 8, but he may end up returning to action this season. As was confirmed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Kittle has been designated to return from IR by the 49ers, and now, his 21-day practice window will open. He can practice and at some point in those three weeks, he’ll have to be activated off IR to play again this season.
Because Kittle is still technically on IR, he won’t have a practice status listed, so any updates on him will need to be watched closely. Kittle returning in Week 15 seems like a long shot, but he seems determined to return this season, so he’s not worth dropping yet.
As long as Kittle is out, Jordan Reed will be a worthwhile TE streamer, especially in a solid matchup against the Cowboys in Week 15. Once Kittle is back, he should be a top-five TE barring any sort of snap count limit that will limit his opportunities.
Is Mike Gesicki playing this week?
Gesicki suffered a painful-looking shoulder injury against the Chiefs in Week 14. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Gesicki is expected to miss at least one game, so his owners shouldn’t expect ot have him against the Patriots in Week 15.
If Gesicki is out, Adam Shaheen would be the new top tight end for the Dolphins. He doesn’t have as strong a rapport with Tua Tagovailoa as Gesicki does, nor is he good of a contested-catch playmaker, but he could have a shot at scoring if the Dolphins get near the end zone since Tua loves throwing to his TEs down there. Still, Shaheen is just a low-level streamer against a Patriots defense that has defended the TE position well.
Is Noah Fant playing this week?
Fant (illness) exited the Broncos’ win over the Panthers early as a result of a non-COVID-related illness. He didn’t return to the game.
However, Fant should be ready to go for Saturday’s Broncos-Bills game. He was listed as a non-participant at Tuesday’s practice, which was just an estimate, but he returned for a full session on Wednesday. Now healthy, Fant will be a top-10 TE against a Bills defense that has had some issues guarding tight ends this year.