How George Kittle is still making an impact for the 49ers, despite lack of targets, offensive production

Fantasy owners beware: George Kittle dropped another stinker.

The 49ers tight end reeled in two catches for a paltry 24 yards on "Monday Night Football," further frustrating fans who hoped to see the long-haired pass-catcher get more involved in Kyle Shanahan's aerial attack. Those believing that Kittle's fortunes would change with the reascension of Jimmy Garoppolo have been sadly mistaken through 2.5 games.

Kittle has 11 targets through four games. He's made six catches in 2022, twice putting up goose eggs. It doesn't make for pretty reading, particularly for those who spent an early-round fantasy pick on him.

Here's what NFL Network's fantasy guru Michael Florio had to say about Kittle's production (or lack thereof) on Monday:

Want to know a secret, though? Fantasy football isn't real.

Kittle's contributions to his team are, however.

MORE: 49ers' Deebo Samuel showed why he's the NFL's most exciting player on 'MNF'

It's long been known that Kittle is one of the league's best blocking tight ends, a player with the strength, quickness and fast hands to keep even the burliest of defensive players from the pocket. That commitment to blocking excellence has come up trumps in recent weeks, especially after All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams went down with an ankle injury.

Kittle puts dudes on their back, straight up. Look no further than the pancake he put on Rams safety Nick Scott on Deebo Samuel's touchdown on Monday:

Kittle has always been able to lay guys out. I mean, come on...

But Kittle's blocking prowess has taken on a new layer of importance in Williams' absence. 

The results have been encouraging in the past few weeks. With Garoppolo at the helm, the Niners have won two of their three games. And although Kittle has received precious few receptions in that span, Garoppolo hasn't found himself in a deluge of pressure like...say, Matthew Stafford.

Jimmy G went down once in San Fran's Week 2 beatdown of Seattle. He stayed upright all night long in the Niners' win over the Rams. And ultimately, if Garoppolo can stay on his feet, it gives him a chance to get the ball to his weapons. Players like Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and...George Kittle, among others.

MORE: San Francisco cruises to victory after stout defensive display

For what it's worth, Kittle is taking things in stride. In his postgame media scrum, Kittle acknowledged that his passion is for catching footballs. However, he was adamant that he would do whatever Shanahan and his coaching staff needed for the team to pick up dubs.

"I love catching footballs, I love to be out there scoring and stuff like that. Some nights it doesn't happen," Kittle said. "But I'll be damned if I don't make an impact in the run game which I definitely did tonight."

Also, Kittle nearly showcased that incredible pass-catching ability, just falling short of getting his foot down after a 20-yard dart from Garoppolo.

So no, it's not the most ideal situation for Kittle — or fantasy owners. But with Williams approaching full fitness and Garoppolo settling back into the offense, Kittle looks poised to play a bigger role in the pass game going forward.

And even if that doesn't happen, Kittle will do what he always has done; make big plays, no matter if that's on the line of in open field.

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