49ers

49ers' George Kittle breaks NFL season record for receiving yards by tight end

49ers' George Kittle breaks NFL season record for receiving yards by tight end

LOS ANGELES -- George Kittle broke the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in his final game -- and on his final catch -- of the year.

Needing just 2 more yards to set the mark Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers star caught Nick Mullens' short pass and took it 43 yards for a touchdown with 2:20 to play.

Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end who sent Kittle a signed jersey this past week as the two chased history, held the record for just a few moments Sunday. He caught five passes for 62 yards in a rout of the Oakland Raiders, giving him 1,336 yards on the season. New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski’s league record of 1,327 yards had stood from 2011.

Kittle countered with nine catches for 149 yards, though, finishing with 1,377 on the season to snatch away the record.

Kittle also broke Eric Johnson’s 49ers single-season record for the most receptions by a tight end. Johnson caught 82 of his 117 targets for 825 yards and two touchdowns in his record-setting 2004 season. Kittle finished the day with nine receptions, giving him 88 on 136 targets on the season.

The second-year pro fell just 5 yards shy of breaking Shannon Sharpe's NFL single-game record for receiving yards by a tight end three weeks ago. Kittle caught seven passes for 210 yards in the first half against the Denver Broncos, but he didn't have a reception in the second half, causing 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan to apologize for the oversight.

There wasn't an oversight this time, though, as Shanahan went right to Kittle with little time left, first with a 6-yard pass to the right, then the record-setting throw in the 49ers' 48-32 season-ending loss.

Team management was waiting for Kittle in the tunnel with congratulations.

For Kittle, it's now on to the Pro Bowl, then preparations for the 49ers' 2019 season.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 8

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AP

Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 8

Whether you're an optimist or a pessimist, your fantasy team's glass can't be half-empty, nor can it be half-full right now.

That's because we're more than halfway done. Assuming your league's playoffs start in Week 14, we've now entered the backstretch. Seven weeks down (minus Patriots vs. Jets on Monday night), six to go. Buckle up, people. It's about to get bumpy.

Week 7 saw numerous injuries to key fantasy players, as well as some standout performances from lesser-used entities. Some of those injuries will linger into Week 8, in which both the Cowboys and Ravens will be on bye. The waiver wire is your best source to fortify your roster and start off the second half of the fantasy season on a high note. With that in mind, here are four non-quarterback to consider for waiver claims Tuesday morning, all of whom are in positions to be major contributors next week and beyond, and are owned in fewer than 15 percent of Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins WR

13 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 9 percent owned in ESPN

DeVante Parker shouldn't be eligible for this list at this point, but alas, for whatever reason, he hasn't been added by enough teams. On Sunday, he caught five of his team-leading 10 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Bills, his third consecutive game with a score. And that's been with an inconsistent quarterback play.

While he's yet to top 75 receiving yards in any game this season, you can bank on the Dolphins trailing in every game they play from here on out, just as they have in every game thus far. They'll probably put together a victory eventually, but the point remains: Miami is going to be throwing a lot, and more often than anyone else, Parker likely will be the intended recipient of that pass.

And let's not forget that Parker was a first-round draft pick in 2015. He's got the size, speed and pedigree to be worthy of a spot on your roster, and not just for next week.

Kenny Stills, Houston Texans WR

12 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 16 percent owned in ESPN

Okay, Kenny Stills really shouldn't be on this list. He's technically not eligible, since he's owned in 16 percent of ESPN leagues, but given the minuscule difference, his inclusion was too pertinent to pass up.

The Texans have one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL. Deshaun Watson is hands-down one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he's got a talented group of receivers to throw to, led by DeAndre Hopkins. Houston's No. 2 receiver, Will Fuller, left Sunday's game early with a hamstring injury, and Stills wasted no time filling his shoes, catching four of his five targets for 105 yards.

Stills has been a big-play deep threat throughout his career, and with Fuller's injury and Watson at quarterback, he has both the opportunity and surrounding talent to maximize his skill set. There's a reason why Fuller's ownership is in the 90s. Get the same production for comparatively little cost.

Ty Johnson, Detroit Lions RB

0 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

Parker and Stills are more household names, but Ty Johnson might be the priority pickup of the week. If you're looking for a running back, this is your guy.

Johnson had 13 carries on the season entering Week 7. He nearly doubled that on Sunday, rushing for 29 yards on 10 carries against the Vikings. Obviously, that's nothing to write home about, but almost all of that production came after starter Kerryon Johnson went down with a knee injury.

Kerryon was seen in a brace after the game, putting his status for Week 8 into doubt. The Lions host the lowly Giants next Sunday. If Kerryon can't go, Ty will start for Detroit, and he might for your fantasy team, too.

Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals WR

1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 0 percent owned in ESPN

Andy Dalton threw two interceptions on consecutive passes Sunday against the Jaguars -- including one for a touchdown -- but when he wasn't throwing it to the other team, he usually was throwing it to Alex Erickson.

Erickson tied with Tyler Boyd for the team-lead in targets with 14 against the Jaguars, but Erickson was far more productive with his, catching eight balls for 137 yards. Much like the Dolphins, the Bengals stink, and just like Miami, Cincinnati is going to be throwing a lot

[RELATED: Why Whitner believes 49ers need to add true No. 1 receiver]

Sure, A.J. Green will change the dynamic if and when he is healthy enough to play, but that's a big if and when. Until Green plays -- or in the event he gets re-injured or traded -- Erickson likely will have plenty of target volume, and that's valuable for fantasy purposes.

Why Donte Whitner believes 49ers need to add true No. 1 wide receiver

Why Donte Whitner believes 49ers need to add true No. 1 wide receiver

Somehow, the 49ers are 6-0 without a legit threat at wide receiver.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have tried to address the position through the last few NFL drafts, but Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd have yet to pay off.

Prior to the 49ers' 9-0 win over Washington on Sunday, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported, citing league sources, that San Francisco is "aggressively pursuing multiple options at wide receiver."

You can count NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner as a fan of that idea.

"You don't have that No. 1 guy. You have a bunch of No. 2s and No. 3s, and Kittle is your No. 1 guy, but as you saw today, they paid special attention to him," Whitner said on 49ers Postgame Live. "They were bumping him with defensive linemen, they were bumping him with linebackers, there was one play out there where he had three guys around him when they threw the football to him in the middle of the field. You need a definitive No. 1 guy to pull that extra guy out of the box, to allow this running game to continue to flourish, and that's when you can take another leap towards winning a championship."

Kittle, an All-Pro tight end, is nearly 200 yards clear of the 49ers' top receiver this season. Marquise Goodwin has 181 receiving yards, while Kittle is at 376 after Sunday's game. Samuel leads all San Francisco wideouts with 15 catches, and he didn't play in Washington.

La Canfora mentioned several intriguing names that are of interest to the 49ers: Cincinnati's A.J. Green, Denver's Emmanuel Sanders, Atlanta's Mohamed Sanu, Miami's DeVante Parker and Chicago's Taylor Gabriel.

Any of those five would instantly be an upgrade over what the 49ers currently have in house.

Whitner also brought up a name he's been pushing for the last couple of weeks: disgruntled free agent Antonio Brown.

"Hopefully they get a trade, sometime soon, maybe A.J. Green, maybe one of these guys that's on the trading block, maybe Antonio Brown once he clears up everything that he needs to clear up," Whitner said. "But they need this guy because as you go further in the playoffs or towards the end of the season, you play better defensive back units that are on the details of their job and it's hard to beat that coverage man-to-man, so they need that guy."

[RELATED: Whitner believes 49ers can go deep in playoffs]

The 49ers have made it this far without a true No. 1 receiver, but Whitner is right. If they want to win Super Bowl LIV in February, they are going to need a big-time target for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Time for Lynch and Shanahan to swing for the fences.

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