Dennis Pitta (TE)

07/16/2013 2:47 pm by in Player Spotlights, Tight Ends

baltimore ravens

How much value will tight end Dennis Pitta have now that Anquan Boldin is in San Francisco? That is 112 targets from last season that quarterback Joe Flacco will have to spread around to someone else, and there is no reason Pitta should not see a target increase in 2013.

In 2012, Flacco targeted Pitta with 18% of his passes, while looking Boldin’s way 21% of the time. The only other player he targeted more was fellow WR Torrey Smith, also 21% of the time. There’s nothing to say that Torrey’s value should not be increased either, but Flacco began to rely on Dennis Pitta in some key situations last season. Sure he has the big arm for the down the field, exciting plays (just look up some highlights of Jacoby Jones and T. Smith), but when Joe gets pressured, he likes the short dump-off passes much more. And he is successful with them, which is even more important.

Last year Pitta hauled in 61 catches for 669 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is one of Flacco’s goal line options, and he will continue to be used in these situations. Unless Baltimore snatches up a veteran-type receiver in the next month or two, we should see Pitta’s value increase, to the point where he should find himself ranked in the top 5 of fantasy TEs. He will only be 28 years old this season as well.

A solid, week-in and week-out tight end is tough to find in fantasy football these days. Obviously Jimmy Graham is #1 in everyone’s book. Gronk will follow at #2, but is struggling with injuries. With Hernandez out of the mix, that leaves Witten and Gonzalez rounding out the top four. But for dynasty leagues, Gonzalez is retiring after this season, and Witten will be 31 (still rank him 3rd though). Then we stumble through names like Vernon Davis (forever underachieving), Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Myers, Greg Olsen, and Dennis Pitta. One of these five should be taking that next step in 2013. With Anquan Boldin no longer in Baltimore, Dennis Pitta will be given every opportunity to be that guy. Look for Pitta to put up better numbers this year, somewhere around 75 catches for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns.

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