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Kyle Pitts Dynasty Price Check For Fantasy Football

Kyle Pitts - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts was one of the greatest tight end prospects of all time when he declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, which is why he became the highest-drafted tight end of all time at pick No. 4 overall. After a 110-target, 68-catch, 1,026-yard rookie season, he looked to be everything Atlanta and the fantasy football community hoped for. He became the first rookie tight end since Mike Ditka in 1961 to total 1,000-plus receiving yards and finished as the TE6 in fantasy football.

However, his sophomore season would leave fantasy managers disappointed. Now, his dynasty value and trade market could be affected. That said, the tight end position is ridiculously scarce. While a sophomore running back or wide receiver might free-fall down rankings, Pitts is still very much in the dynasty TE1 conversation.

How did Pitts perform in 2022? What is his current dynasty value and what can we expect from the former Florida Gator in 2023? Let's dive in.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Kyle Pitts 2022 Season Review

Through two weeks, Pitts caught just four of his 10 targets for 38 yards and no touchdowns, scoring 3.9 PPR fantasy points per game. Needless to say, that isn't the start fantasy managers hoped for when selecting him as a top-four tight end in 2022 preseason drafts. However, the panic meter was low, as he bounced back in Week 3 with a five-catch, 87-yard day.

In Week 4, he came back to mediocrity, catching one pass for 25 yards and suffering a hamstring injury that caused him to miss Week 5. Now, fantasy managers had to decide whether to hold or sell in redraft formats.

Hopefully, they decided to sell.

Pitts would play six more games on the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. From Week 5 to Week 11, Pitts hauled in 18 of his 37 targets for 206 yards and two touchdowns. During that stretch, he averaged just 8.4 fantasy points per game, placing him as the TE17. The athletic specimen posted just three TE1 finishes and only one top-five finish.

There's not too much to recap here, as it was a short and sour season for a player expected to join the Travis Kelce tier at tight end.

Despite the poor season, Pitts posted plenty of elite metrics among tight ends.

Kyle-Pitts-PlayerProfiler.com

Kyle Pitts Advanced Stats and Metrics.

Pitts finished top five at the position in target share, target rate, air yards share, average target distance, deep targets, unrealized air yards, expected fantasy points per game, yards per route run, and yards per team pass attempt.

However, the glaring metric that likely held him back is target accuracy, which ranked 38th among tight ends. The usage and volume were there, but the right arm of Marcus Mariota failed Pitts for a significant chunk of the time they played together.

 

Kyle Pitts Dynasty Ranking/Market

KeepTradeCut.com's crowdsourced dynasty rankings still have Pitts as the clear-cut TE1. While dynasty teams in "win-now" mode should still likely view Travis Kelce as the TE1 until he declines, Pitts is still a top dog.

Pitts is 22 years old, while the next few guys in the rankings are far older. Kelce is 33, Mark Andrews is 27, T.J. Hockenson is 25, George Kittle is 29, and Dallas Goedert is 28. Pitts and those five guys are considered the game-changing tight ends. There is a major drop-off after Goedert, which consists of Pat Freiermuth, Michael Mayer, Greg Dulcich, Darren Waller, and David Njoku.

For more context, his dynasty value places him around Tee Higgins, Drake London, DeVonta Smith, and Travis Etienne. While he may not outscore any of those guys in the foreseeable future, the advantage of having a high-end tight end is well-documented, so that valuation makes plenty of sense.

Again, it's rare to see a player lose almost no value after a mightily disappointing year, but that's the landscape at the position.

 

Kyle Pitts 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

For now, it looks like Desmond Ridder will be under center for Atlanta in 2023. Ridder is a wildcard since he saw limited action in his rookie season -- and didn't play any snaps with Pitts on the field. In four games, Ridder completed 63.5% of his passes for 708 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He added 16 rushing attempts for 64 yards.

With Ridder at QB, it's tough to project Atlanta's offense to take a leap forward. It's worth noting the Falcons locked up the right side of their offensive line for the future, including All-Pro guard Chris Lindstrom.

Ultimately, Atlanta projects to be a run-heavy team once again. If Ridder's accuracy far exceeds what Mariota gave them in 2022, Pitts should be a top-five fantasy tight end. The metrics all point toward a nuclear season. Even if Arthur Smith refuses to pass at a higher clip, Pitts can get it done with efficiency.

Kelce, Andrews, Kittle, and Hockenson are being taken before Pitts in early 2023 fantasy drafts -- which I have no issue with. All of them are easier to project and could reasonably outscore Pitts, but no other tight end should be considered before him.

 

Kyle Pitts Dynasty Recommendation

For fantasy managers with Pitts in dynasty leagues, the best move is likely to practice patience and hold him for brighter days ahead. While there might be "safer" options at tight end, chasing ceiling outcomes is all that matters in fantasy football -- especially at tight end.

The Falcons' offense might not take a huge leap forward in 2023. If it doesn't, head coach Arthur Smith and quarterback Desmond Ridder will likely be gone in 2024.

Having patience is a tough task in dynasty leagues. Pitts is only 22 though, and tight ends generally peak at age 26. Pitts already has a near-elite year on his resume, so we can expect him to hit his prime in the near future. If he can shake any injury concerns and receives at least league-average QB play, a TE8 finish feels like his floor year-over-year. However, a fixture among the top three fantasy tight ends is the expectation.



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