What Does Dennis Pitta's Injury Mean for Fantasy Owners, Ravens?

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaContributor IINovember 19, 2012

HOUSTON, TX- OCTOBER 21: Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens runs after the catch against the Houston Texans on October 21, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texas won 43 to 13. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

On a day that's been as awful for tight ends as last Sunday was for quarterbacks, Baltimore Ravens' tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a concussion (per Baltimore Sun) in the team's 13-10 win over the the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He joins New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski, who also landed on the NFL's injury list in Week 11.

Going into his game against the Steelers, Pitta had 37 catches for 376 yards and three touchdowns. Against Pittsburgh, Pitta had one catch for five yards before getting hit by Ryan Clark and Lawrence Timmons on the play, causing his concussion.

Baltimore will have to replace Pitta's production, as it's likely that he will miss at least a week due to the injury. Ed Dickson filled in for Pitta at at tight end, and finished the game with two catches for eight yards.

Without Pitta, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would distribute the ball to Baltimore's receivers, with Anquan Boldin leading the team with eight catches for 79 yards. Ray Rice was well-utilized out of the backfield, finishing the game with five catches for 53 yards.

However Pitta also brings value to the Ravens with his blocking skills on running plays. Ray Rice ran the ball 20 times against Pittsburgh, but would only gain 40 yards and not score. Pitta's blocking has been superb this season and was missed against the Steelers.

Fantasy-wise, Pitta has been solid but not too productive. His numbers have shown him to be much more reliable to the Baltimore Ravens than they would be for your fantasy team, and where his presence will really be missed will be when it comes to blocking for running back Ray Rice.

Whom Pitta's absence does help are those who have Ravens receivers Anquan Boldin and Bernard Pierce. Despite the fact that Pierce and Torrey Smith struggled during the win on Sunday Night Football, both will likely be sought out by Joe Flacco in Week 12 when Baltimore takes on the San Diego Chargers

The matchup against the Chargers is a great time to start Ravens receivers, as San Diego is ranked 18th against the pass.

Baltimore will likely be without Dennis Pitta for a while, and his affect will be known. But his teammates at wide receiver will likely experience a windfall of opportunities, even if Ray Rice struggles a bit without the blocking tight end.