2013 Fantasy Football Profile and Projection: Ravens TE Dennis Pitta

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIJune 7, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens makes a reception against Donte Whitner #31 of the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ravens won 34-31. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta had the best statistical season of his young career in 2012, but you could easily argue that his best has yet to come.

Last year, Pitta finished with career highs in all categories: 61 receptions, 669 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranked in the top three within all three categories for the Ravens in 2012.

As a key component to the team's Super Bowl run, Pitta caught an additional 14 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns in four playoff games.

Looking ahead to the 2013 season, Pitta should see an expanded opportunity within the offense as the team traded Anquan Boldin, the team's leading receiver last year, to the 49ers for a late-round pick.

Not only will there be an increased opportunity for all Ravens pass-catchers with the departure of Boldin, but Pitta is likely to benefit more than any other Raven.

Although Boldin is not a tight end, he primarily worked the same area of the field as Pitta. One of the toughest receivers in the league, Boldin thrived as Joe Flacco's most trusted receiver over the middle and in intermediate routes.

There were four games in which Pitta was held to one reception or less. The fourth of those games was Week 17 when the team's starters did not play much of the game.

In his other three dud performances, Pitta totaled two receptions for 24 yards on only six targets. In those same three games, Boldin was targeted a total of 36 times and finished with 22 receptions for 291 yards and a touchdown.

With Boldin out of the picture, Pitta should see more consistency in his targets, which will lead to more consistency in his weekly fantasy production in 2013.

This offseason, you will likely find Pitta on many lists of potential breakout players for the 2013 season and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has him on his list.

La Canfora writes that Pitta "has the size and is much faster than Boldin and can separate more. And with Jim Caldwell calling the plays in Baltimore, the middle of the field is more fertile territory. Joe Flacco, Pitta's BFF, was throwing the hell out of those seam routes on their Super Bowl run and Pitta could easily hit double-digit touchdowns next season and push 1,000 yards receiving."

Based on average draft position (ADP) data from FantasyPros, which averages ADP data from three sites, Pitta is the 85th player off the board, on average, in drafts. If he does reach double-digit touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards like La Canfora projects, he would be a steal based on his current ADP.

Fantasy Strength of Schedule

Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed by their opponents from Weeks 1 to 16, Pitta and the Ravens' tight ends have the 23rd-most favorable schedule among tight ends.


2013 Stat Projection: 75 Receptions, 870 Yards, Nine Touchdowns


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