Fantasy Football: Is Brandon Pettigrew Ready For A Breakout Season?

John MatheosContributor IIJuly 26, 2010

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 04: Brandon Pettigrew #84 of the Detroit Lions runs past Lance Briggs #55 of the Chicago Bears on October 4, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 48-24.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 2009, the Detroit Lions drafted Brandon Pettigrew, a 6'5, 265 pound beast out of Oklahoma State. This first-round selection created a buzz around the league. Not too many tight ends go in the first round. With that said, a lot was expected out of Brandon Pettigrew.

His rookie season was one of mixed emotions. We saw Brandon Pettigrew catch the ball, drop the ball, and even at times afraid to smash into defenders. One of the reasons may have been because of an injury that was lingering throughout the season.

On Thanksgiving weekend, the Detroit Lions faced off against the Green Bay Packers. Although this special weekend brings many friends, family, and fans all together, one individual suffered a season ending injury that placed woes across Michigan State.

Brandon Pettigrew torn his anterior cruciate ligament while he broke several strides towards the end zone. After several MRI and x-rays, the doctors found a significant tear in his ACL. Many players have a hard time rebounding from this type of injury. This off-season, Brandon has been proving skeptics wrong.

During this off-season, Brandon Pettigrew has had a gradual return to work. He's been inserted slowly into the teams training and has responded extremely well to all the drills the coaches have provided for him. He's been receiving a tremendous amount of attention from quarterback Matthew Stafford and the rest of his team.

With that said, one may ask, what kind of production will Brandon Pettigrew provide for  the Detroit Lions and the fantasy owners across the world.

Being a Fantasy Football Columnist, I've allowed myself to take an in depth look at player production. Brandon Pettigrew is the type of athlete that becomes better as the years progress. His statistics increase slowly but surely.

In Oklahoma, Brandon Pettigrew had a slow start but finished with great numbers. In 2005, Brandon Pettigrew had 11 receptions for 124 yards. He averaged 11.6 carries and had one touchdown. As the years progressed and his knowledge for the college game developed, Brandon saw more time on the field and his statistics increased dramatically.

Moving forward to 2007, Brandon Pettigrew had flourished into a star tight end for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Brandon recorded 35 receptions and 540 yards receiving. He complimented that stat with four touchdowns. In his final year he had a slight decrease in his stats but not one of much significance.

Moreover, in 2009 Brandon Pettigrew was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round. Brandon broke out of the gate in Detroit with great numbers as a rookie tight end. With a weak offensive line in Detroit, Brandon Pettigrew has helped that line enormously with his superior strength. He recorded 30 receptions in 11 games. He gained 346 yards in the air and averaged 11.6 yards a reception. He only had two touchdowns in his rookie season.

Furthermore, moving forward to this year and my prediction for Brandon Pettigrew. If Brandon stays healthy and avoids any type of tweeks during the season, I can see Brandon Pettigrew achieve passing marks as a second year tight end in Detroit. With a matured quarterback and fresh running back in the backfield, I see a lot of positive changes in Detroit.

If Brandon Pettigrew plays a full season I see him attaining a 50 percent increase from the previous season. I base this on his nature of learning. If he doubled his statistics in college, he will most likely compliment the same scenario at the pro level.

On the whole, let me know what you guys think of Brandon Pettigrew. Do you feel he has the ability to double his statistics? Maybe even the Pro Bowl? Let me know!

Based on a 16 game projection he should have 70 receptions, 850 yards receiving, and 4 touchdowns for the 2010 season.