21 Responses to “Dynasty Debate: Jason Witten vs. Dennis Pitta”

  1. Joe Roads says:

    This article couldn’t be written at a better time considering that I have both Witten and Pitta on my Dynasty team.

    • Jim says:

      I agree. I have Witten and Pitta is available in our free agent draft this fall. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth keeping Witten or maybe picking up Pitta and taking a chance on him over the next 3 year period. Any advice. It’s a straight up td league. Love Witten But am starting to look to the future and feel Pitta would be a good bridge option for the next 3 to 4 years.

      • Dan Meylor says:

        Can you do both Jim? If you can hold onto Witten and add Pitta in free agency, you’ll be in good shape for at least a couple seasons.

        If you have to choose one or the other, I’d obviously take Pitta. After all, I did just write 700+ words why I prefer him. :)

        Good luck!

        • Jim says:

          Actually, my plan if I decide to move Witten is try to get Pitta and then draft Escobar for the future. I think Escobar could be the next Witten in a couple of years.

    • Dan Meylor says:

      I think you’re in a great position Joe. Witten and Pitta are an excellent 1-2 punch. You shouldn’t have to worry about the TE position for the next couple years. You have two top-ten guys.

      • Joe Roads says:

        I appreciate your advice Dan. And, I do feel fortunate that I have both. I took over my Dynasty team back in 2012 & Witten was the TE that I inherited. That off-season before the 2012 season began, I traded for Joe Flacco, Ed Dickson & Dennis Pitta. I think I gave up Matt Cassel and Kendall Hunter. So, I obviously made out.

        My question is, since my only three TEs are Witten, Pitta, & Dickson, should I target a rookie TE in the draft? (I have a 3.04 & 3.12) & I was thinking of dropping Dickson and replacing him with a rookie. (TE or other). And, who would you suggest?

        Thank you for your well timed article. I enjoyed your insight as well as all the other comments.

        • Dan Meylor says:

          Hi Joe. I think you’re on the right track. I’d be fine letting Dickson go at this point in favor of a young TE with promise.

          Most likely you’ll miss the boat on the three best tight ends in your rookie draft if you wait until the third round but there is other talent at the position. Notre Dame TE Troy Niklas and Oregon TE Colt Lyerla are both names to watch for during the NFL draft. They could take time to develop but have low end TE1 upside in my opinion. Iowa TE CJ Fiedorowicz is another one that will be drafted and may develop into a fantasy asset. I like his big frame and ball snatching ability.

          You should check out @TheFFGhost’s fantasy draft board if you haven’t yet to scout out these guys. It’ll be worth your time on draft day. Good luck!

          • Joe Roads says:

            Shhh. Lol. I don’t want to give my pick away but, I have scouted with my 3rd round picks in mind. I’ll just say that I do have a particular TE in mind who I believe can certainly compete with the talent of Eric Ebron. I think you know who I am referring to. I won’t say now but, I’ll let you know if I end up picking him in a couple of weeks. (That is IF I draft a TE at all.) 😉

            I am curious about your thoughts regarding Niklas. It appears to me from my scouting that his size and potential is very intriguing. Do you feel he is too good of a blocker to have fantasy relevance?

          • Dan Meylor says:

            That’s a great observation but I think you may be taking his skills as a blocker as fantasy weakness rather than a strength which may be a mistake. You’re right, hes an excellent blocker. But Rob Gronkowski may be the best blocking tight end in the league and that doesn’t slow his production, especially in the red zone. Don’t get me wrong, Niklas is not Gronk, but being a great blocker leads to being on the field a lot and can help make a tight end an excellent play-action receiver which can be great to have around the goal line. I think Niklas is worthy of a third round pick in many rookie drafts, especially if he’s drafted somewhere that likes to feature the tight end and the play-action passing game.

          • Joe Roads says:

            Hi Dan!

            I just wanted to give you an update on how my Dynasty Rookie Dragt went. I’m actually still participating in it as we are in the final round and I have one more pick remaining in the fourth round. It’s a 4.07 and I have a hand full of players targeted mostly WRs at this point.

            But, the big news is that I was able to trade up into the first round to get a 1.11 pick. And, that’s when I chose to draft Austin Seferian-Jenkins! Eric Ebron was not available as he was taken at #6 overall. But, even if he was available I still would have opted for ASJ.

            That said, I wasn’t finished with the TE postion yet. After drafting QB Derek Carr at 3.04 and RB Lorenzo Taliafero at 3.08, I had my sight set on one more TE at the end of the third round. And, with my 3.12 I selected Colt Lyerla!

            So, needless to say I am ecstatic about my rookie draft this year! With my two new rookie TRs behind Witten & Pitta, I feel pretty good about the future of my dynasty teams TE position for now and years to come!

            Thank you for the advice and have a great season this year!

  2. hisler says:

    Witten is a very physical tight end. Hes a monster but eventually it will catch up to him. This makes me think that the risk of injury is pretty much the same. An aging player who hsnt had it easy over the years, versus a slightly younger guy coming off an injury. And if the cowboys somehow come up with manziel or another qb in the not so distant future, will Witten be the favorite that hes always been? I think Flacco has a bit more in him than romo.

  3. MarkinMI says:

    I don’t think there’s any question which TE is going to be a better week in/week out scorer. That’s Witten. He plays in the better offense and has a higher ceiling. If I’m i contender i want Witten easily. If I’m in a rebuild i might trade Witten for Pitta AND another piece but head to head, mano-a-mano Witten wins imo.

  4. fffool says:

    I take Witten, with little reservation.

    There is only ONE Gonzo, but it’s a proven fact that Witten is the genetic mutant that spawned the X-Men. I’m confident Witten will be around (and near-elite) for awhile, & less so about Pitta’s health.

    -I’ll take Witten’s proven (900/9000/50) stat line over Pitta’s 120/1120/11 “upside” gamble. Pitta’s high TD rate is enticing, but there are a lot more questions than answers to his situation.
    -Witten (6’6, 260) is bigger and stronger than Pitta (6’4″, 245).
    -Witten will be targeted more than Pitta & Daniels combined, and won’t be sharing those targets. I guess there’s upside if Daniels is gone after 2014, but I’m not at all sure that’ll be the case.
    -Romo throws a lot more TDs than Flacco (153 to 121 since 2008), has a higher completion percentage, and (especially with the Linehan hire), Dallas WILL be throwing the ball WAY more than Baltimore.

  5. Hell Atlantic says:

    Scott Linehan has never had a TE put up great numbers on his teams. Scott LinehAn is now the OC for the Cowboys. Do the math.

    • fffool says:

      Yeah, well, Daniels WILL be siphoning off a fair number of Pitta’s targets, and it APPEARS Linehan has tried to involve his tight ends–none of which could hold Witten’s jock! Possibly, Linehan simply devalues the TE position, but I suspect the crummy teams he’s worked for drive the stats.

      Turns out Linehan has been blessed with some FINE tight ends since he came into the league, too–Jim Kleinasser (MN 2002-03), Jermaine Wiggins (MN 2004), Randy McMichael (MIA 2005), MY personal favorite, Joe Klopfenstein (STL 2006) and McMichael AGAIN in STL (2007).

      Linehan & Pettigrew both arrived at DET in 2009. Detroit TEs totalled around 100 targets each in 2009 & 2013 (9TDs last year), but from 2010-2012 Pettigrew alone had 110, 130 & 102, respectively.

      Romo to Witten has averaged 120 targets in the 10 years since Witten’s rookie season. I doubt 11 years of chemistry goes up in smoke. Besides, Stafford attempted 300 more passes than Romo in the last 3 years, and Romo is WAY more accurate than Stafford & extends plays like Big Ben!

  6. phantasy5 says:

    Great debate here gentlemen! I’d have to say I’m on the Witten side of the arguement though. I agree with alot of what was already said too! I think comparing either of these 2 to Gonzalez playing at an elite level until they’re 37 is ludicrious but respect your opinions. Although Witten has been a pillar of consistency and rarely misses games due to injury he’s still not Gonzo! In a PPR league Witten spells money as far as catches and yardage but not so much in TD’s on an average. Not the case for Pitta who’s a red zone TD machine. I do like them both, but given the choice I take Witten 9 x’s out of 10 over Pitta.

    • Dan Meylor says:

      You make a great point Phantasy. Perhaps the answer to which TE should be trusted lies in the rules to each particular league. In PPR leagues, Witten has proven to be a solid contributor. In non-PPR leagues, dynasty owners may want to consider Pitta for his red zone skills.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  7. Joe Roads says:

    If it might shed a little more light on the subject of targets for Pitta versus Daniels… As a diehard Ravens fan and an actual Baltimorian, my Ravens insider scoop has Pitta’s production going up and not effected by Daniels whatsoever. In fact, Daniels’ production will be the one that’ll take a dive as he should help spread out the coverage in Baltimore’s passing game. And, remember that Flacco and Pitta are best buds. And if you think that doesn’t have something to do with the amount of targets a receiver might get then you’re kidding yourself. Lol.

    Personally, I think Pitta and Witten will end up with similar fantasy production. The only difference will be that Pitta may have more TDs and Witten should have more receptions. And, because I am in a PPR league, Witten will probably be my starter. Just as he’s been the last two years despite Pitta’s presence on my team for the same two years.

    BTW, I also have Dez Bryant. So, I am very excited about the new OC in Dallas. And, concerning Witten’s production.. remember that he is and has always been Romo’s security blanket so, I honestly don’t think that will change this year regardless of who the new OC is.

    • eject1984 says:

      Maybe it’s just because i only had him in a standard scoring league, but Witten was pretty inconsistent last year. Yes, he finished 6th in scoring (PPR and standard), but he only had 5 great weeks and 10 fairly mediocre ones. Over the 5 weeks he averaged 16.4 pts (those were the weeks he had TDs), but the other ten weeks he only had 3.75 ppg – ouch!
      In PPR it doesn’t look much better: 22.4 ppg for 5 games, 6.3 ppg over 10 games.
      So end-of-year-score good, game-to-game-consistency, not so much.
      To conclude, in that standard league (8 keeper) I have the luxury to own them both and I’m definitely keeping Pitta. In PPR I’d also prefer Pitta.

      • Jeff Beran says:

        This is a fair criticism but keep in mind Pitta’s best season to date doesn’t even exceed Witten’s WORST (non-rookie) season. The TE position is inconsistent in general so I don’t think this situation is unique to Witten. Just ask Jimmy Graham’s owners how they felt about his Week 15 performance last season.

    • eject1984 says:

      Meant to post it as a separate comment, not as a reply, sorry.

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