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Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: The Value of Kyle Pitts

We answer your dynasty mailbag questions from this week.

Kyle Pitts

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. This year I’ll be answering questions from you via Twitter, Discord, or the old-fashioned way (via email).

Free agency is now far behind us. The 2023 NFL Draft has now come and gone. It is the quiet season until training camps open, but that doesn’t mean the questions ever stop. With most of us with at least several rookie drafts under our collective belts, our rosters are starting to come into focus for 2023, but there’s no time to rest.

The mythical value of Kyle Pitts

The value of Kyle Pitts is a fun discussion point – especially considering the format above: no tight-end premium, and smaller league size. DLF rankers rank Pitts as the overall TE2, though only the 46th player overall. One note on 0.5 PPR vs full PPR scoring: the difference is not negligible but it’s not enough to move the needle in the case of Pitts. Premium leagues with 2.0 scoring for tight end change the equation immensely.

In Pitts’s specific case, the difference in per-game scoring in formats was 1.4 fantasy PPG, and again every player gets the same bump in scoring, not just Pitts. If I thought Pitts had a chance at 80-100 receptions I might be more bullish on him in full PPR, but as the Falcons’ offense is currently constructed I’m not sure he can hit that ceiling.

With Desmond Ridder under center as opposed to Marcus Mariota last year, the Falcons certainly threw more often, but they still only attempted 28.8 attempts per game which would have been the sixth-lowest rate over a full season. Pitts is a target hog, but a 27.3% share of an offense that throws the ball so infrequently isn’t ideal. The addition of Bijan Robinson is also another concern for Pitts, as receiving running backs often eat away targets from the tight end.

As noted earlier, Pitts is the TE2 right now, but what happens if he puts up another good, but not great season in 2023 – something along the lines of a TE7 season? His value will drop, and it will be near impossible to cash out on the prestige his name still holds right now. The DLF Dynasty Trade Finder offers some exciting pivots from Pitts.

If you’re able to move off Pitts and get Mark Andrews and a 2025 second-round rookie pick, I would do so. The upside of Pitts is immense but Andrews hasn’t finished worse than the TE5 over the previous four seasons, and that is on a Baltimore offense that was run-first for most of those seasons. In new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s offense, Andrews could see a significant target increase even if the additions at wide receiver squeeze his share.

The deal above is also intriguing. You do lose the possible positional advantage of Pitts at tight end but add one of the few certified needle movers in fantasy football in Tyreek Hill. Hill may have just announced his retirement (in three seasons), but his production shows no signs of slowing down and he is a perennial top-six receiver in PPG.

I also wanted to share one deal that is one I strongly oppose. Though the 1.07 is fine, and you can get Jordan Addison, Zay Flowers, or Quentin Johnston, I still prefer the chance that Pitts is a generational talent as we thought two years ago, over decent if flawed wide receiver prospects.

Future casting

One player who jumps immediately to mind is Kyler Murray. Murray is the QB14 in DLF mock drafts, which is far too low. He has never finished lower than QB11 in PPG, which he did in his rookie season. Since then, he’s finished as the QB3, QB4, and QB7 in PPG.

The concerns around Murray center around his current injury and if he’ll end up being replaced as the starting quarterback in Arizona come 2024. To both those questions, I say who cares? Though tearing your ACL isn’t ideal, Murray didn’t suffer a catastrophic career-ending injury. And if he ends up leaving Arizona, he’s going to be a starter somewhere and he’s shown to be elite even in the mediocre offenses of Kliff Kingsbury.

Going the other way, the player who seems likely to drop in future ADP is Christian McCaffrey. He is currently the RB3 going off the board at 23rd overall. Though he had a great bounce-back season last year after multiple years of being injured, he is still a running back who just turned 27. Even if the age cliff was avoided by several running backs last year, including McCaffrey, he’ll still be 28 next off-season, and the community has a strong history of fading running backs as they age, even when they produce.

Dip into the wide receiver reserves?

First things first, anytime you ever ask for fantasy advice – specifically trade advice – you should include league settings, starters, scoring, etc. If you don’t, and the person giving you advice doesn’t ask those questions, don’t ask them their advice anymore. That’s fantasy advice malpractice. Also based on the players listed in this tweet, balance isn’t a concern for this roster. Having Jonathan Taylor, Rhamondre Stevenson, and JK Dobbins is more than enough when you also bolster the roster with the usual assortment of backup running backs.

I’m going to assume this league is a full PPR, and no I would not trade CeeDee Lamb or Garrett Wilson for Jahmyr Gibbs. Both players should provide higher returns in a trade. I could be convinced to deal Tee Higgins or Drake London for Gibbs, but even that I’d ask for a kicker on the back end to quell my uneasiness. Breece Hall is another matter entirely. I would easily trade London or Higgins for him and could be convinced to give up Lamb or Wilson for him depending on the rest of my roster construction and available assets.

In general, though, I wouldn’t be overly concerned with roster balance. If I have even one anchor back and need to stream my RB2, I’m comfortable doing so if my wide receiver room is strong enough. You don’t need a plethora of stud running backs, you just need enough you can stream. In the case of this roster, he goes three running backs deep, along with an excellent wide receiver room. I would much rather focus on actual weaknesses of my roster, most likely the quarterback position.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: The Value of Kyle Pitts
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2 months ago

I just think that if Pitts was going to put it all together, he would have by now.

Mark Boutot
2 months ago

People seem to knock Pitts quite a bit for his only-1-TD rookie season and don’t give enough credit to his 68 receptions for over 1,000 yards but those numbers at the TE position are pretty good, no matter when it happened, especially in a rookie year. Taking that into account, I would give Pitts a pass for last season; it just seemed screwed up from the get-go with Mariota as QB with the run-heavy focus and then Pitts missed the last six games and played in only 10.
Since 1960, of all the players, there have been ONLY 50 seasons in which a TE has caught 68 or more passes and had 1,000 yards or more. Think about that…over 1,000 “TE-Seasons” and it has occurred only 50 times. That’s less than 5%. And even taking into account how teams scheme and set up their offense, those numbers are even more impressive that he did it.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark Boutot
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