Coming into the NFL last year, Kyle Pitts was one of, if not the best, tight end prospects of all time. In his rookie year, he had both an exciting and disappointing fantasy season, which makes him all the more polarizing heading into 2022.
Reasons to Draft Kyle Pitts
Did I mention he’s the greatest tight end prospect of all time?
Seriously though, Kyle Pitts comes off the incredible prospect profile and his rookie season is vastly underrated. TDs can be extremely fluky, but yet they still very much drive our natural human opinions on the type of season a player has. Moreover, players earning similar targets or similar air yards can be judged differently based on the final result even if the player talent is in a similar range.
That’s the clearest bull case for Pitts, except he’s a TIGHT END. He compares favorably to his fellow rookie WIDE RECEIVER breakouts from 2021, except we are talking about fantasy football… and we get to use him at the tight end position.
|Player||Targets||Receptions||Yards||End Zone Targets||Receiving TDs||Air Yards||Target Share|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||119||90||912||4||5||840||22.5%|
As you can see, we know that Ja’Marr Chase separated from the pack (and he’s a superstar), but Kyle Pitts (again, as a tight end) put up some combination of counting and underlying stats that compare to players we are extremely excited about as 2nd year players. However, those other players are positionally WRs in fantasy, and Pitts is a tight end. It’s a monstrous edge to get this type of 2nd year WR profile at the TE position.
Kyle Pitts Fantasy Upside Case
Not to keep reiterating this, but Pitts has essentially just as good of a profile as any 2nd year receiving in the entire fantasy pool, except he is a tight end for fantasy.
That’s the upside case. Superstar, legendary prospect profile. Mackey Award Winner AND Biletnikoff Award Winner. Early declare. Didn’t turn 21 years old until October of 2021. But we get to draft him as a tight end.
Kyle Pitts had basically the same air yards share as Mark Andrews, just 18 less targets than Ja’Marr Chase and double the end zone targets to Jaylen Waddle. Calvin Ridley is gone for the year, and he has nothing but room to grow from a target share perspective. He only scored 1 TD last year, so imagine if he runs a bit better on TDs?
Reasons to Avoid Kyle Pitts
We obviously want to bet on these young, high upside profiles in fantasy, but Pitts is not without concern. The main problem is that in most fantasy circles (especially sites like Underdog and Drafters), Pitts’ ADP has largely reflected the fact that we are betting on his upside. If you use our Spike Week rankings, you’ll know that we still have Pitts as a value, but he’s not some super screaming value despite his profile.
Beyond that, Pitts also happens to play for the Falcons. It was bad enough in 2021 when they had Matt Ryan, but now we have what projects to be one of the worst teams and offenses in the NFL. Some combination of Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder at QB is not exactly a hopeful proposition for one of our fantasy tight ends. Head Coach Arthur Smith was also a massive disappointment in 2021, and the moves the Falcons have made haven’t alleviated those concerns heading into 2022.
Kyle Pitts Fantasy Downside Case
Even the greatest talents in the league can’t always overcome truly devastating situations. The Falcons season long win over/under sits at just 5 wins. Given they’re in the middle of a rebuild and one of the worst teams in the NFL, it’s easy to see how Pitts’ season could not reach it’s upside potential.
Mariota and Ridder create one of the worst QB rooms in the NFL, and Pitts didn’t put together a true ceiling year even with Matt Ryan. The Falcons were 28th in Offense DVOA last year, and it’s tough to see them outperform that in any significant manner.
On top of that, if the team is truly out of it at the end of the season, we could see them opting to rest their young superstar even if healthy in meaningless real life games that are the MOST meaningful for us in fantasy playoff formats.