In retrospect, we all really should have seen the Dennis Pitta career resurgence coming. Whenever he’s been healthy in his career, he’s been able to produce at a high level. The only problem with Pitta is that he has trouble keeping healthy. A fractured hip, a dislocated hip, and concussions have caused him to miss 30 of 82 games so far in his five-year career. He never built on his breakthrough 2012 campaign that saw him amass 669 yards and seven touchdowns. This most likely is because Pitta has played in just nine games since the conclusion of the 2012 season. However, he was a stash pick or completely undrafted in the vast majority of fantasy football drafts. It’s time to not only get him onto your squad but into your starting lineup this week.
Now he’s back and healthy, and Joe Flacco’s former roommate has returned as one of his favorite targets. Through two games this year, Pitta has seventeen targets, which is tied for fourth among tight ends. He also leads the position with twelve receptions and is behind only Greg Olsen for yardage (141 yards through two games to Olsen’s 195). He is tenth among tight ends in fantasy points so far, and only that low down because of fluky scores by Vance McDonald and Jack Doyle have them in the top ten. In fact, Pitta is the only top-ten TE to be in that echelon without a score. Given the vagaries of the position mean you’re usually mining for touchdowns, getting that type of production without a score is something you should be looking for. Pitta may just be a set-and-forget option at this point, at least until he gets hurt. However, given his draft stock, it is likely that an owner is trying to make a decision between Pitta and another tight end this week.
Pitta takes on a Jaguars squad that bottled up the tight ends they’ve played so far this year, but bottling up Jared Cook shouldn’t be held up as a paragon of defensive prowess. They allowed only fifteen yards to Antonio Gates last week, but he had only three targets (and he still scored). Instead, let’s look at how the Jags have defended the passing game so far this season: they haven’t done great. Low passing yardage totals belie the fact that they have allowed six passing touchdowns through two games. Flacco will likely be looking Pitta’s way when they get down into the red zone, which means scores for him and your fantasy football team. Start him this week.