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In a move that’s sure not to make people forget that Ray Rice uppercut (what normal-sized people would refer just simply as ‘punched’) his wife and could only carry her a few yards (just like a football, how cute!), the Ravens reached a five-year deal worth $32 million with tight end Dennis Pitta. In a news conference later today, the deal will be officially announced, which I’m sure beats having a news conference about having an alleged wife-beater on your team. HAHA get it? Ehh…

“Dennis creates a number of mismatch problems for defenses… He makes it tough on them, and because of that, he really helps out our wide receivers. Opponents have to always pay attention to where he lines up and where his routes take him. Dennis is also a big target with very good hands, and his presence in the red zone is very important to us.” – Ozzie Newsome, Ravens GM

IS IT? Sure, I guess when he’s on the field, everything Ozzie Newsome said is spot on. And at the prime ole’ age of 28, we should expect some big things from him going into the 2014 season. While some (almost everyone) agrees that Joe Flacco is actually not an elite quarter back (HERESY), I can, with a lot of gusto and a hint of lilac, say that he is, at the very least, an elite check-down artist. And that benefits Pitta greatly. In 2012, Pitta had 61 catches of 669 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. I would label that production ‘spiffy’ on a scale of Monte Kiffin to Mike Zimmer. But, again, it comes back to his durability. In 2013, he only played in four games (starting just one) due to a pre-season hip injury.

Specifically, for fantasy, he’s probably going to be around my TE top-10 as of this moment. I like that Joe Flacco needs a short-read security blanket at all times, and since Ray Rice is wondering why Darren Sharper showed up while his fiancée was unconscious, Dennis Pitta is that blanket. In PPR/half-PPR leagues, I’d give him extra credit. In fact, when you do some magic known as ‘math’ and pro-rate his 2013 numbers over a full season, they come out to 80 receptions, 676 yards and four touchdowns. Which sounds very Pitta. But, again, he has to play those 16 games. Granted, he didn’t miss any games in 2011 and 2012, so I guess the final verdict is, we’ll see?

Seahawks prefer beans instead of Rice…

Would have been perfect if they actually signed a player named beans. Or maybe potatoes, if you want starch. Which you probably don’t. Stick with protein’s yo. Rice had obviously not lived up to his contract, mostly due to injuries, and was also a constant tease for many fantasy rosters. Well, as much as a hobbled and concust bench-guy can tease.  It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up, only to see how fast the hype machine gets fired up again.

Iggles Riley Maclin’ everyone in sight…

Makes total sense. No it doesn’t. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are now set to line-up, once again, next to DeSean Jackson to form your Eagles 2014 starting wide receiver core, after the former signed a five-year deal and the latter signed a one-year deal this past week.

“Jeremy is an ideal player for our scheme with his combination of size, speed, strength and route-running ability, in addition to his dynamic play-making talent.” -Howie Roseman, Eagles GM

Yeah, I could get on-board with that statement. Probably forgotten since missing the entire 2013 season after tearing his knee apart, it wasn’t that long ago that he caught 70 passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns under Andy Reid. Okay, yeah, that was 2010… four years is sort of a long time. And you never want to be under Andy Reid. But… I still would want him on my roster. In 2012 and 2011, his line went something like 65 receptions, 850 receiving yards, and a half-dozen touchdowns. In fact, if healthy, I might want him more than Honkey U alum Riley Cooper. If you believe in the ‘Yards Per Route Run’ metric (dividing receiving yards by the number of pass routes a receiver runs), Cooper only averaged 1.59 yards. That was 47th out of 94 receivers. Also, it’s my opinion that he has trouble integrating passes and should definitely not hold brown objects any longer than necessary. And while many still consider Riley Cooper a ‘X-factor’ for 2014, I just see Cooper as more of an American History X-factor. So that’s where I’m at.

Yup.

 

From Around The Web

  1. Fantasy with Dase or Days

    Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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    Man, I can not stop watching Prison Break(Netflix). I’m on the last season and got a handful of episodes left. It just keeps me wanting more. I did break myself away to check and see if anything new was on the football side. It’s interesting that Dennis Pitta was the jump off for the new article. I brought him up a couple of days ago on Josh.O article of Dynasty RBs. This is what I had to say about Dennis Pitta.
    The Ravens and Dennis Pitta avoid the franchise tag(WR or TE) issue and both side come to an agreement of 5 years for 32 million dollars. In 2012, he finished the year as the number #7 TE in standard(non PPR) scoring. Last year was only able to see action in the final four games of the year. In which he had 5 catches, 42.25 yards, .25 TDs on 8.25 targets per game. If you expand those #s over a full season it puts him as the #11 TE in standard(non PPR) scoring format. The catches and targets really jump out to me. Only 3 TEs last year had at least 80 catches and only 2 other TEs would have seen more targets. Plus you add in the new OC in Gary Kubiak and his history with the TE position. I’m a fan of Dennis Pitta in 2014!

    As a fantasy owner, I am hoping that just like Sidney Rice we will see Golden Tate in another uniform next year. I would like to shed some light on Doug Baldwin and his end of 2013. From weeks 9-16(7 games), he posted 3.9 catches, 58 yards, .57 TDs on 6 Targets a game. If you expand those #s over a full 16 games, we get a stat line of 62 catches, 928 yards, 9 TDs on 96 targets. That would have placed him as WR16 in standard scoring(non PPR) format. If the pieces can fall in place, I like the return investment that One Doug Baldwin can bring back to me.

    When looking at Riley Coopers game log from last year. He had a five game stretch in which he was really(really) exceptional for fantasy owners. That was week 6-10 and his stat line was 4 catches, 92.4 yards, 1.2 TDs on 5.9 targets a game. Then you look at the rest of his season and you get a stat line of 2.7 catches, 37.3 yards, .2 TDs on 5.3 targets a game(I did not include week 5 only had 1 target). You will notice that he is only getting almost 1 more target a game during that stretch. He was a hit or miss type player and was much more of the miss type last year. Now you add in a hopefully healthy Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper is even harder to like for 2014.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Fantasy with Dase or Days: Nice tie-in. I haven’t got around to that show, only because I know it went past season one and I can’t imagine them breaking out of the same prison twice.

      It’s easy to pro rate those stats, as I did in the post, but there’s a lot of variables that can mess those projections up. I think he’s capable of that line though. Doug Baldwin, I’ll have to take a closer look.

      Yeah, not really a fan of Cooper. I think he’s overrated.

      • Fantasy with Dase or Days

        Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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        @Jay: hahaha. Yea, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started the series. I knew it was about breaking out of a prison and was an older show. Just a heads up if you do ever get around to it(spoiler alert). They have to break out of more than one prison and one of them is not in the USA.

        Now back to the fantasy football talk. Like I said a couple days ago about Dennis Pitta. The targets really jump off the screen. That is one variable to consider when trying to project Dennis Pitta for this upcoming year. The first thing to consider is that it was only five games in which he played last year. I took a glance at his previous targets over a full 16 games. In 2012, he saw 5.8 targets a game. Now I also went and look back at targets for Owen Daniels. He was the TE in Gary Kubiaks(new OC) offense for the Houston Texans. He had 4 seasons in which he played at least 15 games and was never targeted less than 5.6(2011) times per game and the most was 6.86(2012) times a game. It would seem that history is telling us that the 8+ targets will not be the norm. I do think it’s safe to assume that he will be seeing at least 6 targets a game. Which would give him TE1 targets for fantasy owners.

        When I was talking about Doug Baldwin. I forgot to add that during this 7 game stretch, he recorded at least 63 yards and a TD in 4 of those 7 games.

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @Fantasy with Dase or Days: Right now, I’m doing Person of Interest, it’s good, but nothing striking…

          Yup, Flacco loves Pitta… short reads in general. Kept Rice somewhat from drowning last season in PPR’s. Any TE that has good hands and a rocky QB is a positive, just for that very reason, they are progression safety nets.

  2. Fantasy with Dase or Days

    Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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    The 49ers and Anquan Boldin have reached an agreement on a new contract(2 years for 12 million). Last year with Boldin, Crabtree and Davis on the field together(week 13-17).

    Anquan Boldin 6.6 catches, 91 yards, .4 TDs on 9.4 targets
    Vernon Davis 2.8 catches, 45.4 yards, .8 TDs on 4.6 targets
    Michael Crabtree 3.8 catches, 56.8 yards, .2 TDs on 6.6 targets

    A few observations after looking over these #s. It was Anquan Boldin who provided fantasy owners with the most fantasy points in standard(non PPR) scoring. When it comes to targets Boldin saw almost 2 more(7.5 to 9.4) and Davis lost out on almost 2 targets(6.1 to 4.6). You will also notice that Boldin added a significant amount of yards(65.8 to 91). It didn’t matter for Davis as he was still able to continue his almost a TD(.9 to .8) per game.

    We can’t forget that with all 3 players on the field. It help the QB(Kaepernick) up his fantasy production.
    Before(week 1-12) 185.1 yards, 1.27 TDs & .63 INTs
    After(week 13-17) 232 yards, 1.4 TDs & .2 INTs

    The 49ers passing game looks to have solid to quality fantasy contributors across the board in 2014.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      Stable production, sure. Nothing flashy… yeah. There’s value there. Is there enough? Obviously, that’s team specific, but there are some other options I’d rather have. More personal preference than anything though.

      • Fantasy with Dase or Days

        Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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        @Jay: I didn’t even think about it but I went and gave a glance at Vernon Davis #s during the playoffs. In 3 games his stat line was 1.6 catches, 18 yards & .6 TDs. You pair that with how he closed the regular season. Not exactly a boost of confidence for fantasy owners. With a perspective of that his #s might be more close to his end of season rather then the start. I have to think that Davis will be moving down the ranks of TEs with Boldin(back) and Crabtree(healthy).

        • Jay

          Jay says:
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          @Fantasy with Dase or Days: Though, to be fair, they did play in a bad weather game and against the top defense in the league. I agree with you, but the play-offs are certainly a different breed of animal.

          • Fantasy with Dase or Days

            Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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            @Jay: In the bad weather game vs the Packers, he was targeted 7 times. That is over 2 more targets then normal with Crabtree and Boldin on the field. We also can not forget that this was not his first playoff experience. His stat line in the previous 2 playoffs was 4.4 catches, 109.2 yards, 1 TD on 6.8 targets per game. One of those years was with Alex Smith as the QB. In his one previous playoff run with Kaepernick, he produced 4 catches, 84.6 yards, .3 TDs on 6.3 targets per game(3 games). So he has shown that the playoff stage is not to big for him. With the lack of targets that seem to come his way. His value really hangs with his ability to find the end zone. You could say it looks to be very boom or bust for us fantasy owners.

            • Jay

              Jay says:
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              @Fantasy with Dase or Days: Yeah, I wasn’t saying it was the spot light, more that extreme weather can cause mitigating circumstances. And that you’re facing faster and better defenses…

              But, again, we agree. Boom/bust… totally.

  3. Fantasy with Dase or Days

    Fantasy with Dase or Days says:
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    Since we have been talking about the 49ers and the passing game. Let’s shine some light on the running game. This is from three days ago but ESPN(the mothership) had an article about the 49ers and Marcus Lattimore. He said “the rehab is over.” Also that the 49ers are expecting production from him next year. So it got me interested in looking at the 49ers backfield. I started with Frank Gore and reviewing his past year. A stat line of 1,269 total yards(1,128 rushing yards), 16 catches and 9 TDs. That was good enough for 13th best among RBs in standard(non PPR) scoring. Though when you crack open his game log and break his season down. It gets concerning for us as fantasy owners.
    Week 1-8: 77.25 rushing yards & .88 TDs per game.
    Week 10-17: 63.75 rushing yards & .25 TDs
    If you expand his 2nd half numbers over a full 16 games. You would have the RB19 in standard(non PPR) scoring.

    Then I gave a glance over at Kendall Hunter and saw 358 rushing yards(4.6 YPC) and 3 TDs. The last 4 games he rushed for 120 yards on only 17 carries(7 YPC)!

    So we have a RB(Gore) that will be turning 31 in May(14th), who saw a noticeable drop in his statistics(2nd half), is essentially non factor in passing game(last 3 years 20 catches & 163 receiving yards a year) and the 49ers have Kendall Hunter to go along with Marcus Lattimore. As of right now I would say that I’m expecting more of the 2nd half Frank Gore to be what’s expected in 2014. With how the RB pool looks at the moment(waiting on free agency and draft). I think you have to still view him as a RB2. Dang. The RB position is not very much fun at the moment. I was wondering how are you going to be viewing Frank Gore this year?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Fantasy with Dase or Days: yeah, not huge on tue post 30 year old physical backs. You bring up cogent points as to why.

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