Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts was one of the most anticipated rookie players to enter the NFL in the past five years. A physical specimen, Pitts seemed like the next great tight end that fantasy football managers would love to have.
Just over two years into his career, Pitts has not quite performed as advertised. Is his breakout coming in 2023 or will the tight end’s value continue to dip? If you have Pitts, should you consider selling? Let’s take a look and find out!
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Should Fantasy Football Managers Trade Kyle Pitts?
Pitts is an extraordinarily gifted athlete. When he entered the NFL, he was drafted fourth overall, which was higher than any tight end in NFL history. To say he was a promising prospect would be putting it lightly.
Having this hype around him led to Pitts being drafted highly in fantasy drafts his rookie year. Two years into his career, though, Pitts has failed to fully break out as an elite tight end for fantasy football managers.
While still being the same gifted athlete that he was when he entered the NFL, Pitts is still not a top target in the Falcons’ offense. Game planning around Pitts has never been a priority, and the games where Pitts finds success are few and far between. In his first two years in the league, Pitts has only eclipsed 10 fantasy points in a week (0.5 PPR) five times.
This raises the question: Is Pitts a player that fantasy managers should be trying to sell in their leagues? In a dynasty format, Pitts is still young and very capable of having many successful years to come. Still, one of the concerns that fantasy managers have is that head coach Arthur Smith and the Falcons’ coaching staff do not seem to want to utilize his talents.
The Falcons run a very balanced offense that sees many players getting targets, as well as a strong running game that is utilized to manage time of possession. While this could change in the future, Smith and the Falcons are currently 2-0 this season. They also play in the NFC South — one of the worst divisions in football.
If the Falcons were to find themselves in the playoffs this season, you could expect that Smith and the rest of the Falcons’ coaching staff will remain with the team for at least one more season. This has to be concerning to fantasy managers who have not been happy with how Pitts has been utilized. If Smith and the Falcons coaches are going to remain with the team, will the former Florida Gator be able to fully break out while he’s still young?
For this reason, I am certainly floating Pitts’ name out on the trade block in my leagues, but what should we be willing to accept in a deal for him?
What Should Fantasy Managers Look To Acquire When Trading Pitts?
Pitts is turning 23 years old in October. He is young, talented, and has much of his career ahead of him. We shouldn’t be selling him for pennies on the dollar.
If you are a team that wants to compete, finding a tight end to replace Pitts would be worthwhile. Managers with T.J. Hockenson probably have their tight end ranked over Pitts at this point, so you’ll need to add a little extra onto your end of the deal to acquire the Minnesota Vikings’ tight end.
If we aren’t looking to upgrade Pitts, we could definitely refresh the cycle on youth. Detroit Lions TE Sam LaPorta has already shown he has some talent in his first two career games. It is possible that the LaPorta manager would be willing to move the rookie and a second-round pick to get the lottery ticket on Pitts? You could also kick the tires on another rookie in Buffalo Bills TE Dalton Kincaid.
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For win-now managers trying to acquire youth, Evan Engram could be of interest. In a year and two weeks with the Jaguars, Engram has totaled over 80 receptions, 870 yards, and four touchdowns. In a high-powered offense in Jacksonville, Engram is involved and able to consistently score for his fantasy managers.
Putting tight ends completely aside, here are a few players around Pitts’ value that I’d be willing to move the tight end for in a straight-up deal:
- Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
- New England Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson
- Green Bay Packers WR Christian Watson
- Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.
Right now, I have concerns that Pitts’ value will continue to diminish unless the Falcons’ philosophy changes significantly. Moving Pitts and getting good value now might feel like you are selling low, but by the end of this season — or in 2024 — it could feel like a steal.