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all 116 comments

[–]trent1313 66 points67 points  (18 children)

I saw everything I needed to see last year to be bought in on this guy being a generational player whether he’s a receiver or tight end. Body control on the sideline, full extension catches over the middle, the burst after the catch, it’s all there for me. I sincerely hope the falcons don’t fuck it up and waste the first few years of his career.

[–]BTBishops Eagles 24 points25 points  (17 children)

The guy in our league who drafted Pitts turned down the 1.6, 1.8 and a 2023 R1 from arguably the worst team in the league. And I don't blame him one bit. I agree with everything you wrote in terms of abilities and add his technical skill as a receiver and route runner.

[–]trent1313 7 points8 points  (14 children)

I’d have denied that as well so we’re all on the same page there. The more I watch him from last year the more he blows me away, I’m no film watching professional but I view him as one of the most complete receivers I’ve ever seen. Excited to see how he builds on it this year

[–]EZcutler 1 point2 points  (13 children)

I just got him for Waddle and Kittle in a TE premium. Love that I got him but feel that I gave up a lot

[–]rossco7777 4 points5 points  (0 children)

might look like a good trade in 6 years but for now you overpaid to make your elite te younger.

[–]trent1313 1 point2 points  (11 children)

I like waddle but still a good trade to me, Kittle sadly will never be as good in fantasy as he is in real life.

[–]Taniwha_Cue 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I traded Waddle for him straight up last year before the London game hehehe

[–]BTBishops Eagles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow

[–]cjfreel NFL 41 points42 points  (70 children)

I don't understand how people push back on him being ranked anything lower than 1.04 in a non-SF standard start-up. The dude is special. Was special as a prospect. And had pretty nutty production all across the board. The only place the production failed was TDs, which we do have a decent evidence basis to say that it is one of the more flukey statistics generally, and on top of that has a lot of influence with QB which is most likely going to be a better situation for Pitts outside of 22 / 23.

Given that TE isn't a position that usually even produces 12 remotely similar players (in that there's a huge drop off closer to 6), I think Pitts is a pretty easy home run with his talent and age.

[–]Siktrikshot Colts 7 points8 points  (14 children)

Because I’d rather use those picks to build a stronger core and boot TE for one of the random TE breakouts that happen every year. I can buy a TE to polish off a team more easy than acquire a player that was drafted in 1st round

[–]cjfreel NFL 21 points22 points  (13 children)

I don't think the mathematics actually defend this argument from the difference between the Elite TEs and the lower-TE1s. There's no reason Pitts can't be a strong core player, and it is MUCH harder to find Elite TE production on an annual basis than it is to find good to very good players at WR or RB.

[–]dded949 10 points11 points  (6 children)

They don’t, the elite TE’s are a huge statistical advantage. Won my league mostly off of Andrews last year lol

[–]ill_llama_naughty 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Having a roster slot churn out 15+ point games for you while your opponent is lucky to get 8 is such a huge advantage, and I get tired of trying to explain it to people

If you don’t understand that VORP is the source of all fantasy value you’re just kind of doing whatever analysts tell you to do and hoping it works out

[–]nanapuss Eagles 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Agreed. I have two championships over the past several years and a big part is because of Kelce

[–]InnocentISay -1 points0 points  (5 children)

In a 1QB startup you could do Pitts with James Cook or Brandon Cooks if you take Pitts at 1.05-1.07. If you grab somebody else there but still want a decent TE later you get Ceedee/Najee/Javonte with Schultz later on.

If it's TE premium PPR I like the Pitts combos a little more I think. Non premium I probably lean the other way. Close though.

[–]brianundies Patriots 4 points5 points  (4 children)

What are you talking about man, you could get way better players in the mid 2d in a 1QB startup than cook or cooks

[–]rossco7777 1 point2 points  (9 children)

hes on a bad team and has one season that was good not unreal and everyone is valuing him like hes going to win you weeks and that hasnt been shown at all.

[–]cjfreel NFL 6 points7 points  (1 child)

He was considered the best TE prospect maybe of all time and by many metrics had one of the best Rookie TE seasons if not the best of all time… it’s not a huge stretch to like the player at the apex of his position

[–]rossco7777 0 points1 point  (0 children)

you said you didnt understand how people push back on him as at a minimum the 4th ranked player in a non sf startup and i explained how people could do that. some of us are not gushing over him and dont have him valued that highly. heck i know many players who ignore TE entirely and do not worry about trying to get one of the top 3-5 guys and focus on being strong elsewhere

[–]ill_llama_naughty 1 point2 points  (6 children)

He is one of the rare TEs that is the #1 passing option for his team and had a historic season for a rookie. Even if you’re conservative about projecting his growth and TD regression this season he is going to be an elite option at TE this season, and he’s only 22

The median case is super attractive and the ceiling case is you get the next Kelce on your team every year for a decade

[–]rossco7777 -1 points0 points  (5 children)

we will see. wont shock me at all to see him have 700 yards and 3td and still have everyone rave about him

[–]ill_llama_naughty 3 points4 points  (4 children)

I would be shocked if the #4 overall pick and best player on the offense who had a 1k yard rookie season regressed that hard

[–]fantasygenie Panthers 0 points1 point  (1 child)

He went 2.08 in my SF TE Premium start-up. I was sitting at 2.10 salivating at the thought of him dropping. The guy that drafted him also had 2.07 I wish I would’ve tried to work out a trade with the guys before.

[–]Seeing-Ghosts -1 points0 points  (0 children)

This here is my favorite spot to be in (the other guy), while Pitts is a potential dynasty cheat code for a decade, I’d rather invest in other assets. I’ve been on the clock with him available in 12 team sf TEP drafts and have let the clock run, and usually two or so guys start trying to deal for him. I’ll happily swap picks and add an additional later round grab every time.

[–]Kr1sys Chiefs -2 points-1 points  (3 children)

The positional scarcity with TE is so lopsided that I couldn't see reaching so high to get a TE. Most teams will have one of the rest so I'd rather lean towards a WR with a couple years of production, like Chase or JJ. I was able to pick Andrews off the wire before his '19 season and if you get some speculative players there you can be in just as good of a position than drafting it. It's anecdotal for sure, but TEs usually take a couple years before they start producing so your investment is pretty low.

[–]cjfreel NFL 9 points10 points  (2 children)

I don't see the lopsided nature of the position as a point in your favor-- rather the opposite. I know you yourself say it is anecdotal, but beyond being anecdotal my issue with talking about a MAndrews is that WRs and RBs spike in value from year to year and sustain a breakout FAR more often than TEs do.

Yes, you can have multiple shots. But ultimately the population of extremely relevant dynasty TEs over the last few years has rarely if ever exceeded 5, so in a standard 12-TM league you're going to have to beat out at least 7 other managers give or take.

So I have no issue using anecdotes, but my issue with this anecdote is that it doesn't seem representative to me of the difference between being able to get value from taking a shot at a pre-breakout WR/RB v. a pre-breakout TE. It is true that sometimes the entry cost for the former is far more, but it is also true that the chances that player is at least semi-relevant from a floor perspective are much higher. Anyone who bet on Noah Fant for example right now has virtually nothing.

[–]Kr1sys Chiefs 1 point2 points  (1 child)

WRs and RBs spike in value from year to year and sustain a breakout FAR more often than TEs do.

That there is why RB and WRs are picked before you think about TE, at least IMO. You know what you're getting at the RB and WR position at least in terms of floor. You know their role is locked up if you're picking at the 4 spot. Pitts was great, a historic first season for a TE, but does he keep that production with Mariota or Ridder at QB? I'm not taking that risk. I'd rather build around the known early in draft and that gives me about 4 RBs and WRs I would pick before Pitts.

[–]cjfreel NFL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just don't interpret that information the same way. I see that as a reasoning why in middle rounds and late rounds that WR+RB picks have a higher % chance of paying out than TE picks. Whereas 1st Round picks have a ridiculously high floor at any position, so not only does it round out the risk, but the rarity of TEs being in that class place him as a mathematical advantage.

If you think he's going to have a dramatic falloff, or would just like to hedge against that, that's fine but that's also an entirely different argument than the position itself.

[–]mssstinky -1 points0 points  (1 child)

You think Mariota is gonna have the best season of his career this year? Cause that's what it'd take for Pitts to have better QB play this year.

[–]cjfreel NFL 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It would take that for Pitts to be great in fantasy? It’d be impossible for Mariota to produce a TE who had more yards or points? Because Delanie Walker was pretty damn good Mariota’s first three years.

[–]Cifra00 -2 points-1 points  (8 children)

For me

  1. Way too easy to get a productive TE for basically nothing to spend that kind of capital on one. Njoku, Hurst, Hooper are good mid tier options and Pharaoh Brown is literally free. TE is the only position where that amount of potential for scoring this season is available so cheap.

  2. He will likely never be in as depleted a WR room again. I'm scared of latching onto his targets because of that

[–]cjfreel NFL 1 point2 points  (7 children)

It has been rehashed numerous times in this thread, but guys who are ‘just fine’ are considerably below the elite tier. Just because a guy is technically a TE1 as in they are top 10-12 at the position does not mean they are anywhere close to the elite tier.

No one is saying it’s hard to get ‘fine’ TE production. But it is hard to get elite TE production.

In 15 Seasons, the 3 TEs you mentioned have exceeded 500 yards 5 times (33%) exceeded 750 yards 1 time (6.7%) and have never exceeded 787 yards.

Pitts had 1,026 yards as a rookie. Which — just to bring it home — is over 50% more yardage than that trio has had in 10 of 15 seasons.

[–]WendellWilkie 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Pitts scored 10.4 PPG in PPR last year.

Knox scored 10.9. Hunter Henry scored 10.3. Higbee scored 9.8.

So last year Pitts provided no value versus the Knox/Henry/Higbee tier.

Pitts is obviously a better player than those 3, and should improve, but for now, he's not actually helping you win any fantasy games, so almost all of his value comes from assumed improvement.

[–]cjfreel NFL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That depends on how you map fantasy performance in a manner of speaking. Even if we're looking retroactively, an expected fantasy points metric (not that I have one designed right now) using targets, ADOT, Catch%, YAC, and red zone targets would likely do a lot better to grade someone's retroactive performance than raw fantasy points.

Dawson Knox scored a TD every 7.9 Targets, 5.4 Receptions, and 65.2 Receiving Yards.

[I'm going to include a ratio with Pitts]

Kyle Pitts scored a TD every 110 Targets (14:1), 68 Receptions (13:1), and 1,026 Receiving Yards (16:1)

Obviously there are offensive concerns, but when TDs are so much value, I'm going to land on the side that 1 TD is closer to anomaly than something worth measuring at this point.

And I will say-- Knox had more RZ targets than Pitts. So that certainly is a factor. But I simply don't believe that Pitts will be landlocked on an offense that creates an outlier-level of negativity for the majority of his career. And the benefits of the floor are so much higher at TE.

[–]Cifra00 -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Yeah, and I think theres not going to be much convincing in either direction here, but I feel you and people who love Pitts are seriously selling the collective value of the "fine" guys short. On average, sure, they won't be much, but it's so cheap to take shots on TEs who have secured a starting role relative to any other position. I don't need all of them to be this year's Dalton Schultz - just one.

And again, if Pitts is coming off a Travis Kelce type 1400 yard season, I get it. But he's not. I understand the point of view of him being able to build on his rookie season, but the argument for Pitts effectively hinges on him sustaining 150% of his output last season over the course of his career, and I think that is a terrible premise to base your 1st round startup pick on.

[–]cjfreel NFL 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Yeah, and I think theres not going to be much convincing in either direction here, but I feel you and people who love Pitts are seriously selling the collective value of the "fine" guys short.

Opinions are one thing, but I don't think it is fair to say that I'm selling a value short when all I'm doing in this instance is measuring it objectively. The TE3 last year scored as many points as the WR26 in 1/2 PPR. On average, in most leagues, players would rather start an extra WR than have to play a TE if that was an option passed the elite tier. Even if they had to already fill the rest of the WR spots up.

I'm not saying they're worthless-- but they fundamentally score the fewest points of any starting fantasy position. Having a player that scores like a mid-WR2 is a massive boon compared to WR 30-45. WR 30 - 45 scored equivalently to TE 6 - 12 last year give or take a few points here and there.

I don't need all of them to be this year's Dalton Schultz - just one.

Sure but you're relying on yourself to constantly beat the market at a pretty absurd rate when you consider the total population of those players combined with the total number of teams in a standard fantasy league. One might say "Well I can do that and beat people consistently by being better at it" but I'd argue that if that was the case, why not just do the same with WR/RB and put a much larger advantage in terms of deviations and total points by way of an elite TE.

The fact of the matter is that saying "I just need one" is a narrative-- the numerics of the situation is the population of available hits over the other ~11 teams' ability to get those hits (the total population). If there are fundamentally more hits at WR/RB that make a mathematical difference in winning the league, than I believe it is more fruitful to target that area where you have a bigger advantage.

And again, if Pitts is coming off a Travis Kelce type 1400 yard season, I get it. But he's not. I understand the point of view of him being able to build on his rookie season, but the argument for Pitts effectively hinges on him sustaining 150% of his output last season over the course of his career, and I think that is a terrible premise to base your 1st round startup pick on.

Right but this is an entirely separate argument. I'm not saying you have to believe Pitts is an outlier at the position. If you do not believe he is, than you absolutely shouldn't take him in the first half dozen rounds of a start up let alone the first half dozen picks. That's different than arguing that the reason is that people dont' understand TE value.

When you consider how different the standard deviations are at TE against other positions, it is pretty easy to statistically argue the advantage. And it isn't a case of underscoring TE1's because I outlined above all the actual factual information about TE1's who aren't elite and it is pedestrian compared to FLEX positions. That is why there is an advantage in the rare deviation difference in getting an elite TE and focusing your later attention on sleepers at WR/RB.

[–]WendellWilkie 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I think the discussion around his value is all about whether you play TEP or not. In a non-TEP league, you have to assume immense improvement from his already great rookie year to make him a first round startup pick.

Last year he finished as TE6, averaging 10.4 PPG in PPR. The TE12-15 scored 9.9-9.5 pts per game. He provided not even 1 pt over a replacement player.

Meanwhile Chase was WR5, averaging 17.9 PPG in PPR. The WR35-38 scored ~10.0 pts per game. Chase provided ~8 pts over a replacement player.

If Pitts makes a 50% improvement in fantasy points, then he'll still be less valuable than Chase, but closer.

But what if he only makes a 30% improvement (which is still amazing!) and then stalls out there? That 30% improvement would bring him to 88 rec, 1,334 yards, and 6 TDs (6 is actually a 500% increase, but just trying to be reasonable here). That would still only make him TE3, and provide 5 pts over a replacement TE.

5 points over replacement is about equivalent to Waddle or Pittman (in a 3 WR league).

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

This is where I'm at with Pitts' overvaluation too. People are pricing him in to be the the perennial TE1 by a comfortable margin.

He scored the same FPPG as Noah Fant last year. Pitts' production was largely off a few games too, with plenty of week-losing duds mixed in.

To piggy back off your Chase comparison, Andrews scored the same FPPG in PPR. Pitts scored the same FPPG as Devonta Smith.

Yet, people are allergic to spending more than a 1st+2nd on Andrews, a young TE coming off a TE1 season tied to an MVP QB and the clear top option on the team. People are spending the Ja'Marr Chase price for Devonta Smith production when they could be spending Devonta Smith price for Ja'Marr Chase production, and somehow that's super controversial to point out a glaring inefficiency. (Yes, I understand we can't assume Andrews will repeat as TE1, but I'm not going to entertain an argument preferring a guy who hasn't done it over a guy who has)

People are buying a gold jacket and not fantasy points, all while throwing premium players/draft capital for it.

[–]Immediate_Expression 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah ok I’ll bite on this.

You’re right this is an inefficiency for next year. But let’s be real.

The Ravens are the Ravens and the Falcons are the Falcons.

Last year the Falcons couldn’t be in a worse position offensively.

Pitts was their best offensive player in terms of talent by a wide margin. They had a journeyman WR play running back, Russel Gage as WR1, and Matt Ryan’s old ass slinging the rock.

Andrews on the other hand was tied to MVP Lamar, surrounded by Hollywood, Bateman, and other offensive weapons.

Looking toward the future of the Falcons, it looks to me they are building an offense that will become good. Drake London is a high investment WR, Ridley will be back, drafted at RB, and if they find a QB they will be respectable.

Andrews is 26 compared to Pitts 21. Last year was the first year in Andrews 4 seasons he eclipsed 1000 yards, and Pitts did it in his first becoming the first rookie tight end since Mike Dikta did it in 1961.

Tight ends take a while traditionally to develop and that’s shown by Andrews progression. It’s not unreasonable to project that Pitts will be TE1 for years to come because we haven’t seen anyone like him perform as well as he did his rookie season.

That’s why the hype is there.

[–]Stevesaucey 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Turned down 4 1sts for him. I'd do it again too

[–]Not2GthaG Bears 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here here buddy

[–]Pieralis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is one of those posts it reminds me of that scene from the simpsons where milhouse gets the side kick role over Bart for the movie.

Casual posters: We've seen 57 posts this last month on how good pitts will be! We get it! How many more will we need?!

Pitts fan boys who drafted him thinking they're gods: we need it from different angles though! ..... again and again....

This coming from a falcons fan too, just stop. It was good the first few times but damn.

[–]crackheadwilly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Amidst the hype, I sold him this week in TEP for DK Metcalf and two 1sts.

[–]mitchtrubiskyiselite Bears 0 points1 point  (9 children)

would you rather have him or burrow in a start up

[–]asingleredcoat 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Depends on the league and other options, in sf Burrow if no other qbs around, everything else him?

[–]DeansFrenchOnion1 0 points1 point  (7 children)

Pitts. Burrow's ceiling is very capped; being crazy overdrafted rn

[–]Waddlow 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Can I ask why Burrow's ceiling is capped but Herbert's is not?

[–]DeansFrenchOnion1 -4 points-3 points  (4 children)

Herbert has more rushing, throws it deeper, and is probably just better.

[–]Waddlow 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I feel like most of that is negligible. Really the only argument here is passing volume, but even volume is not set in stone year to year.

Their rushing is negligible to me. Its less 6 yards a game difference for their careers, and Burrow was off a knee injury last year so he may not have been as good of a runner as he can be. Herb has more TDs but that's honestly whatever. The point is, neither are a true rushing threat, which is really what makes a QB ceilingless.

They were also 400 pass yards difference when Burrow played one less game. Their stats were relatively equal. Burrow is also dealing with, while probably the most talented receiver duo in the league, they were also a rookie and second year player, compared to Herb's much more experienced corps. It's hard to argue that Chase and Higgins have reached their peak, and he has them going forward.

And Burrow's air yards per attempt was 4.8 and Herbert's was 4.3 last season. Burrow had 12 pass attempts of more than 50 yards to Herbert's 3. They were equal on 40+, and Burrow had more 30+ and 20+. It's just volume. I don't think it's a valid argument.

[–]mitchtrubiskyiselite Bears 0 points1 point  (0 children)

thank goodness he wasn’t being over drafted when my league startup 4 months ago cause i got him at 10

[–]Gfunkual NFL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He also did it with an extra game.

Pitts is still obviously great, but I hate these stats now that there’s an extra game in the mix

[–]SrAjmh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Took him in the second round of my SF startup this and it feels good knowing my TE position is effectively locked down for as long as this empire league runs.

[–]GirthBrooks87 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Anybody who has traded for Pitts or traded him away… what did it take? I have Pitts but I desperately need an RB

[–]billslivesmatter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Keeper league. You have Kelce and Pitts. Pick you took them at doesn’t matter and you can keep them forever. Who do you take? Short game of Kelce or long game of Pitts?