The first Saturday of training camp was a dismal one for fantasy football owners, with season-ending injuries taking a couple of recognizable players out of the mix. One of the players to go down was Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, who suffered a dislocated and fractured hip in an end zone collision and immediately underwent surgery.
Pitta had 61 receptions for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, and he was expected to have an even bigger role in the Ravens’ passing game with the team trading wide receiver Anquan Boldin during the offseason. Ed Dickson is now in line to take Pitta’s place as Baltimore’s No. 1 tight end, but should fantasy owners have him on their radar? Let’s take a closer look.
Dickson had 54 receptions (on 89 targets) for 528 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, compared to Pitta’s 40 catches for 405 yards and three touchdowns that season. But he was hampered by injuries last season, most notably shoulder and knee issues, wound up ceding opportunities to Pitta and wound up with just 21 receptions for 225 yards without a touchdown in 13 games played.
The Ravens may now look to add a pass catcher or two, and reports of their possible interest in some available wide receivers or tight ends are sure to surface in the coming days. Right now wide receiver Torrey Smith and Dickson look like the clear-cut top two targets for quarterback Joe Flacco, and I don’t see anyone Baltimore winds up adding (if anyone) altering that in a significant way.
Dickson’s fantasy stock is obviously on the rise, but he does not immediately become a top tier option with Pitta out. However, he is draftable as a TE2 in 12-and 14-team leagues now and I think he has better upside than others that are likely to be ranked similarly.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.