It’s rare to find a useful player on the waiver wire so late in the season, but it just so happens there’s one who suddenly became relevant and valuable today. Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was activated from short-term injured reserve this afternoon after missing the entire season recovering from a hip injury.
Pitta ascended into fantasy relevance last season after becoming a safety valve for Joe Flacco. He finished the year with a respectable line of 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns, making him a solid TE2. His role was expected to grow this season after the Ravens let Anquan Boldin walk in the summer and didn’t make any serious attempt to find a replacement.
Boldin and Pitta were the only two real possession receivers on the offense, with the rest of the crew specializing in deep plays. Pitta will now step in as Flacco’s best option in the short to mid-range passing game, allowing guys like Torrey Smith to head downfield more.
He can’t be thrust into lineups immediately because he’ll surely be on a snap-count this week as the team tries to ease him back into game action. Still, he’s been practicing since November 20 and it won’t be long at all before he’s contributing. There’s also nothing scary about his schedule over the next few weeks, which you may recall are the be-all and end-all of the fantasy season.
After this week, he’s got matchups with the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots, and neither have been particularly good against the pass in recent performances. Pitta is certainly worth an add for anyone in need of some tight end help. Again, he can’t be trusted this week, but he could definitely be an asset for the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.