If you planned on drafting Dennis Pitta in your 2014 fantasy football draft, Owen Daniels may have changed your mind.
The Baltimore Ravens signed tight end Daniels to a one-year deal, and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak could not be happier. Kubiak coached Daniels for several seasons with the Houston Texans, and the new offensive coordinator for the Ravens is a huge fan of using multiple tight ends in his game plans. While 31-year-old Daniels is closing out his career, he can still provide Joe Flacco with a huge target in the end zone.
Pitta was not considered a fantasy super star in 2012, but he still finished the season as the seventh highest-scoring tight end. He had decent yardage with 669 receiving yards, but his main value came from his seven touchdown catches. Pitta was only able to play in four games in the 2013 season because of an injury, and the fantasy community was never able to find out if Pitta was going to improve on his numbers from 2012.
Now that he is healthy and has a shiny new contract, Pitta was being predicted as a top-five tight end for the 2014 season. With the signing of Daniels, however, fantasy owners are wondering if that is still the case.
It is impossible to predict how Kubiak will use both of his tight ends, but Pitta should not see a decrease in his workload because of Daniels. Pitta may lose a touchdown catch or two, but he will remain heavily targeted by Flacco. The receptions and receiving totals should still remain high for Pitta, and even Daniels will have a fantasy impact on certain weeks.
Under Kubiak’s old regime in 2013, tight end Garret Graham had 545 receiving yards with five touchdowns, Daniels totaled 252 receiving yards with three touchdowns, and rookie tight end Ryan Griffin accumulated 244 receiving yards and one touchdown catch. These numbers clearly show that multiple tight ends can be successful under Kubiak, and with Pitta and Daniels as the main tight ends for the Ravens, a great season can be had by both.
While Pitta is clearly the tight end to own in Baltimore, Daniels should be able to contribute without cutting into the value of his new teammate. If you planned to draft Pitta in 2014, don’t change it because of Daniels.