If the Detroit Lions proved anything in 2011, it was they’re capable of containing one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL–mainly because of having one of the league’s top duos in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. With the fantasy football 2012 season right around the corner, owners will heavily rely on Stafford and Johnson once again, but there’s another member of the Lions they may want to keep an eye on–Brandon Pettigrew.
Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Pettigrew has been the type of tight end that seems to get better and better each season he plays. Last season, Pettigrew caught 83 passes for 777 yards to go along with five touchdowns–which is why he ranks No. 10 on this list heading into 2012.
From a fantasy perspective, it’s always helpful to have an effective pass-catching tight end that owners can rely on each week and Pettigrew has the perfect opportunity to be considered one of those players. Just like other tight ends on this list, Pettigrew should be able to take advantage of opposing defenses focusing most of their attention on where Johnson is on the field and receive more passes thrown his way from Stafford–which could mean big numbers for fantasy owners.
With the rate he’s going, Pettigrew could be in for his biggest season yet with Detroit if he manages to stay healthy and start all 16 games for the third-straight season. Of course, the main factor could be whether or not Stafford stays healthy–so fantasy owners will have to keep that in mind as well.
Either way, Pettigrew should be considered a mid-to-late round pick in all fantasy leagues.