Kyle Pitts
Is Kyle Pitts in line for a huge fantasy season as a rookie? Pitts is a freak but history is certainly not on his side. (Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Is Kyle Pitts In Line For A Huge Fantasy Season As A Rookie?

For those who have read the site in the past, it’s no secret how much I love Kyle Pitts. I think it’s very, very possible he goes down as the best tight end to ever do it. However, the truth of the matter is, it MIGHT not happen right away. The track record of the tight end position is that it usually takes rookies time to adjust to the NFL level.

Kyle Pitts is amazing but for fantasy owners, you have to project how valuable he will be as a rookie. What better way to do so than by analyzing how other first round tight ends performed during their rookie season.

  • Noah Fant: 40 receptions, 562 yards, three touchdowns.
  • TJ Hockenson: 32 receptions, 367 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Hayden Hurst: 13 receptions, 163 yards, one touchdown.
  • David Njoku: 32 receptions, 386 yards, four touchdowns.
  • Evan Engram: 64 receptions, 722 yards, six touchdowns.
  • OJ Howard: 26 receptions, 432 yards, six touchdowns.
  • Eric Ebron: 25 receptions, 248 yards, one touchdown.
  • Tyler Eifert: 39 receptions, 445 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Jermaine Gresham: 52 receptions, 471 yards, four touchdowns.
  • Brandon Pettigrew: 30 receptions, 346 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Dustin Keller: 48 receptions, 535 yards, three touchdowns.
  • Greg Olsen: 39 receptions, 391 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Vernon Davis: 20 receptions, 265 yards, three touchdowns.
  • Heath Miller: 39 receptions, 459 yards, six touchdowns.

Obviously, a lot of those names never belonged in the first place. Still, the list is eye jarring. Outside of Evan Engram, I’m not sure any of those stat lines are even rosterable in fantasy. Pitts is a different beast and more talented than all of them. It’s just important to note rookie tight ends have not blown the doors off right away.

There’s also a lot of mouths to feed here. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley are getting their targets one way or another. Hayden Hurst stinks but he’s still on the roster. We also have a coaching change here. If the Falcons defense is more respectable than a year ago (unconfirmed) that’s even fewer opportunities for Pitts.

What you’re banking on here is that Pitts is just an outlier (which he is). That the Florida product is more than just a tight end (also true). Arthur Smith also is a tight end coach by trade. You can bet your ass he’s going to want to get him involved.

Kyle Pitts is going to be a great player. It’s a matter of whether it translates to fantasy success right away. I would feel comfortable counting on Pitts as a rookie but it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to have an alternative in place just in case.

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