Fantasy Football: Grab the Kyle Pitts draft discount while you still can

Kyle Pitts has left the fantasy football community wondering “What If?” for some time. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

There’s a lot of fantasy excitement tied to the 2024 Atlanta Falcons. New quarterback. New coaching staff. Young feature back, young No. 1 receiver. Easy schedule, too. This looks like it could easily be a destination offense for fantasy, a fun place to park our investments.

So why isn’t Kyle Pitts invited to the party? He’s the fantasy afterthought, lost in the shuffle.

I get that Pitts has been a mild fantasy disappointment in his last two seasons. After that smashing rookie year of 2021, when he posted the second-most yards from a first-year tight end, he’s been the TE33 (missing seven games) and the TE13 the last two seasons. He obviously didn’t return on his ADP in those frustrating campaigns. He’s only scored six touchdowns in three years, and last year his yards per target sunk to 7.4.

There are plausible explanations, of course. Departed head coach Arthur Smith seemed over his head running the Falcons offense. Desmond Ridder was one of the worst quarterbacks in the league (backup Taylor Heinicke wasn’t any better). And Pitts dealt with a knee injury for most of the year, in addition to a hamstring injury in October. He wasn’t healthy, and neither was the Falcons offense.

It’s important to remember Pitts is still just 23 (he turns 24 in early October) and he was the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — the earliest tight-end selection of all time. Career arc and pedigree, they’re all on his side. And the jump from Ridder and friends to Kirk Cousins is a monumental one.

Cousins has been well over the league average for quarterback rating the last nine seasons, and last year all of his efficiency metrics were well above the league mean. He’s still a right answer, a plus quarterback, entering his age-36 season.

New offensive coordinator Zac Robinson comes from the Sean McVay tree — Robinson has handled several offensive jobs with the Rams over the last five years. There’s obvious reason for optimism there.

And maybe I’ve buried some of the lede — the draft price on Pitts is shockingly affordable as we meander toward the teeth of draft season. While Bijan Robinson is still a first-round pick in most leagues and Drake London‘s year-over-year ADP has risen in the wake of Atlanta’s improvements, the Pitts market has not budged. He was a sixth-round pick in global ADP last year, and that’s where you’ll find him this year.

Sure, that ADP could quickly correct over the summer. Bloom and Scott Barrett are two well-respected fantasy pundits who could sway the market. I suggest you grab this Pitts discount while you can. It’s still possible he’s going to the moon, just like most of us expected a year or two ago.

Pitts is already a foundation player in my early portfolio. And I’m not backing off if the market is going to give this stuff away. Pitts is currently the TE7 in Yahoo drafts, with an average selection of 65.1. Keep pressing that draft button.

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