Dennis Pitta reestablishes fantasy value with touchdown in season debut

Patrick Smith

In his first game of the 2013 season, the Baltimore Ravens tight end was a favorite target for quarterback Joe Flacco. We break down the fantasy implications.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta gave the team's receiving game a much-needed shot in the arm with his season debut on Sunday. Pitta had been sidelined for all of the Ravens' games prior to Week 14's barnburner with the Minnesota Vikings due to a torn labrum in his hip.

Pitta displayed visible rust after missing so much game action, but he also displayed flashes of his 2012 form. His two biggest plays included a diving catch to move the chains and a go-ahead touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter. Pitta finished the afternoon with six catches for 48 yards and the score, while leading the team with 11 targets.

Fantasy Spin: Not only will Pitta's presence open things up for other Ravens receivers, but it will give some stability to the tight end position for fantasy owners as well. With so much uncertainty and variance from all but a handful of tight ends, fantasy owners will get a boost from a player who could emerge as Joe Flacco's favorite target down the stretch.

Pitta had 93 targets a season ago, and with Anquan Boldin out of the picture, he could have his number called more frequently. With an impressive debut that showed his injury is behind him, Pitta is firmly entrenched in TE1 territory next week versus the Detroit Lions secondary.

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