The Overlooked Tight End on the Pass Happy Offense

brandonpettigrew

What if I told you that there was a 4th year, 6’6 tight end available on the NFL’s most prolific pass offense, who received over 100 targets last year, had little to no established competition outside of the game’s most dynamic receiver, was in a contract year and was available at the end of the 13th round as TE21? (all ADPs from Fantasy Football Calculator PPR drafts) Any interest? What if I told you his name was Brandon Pettigrew? Wait… where are you going? Come back!

Well, I had your attention for a second. Allow me to make a brief case to reconsider Mr. Pettigrew. First, the similarity scores app doesn’t hate him. In fact, he compares nicely to some other higher round TEs. Here’s Pettigrew’s projections:

Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 4.1 5.7 7
Median 5.6 7.5 9.3
High 6.4 8.3 10.7

 

By comparison here’s TE6, Dennis Pitta:

Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 5.1 6.5 8
Median 6 7.9 9.9
High 6.9 8.7 10.9

 

Here’s TE4, Vernon Davis:

Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 4 5.3 6.3
Median 4.7 5.9 7
High 5.4 6.8 8

 

Here’s TE7, Kyle Rudolph:

Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 3.3 4.3 5.3
Median 4.4 5.8 7.2
High 5.6 7.2 9.1

 

Granted, the app doesn’t know about changes in situations (i.e., Michael Crabtree being injured, Anquan Boldin leaving Baltimore for the 49ers, Christian Ponder’s incredible leap forward to become a merely adequate QB [maybe]), but nonetheless, those are remarkably similar numbers. The biggest difference is that Davis requires a 5th round pick, Pitta requires a 6th round pick, and Rudolph requires a 7th round pick, whereas Pettigrew is available as the last pick in the 13th round.

Using Rotoviz’s Filtered Receiver Stats App, we see that Pettigrew has posted some healthy, if not spectacular numbers over the course of his career that compare well to the other TEs compared above:

Name

G

TRGs

T/G

Y/G

TD/G

Y/R

Y/T

TD%

Vernon Davis

106

588

5.5

46.2

0.42

13.3

8.3

0.08

Brandon Pettigrew

56

399

7.1

44

0.25

9.9

6.2

0.04

Dennis Pitta

39

186

4.8

33.5

0.36

10.6

7

0.08

Kyle Rudolph

31

135

4.4

25.3

0.39

9.6

5.8

0.09

 

At the end of the day, Pettigrew is being judged based on last year’s stats, where he had the league’s third-highest drop rate among tight ends (13.2 percent, nine drops on 68 catchable passes, according to ProFootballFocus.com) and was held to 59 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns.

In Pettigrew’s contract year, I expect him to return to numbers similar to his 2010 and 2011 season, where he averaged 77 receptions for nearly 750 yards and 4.5 TDs. That, my friends, is a steal at the end of the 13th round.

But don’t take my word for it: play around with RotoViz’s Snake Draft Planner. You’ll quickly note, as did godfather of fantasy football strategy Shawn Siegele that Pettigrew (who Shawn terms “a slow, stone-handed reality player who just happens to play in the NFL’s most pass-happy offense [and who] finished second at the position in targets when he was healthy in 2011”) is almost always suggested by the app if you don’t get Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez or Greg Olsen.

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