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Why Kyle Pitts will bounce back in 2023.


Why Kyle Pitts will bounce back in 2023.

The star TE had a forgettable 2022 season but is a bounce back imminent?

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In the volatile world of fantasy NFL tight ends, few have made an entrance as explosive as Kyle Pitts. Even before his first game, Pitts was already being hyped as the next standout fantasy TE. But after a less than spectacular second season, many have begun to question whether his rookie performance was merely an anomaly. It's time to dispel those doubts. Let's discuss why Kyle Pitts is on the verge of a comeback in the upcoming season.

The Rise

Pitts' rookie season was nothing short of promising. Surpassing 1000 receiving yards and showcasing elite pass-catching prowess, he quickly became a hot topic in the fantasy world. With memorable performances, like a stunning 9-reception, 119-yard game against the Jets, Pitts proved that he was a force to be reckoned with. In his rookie season, Pitts accumulated 177 PPR fantasy points, 68 receptions, 1,026 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown.

The Fall

However, Pitts' trajectory took an unexpected downturn during his second year. Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan was replaced with Marcus Mariota, and the Falcons opted for a more run-heavy strategy, with 55% of their snaps being rushing plays. As a result, Pitts saw a decrease in receptions and yards. In his second season, Pitts accumulated only 76 PPR fantasy points, with 28 receptions, 356 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns across ten games. This left fans and analysts puzzled. Was the next great TE losing his shine?

The answer isn't as straightforward as a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Pitts' decline can be attributed to several factors: injuries, changes in the team's offensive structure, and an underwhelming QB situation in Atlanta. Collectively, these factors contributed to his subpar sophomore season.

Saquan Barkley

The Resurgence

Pitts suffered a knee injury late in his second year which effectively ended his season. Despite declining numbers leading up to this, the air yards were there, even outpacing his rookie year. For comparison, Pitts had 1,026 receiving yards and 1,188 air yards in 2021, versus 356 receiving yards and 816 air yards in 2022. This discrepancy between years 1 and 2 is fascinating.

The Falcons bid farewell to Matt Ryan and named Marcus Mariota as the starting QB for the 2022 season. Despite his age, Ryan was a far more skilled QB than Mariota, which became evident in their play. A comparison of the air yards and receiving yards between 2021 and 2022 illustrates this. If Pitts had played the whole season, he would have been on pace for 1,377 air yards, and if he could convert 86% of those air yards (like in 2021) to receiving yards, that puts him at a potential 1,184 yards for the season.

It's crucial to remember that Pitts is an exceptional talent. His physicality, speed, and catching ability have not vanished overnight.

Looking ahead, Desmond Riddler will be the starting QB for the Falcons in 2023, and I believe he will outperform Mariota in passing. Honestly, it can’t get much worse.


So, is a bounce back for Kyle Pitts in the cards? While there's no absolute certainty in football, the signs point towards a positive outcome. One thing is clear: underestimating Kyle Pitts might be a big mistake.

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