Can Brandon Pettigrew Rebound in 2013?
Brandon Pettigrew has been one of the staples of the passing attack for the Detroit Lions since coming into the league in 2009. Having the prototypical body type of a wide receiver, it isn’t a surprise that he can be very active in the offense. Pettigrew has proven that when healthy, he is very productive. Case in point, in the 2010 season Pettigrew ranked third among tight ends with 71 receptions and finished 7th among TEs with 722 receiving yards. With the league becoming more pass oriented, much hype was built around Pettigrew. Tight ends are being used in passing schemes more than in the past. How and why did his numbers fall off last year and can he rebound to become an asset to your fantasy team in 2013?
There are two major positive factors to help support a Brandon Pettigrew rebound in 2013. The first is the sheer number of passing attempts by Matthew Stafford. Stafford has lead the league in passing attempts over the past two seasons with a whopping total of 1,390. This means that by pure volume alone, Pettigrew will see plenty of routes and opportunities coming his way. The second thing that could help Pettigrew is the lackluster depth the Lions have at the wide receiver position. Besides the phenom that is Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, the Lions are void of true play makers. Veteran Nate Burleson will most likely start opposite Megatron, but after that it’s just a list of hopefuls. Names like Ryan Broyles, Mike Thomas and Corey Fuller have all yet to prove they have any fantasy football value. Meanwhile, Pettigrew put up great numbers in 2010 and 2011 and makes him a proven commodity for the Lions.
Things working against Pettigrew include the ability to hang onto the football and minor injuries. Brandon Pettigrew’s ball security is trending downward. Last season he totaled four fumbles and finished in the top 10 in dropped passes with a total of 9. While he has the play making ability, his lack of ball security may cause Stafford to look to a more reliable option going forward. Injuries have also been something of a concern. Pettigrew has only played a complete NFL season twice in his career. A knee surgery cut his rookie season short in 2009. He missed two games in 2012 due to an ankle injury.
While Brandon Pettigrew might not be a gleaming TE1 option, I think he can be a solid TE2 and a great starting tight end for “streaming” options based on the amount of targets he will see. His ADP currently has him being drafted as the 16th TE overall. We have Brandon Pettigrew ranked number 15 among NFL tight ends for the 2013 season. If Pettigrew can stay healthy and improve his ball security, we may once again see him finish the season as a top 10 TE.