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First it was Jeremy Maclin who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Eagles training camp. Now Dennis Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip during Saturday’s practice which required a surgical procedure. Like Maclin, Pitta will miss the entire 2013 campaign.
A major fantasy sleeper candidate, Pitta is coming off a 2012 season in which he set career highs in receptions (61), yards (669) and touchdowns (seven). He was also tremendously productive in the postseason, finishing with 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions. Now that his season is in jeopardy, Pitta won’t be worth more than a flier – if that.
Ed Dickson will move into the starting lineup in Pitta’s absence and sees an obvious uptick in value. Though he’s not on the same level as Pitta, Dickson should see plenty of targets in offense that is suddenly devoid of pass catchers. Remember, Anquan Boldin is no longer in the mix after being traded to the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason. While I wouldn’t draft him as a No. 1 fantasy option, Dickson now has No. 2 status at a tight end position that has lost a ton of value.
On a positive note, Torrey Smith is going to see enough targets from Joe Flacco to finally have that breakout season. He’ll be picked as a borderline No. 2 or 3 wideout with huge upside. As for Flacco, losing Pitta is just another reason to avoid him until the late rounds.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!