Alex Gelhar | Tags: Aaron Dobson, Baltimore Ravens, Dennis Pitta, Denver Broncos, Emmanuel Sanders, Eric Decker, Fantasy football, Gary Kubiak, Jimmy Graham, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, Patriots, Peyton Manning, Ravens, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
Dobson’s recovery on track: After having surgery on March 10 to repair a stress fracture in his foot, New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson has been patiently waiting to recover so he can get back to action. “It’s getting better every day,” he told the Boston Herald, and hinted that he’s focusing on his mental preparation while his body catches up. Dobson played in just 12 games as a rookie and finished 60th in fantasy points at his position with 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers figure to rise significantly if Dobson returns to camp fully healthy, as the Patriots expect him to be the deep threat in their offense. Tom Brady forced 151 targets to Julian Edelman last season, and although Danny Amendola and Kenbrell Thompkins could take some of those, the likeliest recipient of an increased role is Dobson. Keep an eye on his recovery, as he could have excellent value as a WR3 or WR4 with loads of upside later in drafts.
Pitta prepping for variety of positions: Fully healthy and with new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak running the show, Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has been prepping for a versatile role in the offense. The plan is for Pitta to line up every where, from in-line to split wide to the backfield. Pitta seems up for the challenge, and has already said he foresees 2014 as his breakout year. Kubiak made a fantasy star of Owen Daniels — while healthy — and other tight ends in his system while head coach of the Houston Texans, so this isn’t just lip service from Pitta. Considering the dropoff in tight ends after the titans of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski, Pitta could offer immense value later in drafts, as a top-five finish is very much a reality for the fifth-year man out of BYU. Pitta’s a bonafide No. 1 tight end for 2014, just don’t make the mistake of letting him slip past the middle rounds.
Sanders in “wide receiver heaven”: Since joining the Denver Broncos this offseason, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders says he feels like he’s in “wide receiver heaven.” Sanders enjoyed his best statistical season in 2013, even if he didn’t put up the WR2 numbers the Pittsburgh Steelers were hoping for. Now, he is hoping that Peyton Manning’s matchup-based aerial attack can lead to big numbers for him. Sanders acknowledged that there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Denver offense, but hopes that he’ll be able to contribute (and get his) week in and week out. Despite Sanders’ heavenly feelings about his place in the Denver offense, fantasy owners should take pause before reaching too high for him. He is five inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than the departed Eric Decker, which could be an inhibitor for him matching Decker’s production from 2013 and he still needs to build a rapport with Manning. Sanders should be targeted as a WR3 when fantasy drafts roll around this fall.
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