WR Austin Pettis, Free agent
HT: 6-2, WT: 209, Born: 5-7-1988, College: Boise State, Drafted: Round 3
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Pettis seems to have the least physical abilities of any of the above receivers, but he is a solid route runner and knows how to get open. Thus, he was targeted on three incompletions before he hauled in a 5 yard reception on out pattern for his first catch in the 3rd quarter. He followed that up with another short gain, and then with a 8 yard reception going across the middle in the final quarter. Pettis isn’t going to blow anyone over with physical ability, but he does seem to be a solid possession receiver that Bradford looks at on a frequent basis.
Week 2 - Last week it was noted that Pettis was a security blanket of sorts on a number of 3rd down possessions. That became even more of the case this week. Pettis, along with Austin ran the underneath routes over and over in the second half, getting 11 targets, netting a TD, a big PI call, and making a number of big plays to keep the chains moving.
Pettis also ran a nice curl route, made the reception and then avoided the defender and accelerated for a 20 yard TD. Pettis’ TD began in the slot. Another WR ran a crossing route, taking Pettis defender away. Pettis ran toward the pylon, caught the ball and then dove in just inside the pylon for a TD. With so many weapons, it is unlikely that Pettis will have a number of huge days, as his skill-set lent itself to this type of game perfectly, with the multitude of underneath routes. But he is cementing himself as the fourth option in the passing game, and staying on the field.
Week 3 - The sure-handed Pettis dropped two passes today. The first came on 2nd and 7 on the first drive. The drop put the Rams in 3rd and long and they had to punt after failing to convert. At least the second drop was meaningless, coming at the very end of the first half, but it still is another missed opportunity. Pettis was able to get a TD on a 2 yard slant pass on fourth down. He did a good job of holding onto the ball despite getting drilled. He also added a meaningless 16 yard reception in prevent mode at the end of the game. Pettis, as usual, does just enough to stay on the field and grab valuable targets from the other receivers, but not enough to be considered a viable starter, aside from a few lucky TD’s.
Week 4 - Pettis is the ultimate possession receiver for Bradford. His first two receptions both were short routes to the first down marker. In the second quarter, Bradford rolled out and threw a deeper route to Pettis’ back shoulder. Pettis made a great play to fight the receiver and come down with a 27 yard gain, the longest gain of the day for St. Louis.
Pettis is becoming a favorite target for Bradford and ironically the most stable choice on the Rams if you need decent, steady production for your fantasy team. While everyone else disappears at times, Bradford trusts Pettis.
Week 5 - Pettis worked his usual short yardage magic, gaining first downs on curl routes and short passes. His first TD was a 3rd down play in which he simply found the hole in the zone to the right side, sat down and caught the short pass from Bradford. However, late in the game, Pettis got open down the right side and got just enough separation to get a 31 yd TD over the defender’s head for a TD. Pettis isn’t all that fast, and won’t get many of these deep routes, but he runs smart routes, and Bradford trusts him. At this point, Cook, Austin and Givens are probably the three receivers on many fantasy rosters, and Pettis is possibly still on a number of waiver wires. Pettis isn’t going to be all that explosive, but there aren’t a lot of safer options out there, especially in ppr. He will get his receptions and at times put together big games like he did today.
Week 6 - The most consistent Rams receiver of this young season is Austin Pettis, but he was only able to get one reception, a short pass where Pettis found a hole in the zone and got 12 yards. The story was the same for most of the Rams receivers. When your QB only throws 16 passes, and he spreads those 16 passes to 9 different receivers, it’s tough for any WR to have a big day.
Week 7 - Pettis was virtually non-existent in the first half. Later in the game, Pettis did get two short passes, and Bradford looked his way once in the endzone. The emergence of a real running game is really cutting into the number of times that the Rams throw, and it’s hard to imagine that will change with Kellen Clemens. Pettis’ numbers were a product of a lot of attempts, not necessarily from his ability. As Quick and Tavon grow, Pettis’ numbers will only go down.
Week 8 - Early in the game, Clemens was under duress, rolled out and threw a lob to Pettis who was headed down the left sideline. This 26 yard gain was the biggest play of the day for St. Louis. Pettis also had a short sideline reception, but wasn’t targeted a whole lot in the second half. Pettis plays the possession role in this offense, and Jared Cook seemed to take that role over in the second half.
Week 9 - Kellen Clemens is the type of QB that should value Austin Pettis, but Pettis just hasn’t been getting any looks since Clemens took over. His single reception was a short 13 yard gain across the middle. Any fantasy value he had has washed away with the run-first offense and Kellen Clemens
Week 10 - The minimal passing attempts hurt Pettis, but his lack of big play ability hurt him more. As the other, more talented wr’s grow and learn how to play the game, Pettis’ touches fall. Also, Clemens doesn’t use Pettis nearly as much as Bradford did. For now, Pettis shouldn’t be on anyone’s radar screen in fantasy.
Week 15 - Without Tavon Austin on the field, Pettis became the primary possession receiver. Pettis had 4 big receptions, all of them for first downs. Pettis excels on the short slant passes and the quick out patterns. These patterns are his bread and butter, and he made some big first downs that kept the offense moving. Pettis doesn’t have enough big play ability to put up big stats, but he’s the kind of “move-the-chains” guy that every offense needs.
Week 16 - Pettis had two short grabs, one for a first down. His job seems to have been taken over by Bailey. Bailey offers more upside, is quicker, and of course is only a rookie.
Week 17 - Pettis seems to have lost his role as the possession receiver to Bailey. There isn’t enough room for two possession receivers on the field at all times, and Bailey has taken over the snaps lately. Pettis didn’t get many looks, but remains a solid possession guy when the ball swings his way.