Entering the 2023 NFL season, expectations are pretty low for the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, some experts think the Colts could be even worse than they were last season, and Indy only won four games in 2022. But, with a rookie quarterback and first-year head coach, the 2023 season is being viewed as a rebuilding year by many.
Despite the low expectations for the team, Indianapolis has a few players that are expected to be productive in fantasy football. Jonathan Taylor, of course, is one of the top players, Michael Pittman Jr. is viewed as a solid option, Alec Pierce is considered a sleeper, and rookies Anthony Richardson and Josh Downs are also names that fantasy football players should consider adding to their team.
While there’s a case to add all of these players to your fantasy roster, one fantasy football expert is making the case to avoid drafting one of Indy’s top players. In a recent Bleacher Report piece, Alex Ballentine named seven fantasy “busts” that fans should avoid. One of the players named was Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
Michael Pittman Jr. named as a player to avoid in fantasy football
Ballentine’s case against Pittman wasn’t really a critique of the receiver, but of the offense and how Pittman will be utilized in it. Pointing out the addition of Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson, Ballentine argued that Pittman likely won’t have the opportunity to really excel in fantasy.
Ballentine compared the Colts to the Philadelphia Eagles, where Steichen was the offensive coordinator the last two years. Ballentine said Pittman’s production may look more like 2021 DeVonta Smith, before Jalen Hurts broke out in 2022. In other words, Pittman’s value is attached to his rookie quarterback.
That's a fair assessment. There’s no telling how Richardson will look as a passer during his rookie year. It’s currently unknown if the offensive line will even be able to protect him. All of those things are factors in Pittman’s production. For that reason, it’s fair to be cautious about when to draft him.