As the 2023 NFL season approaches, what value does Indianapolis Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. have in fantasy football?
Fantasy season is among us and with action at a standstill until training camp, reports will speculate as to what kind of season players will have in fantasy football. After all, it is a fantasy world we live in when you play fantasy football. So why not speculate as to what players will and won't do in the upcoming season?
Recently, Daniel Dopp wrote on ESPN about some of the players this season that are being overvalued in their position. Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, Michael Pittman Jr., just so happened to be one of them.
In this article, Dopp stated that Pittman finished as WR16 in 2021 with Carson Wentz, but fell hard in 2022 with inconsistent quarterback play. Basically stating that the quarterbacks that were in the lineup were not accurate to get him the ball. This a fair statement if you are only looking at the numbers.
With 141 targets, Pittman only caught 99 of those passes for 925 yards and four touchdowns. The season before, he caught 88 of the 129 targets for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. Inaccuracy could be the word for it, but there are other factors into this such as offensive line play and injuries at running back.
Teams know that Indianapolis would go to their top target, so adding coverage on his side is smart defensive play. Mixed with a rough year for the offensive line, it didn't allow the quarterback to get an accurate throw on the ball.
Will Michael Pittman Jr. be a better fantasy receiver in 2023?
In 2023, the Colts added Florida QB Anthony Richardson with the fourth-overall pick in the draft. There are consistency issues, but overall, his play should excel. He has an accurate deep ball and can extend plays with his legs to get out of the pocket.
At the combine, I remember telling Horseshoe Heroes contributor Jacob Mummert that Richardson will need some taller, more physical receivers in the NFL. The majority of his passes hit his receiver in the chest area or above their head. Insert the 6-foot-4 Pittman and that looks much better over shorter defenders.
Pittman will get his targets this year, which will turn into more volume receptions. With additions to the receiving core of Isaiah McKenzie in free agency and Josh Downs in the draft, plus second year Alec Pierce, Pittman should find himself in more single coverage in 2023.
This would be a season that you should try to buy-in on Pittman for cheap, because he will inevitably have a solid season. If you are playing dynasty, try to acquire the receiver for a second- or third-round pick. If you are in a redraft league, he is WR23 and sitting around ADP 56. I would be happy to acquire Pittman with a sixth-round pick if he falls.