Michael Pittman is coming into his third year in the NFL as the number one wide receiver in Indianapolis. Pittman had a 24.8% target share in 2021 which was ninth in the league. The Indianapolis Colts upgraded at quarterback in the offseason by trading away Carson Wentz and adding Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. Pittman posted 88 catches, 1,082 yards, and six touchdowns in 2021. That was good enough for WR17 on a run-heavy offense with shaky quarterback play. With more pass volume and better quarterback play, Pittman has a positive fantasy football outlook for 2022.
Fantasy Football Outlook 2022: Michael Pittman
The Indianapolis Colts finished 2021 bottom six in pass attempts and passing yards. Running back Jonathan Taylor led the league in rushing and was the driving force for the Colts in 2021. Receiver Michael Pittman finished as WR17 and was one of the breakout wide receivers last season. He entered the season as the number two receiver behind T.Y. Hilton but Hilton’s age and injury issues allowed Pittman to take over the number one role.
Michael Pittman Jr. is set for a breakout as he enters his third season in the league.
With Matt Ryan now at the helm for the Colts, it'll be the best QB he's ever had in his short career. Here's why betting on Pittman this season is a smart decision, (a thread) pic.twitter.com/DN3Zohd9Fk
— Covers (@Covers) August 9, 2022
The Colts struggled to find receiving options at the position outside of Pittman. The Colts second-leading receiver was Zach Paschal who finished as WR74 on the season. Pittman doubled Paschal up in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He also had over 50 first downs and no other Colts receiver had more than 15. Pittman was ninth in the league in target share in 2021 as he averaged over seven targets per game. In games where Pittman had at least seven targets, he averaged 17.1 PPR points per game. If he kept this up throughout the season, it would have landed him in the top 10 wide receivers last year.
Michael Pittman Fantasy Football Outlook 2022
In the offseason, the Colts traded Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders and traded for Matt Ryan. With the upgrade at quarterback, the Colts could become less run-centric and throw more often in 2022. The only receiver additions the Colts made in the offseason was drafting wide receiver Alec Pierce, but they lost Zach Paschal and T.Y. Hilton in free agency. This could mean more targets for Michael Pittman. Quarterback Matt Ryan is known for supporting number one fantasy receivers.
Matt Ryan's WR1 has finished top-7 in targets at their position in six of the last seven seasons.
Michael Pittman Jr.'s targets by season, per @PFF:
— Underdog NFL (@Underdog__NFL) August 4, 2022
Since 2012, Matt Ryan has been the quarterback for nine top 12 fantasy receivers. That bodes well for Pittman as he is Colt’s only reliable wide receiver at this point.
Michael Pittman currently has an ADP in round four as WR13 in 12-team leagues. That is the right spot for him and it is also a steal to be able to get a true number one receiver in the fourth round. Some of the guys going around him deserve to be ahead of him but with the number of targets Pittman will receive, he has far more upside than guys like Tee Higgins and A.J. Brown. If you prefer to take running backs early, Pittman is the perfect receiver to add as you try and build a fantasy contender. Michael Pittman is an improving superstar with the potential to finish in the top five wide receivers this season.