Unlock More Content Like This With a Footballguys Premium Subscription
"FBG is the best fantasy football advisory service anywhere."
Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder, FanDuel
The good? Michael Pittman Jr followed up a 1,082-yard sophomore season with 99 receptions in his third year, the tenth most in Colts history. The bad? No player with 99 receptions in NFL history gained fewer yards than Pittman’s 925.
Now context is needed. Matt Ryan struggled to push the ball downfield, posting his lowest career net yards per attempt in his 12 games as the starter. The team then transitioned to Sam Ehlinger before giving Nick Foles starts to close the season. The team also struggled to protect. They allowed the third most pressures and placed in the bottom six in pocket time.
With the arrival of quarterback Anthony Richardson and coach Shane Steichen, the Colts are better equipped to push the ball downfield. But that switch comes with downsides.
The Eagles’ success in 2022 leaves a great taste in everyone’s mouth. But flashing back to a year ago and the hand-wringing around A.J. Brown’s arrival and the passing game as a whole.
As a one-for-one comparison, it would be a success if rookie Anthony Richardson equaled Jalen Hurts’ 2021 season, posting a 61% completion, 3,144 yards, and a 16 to 9 TD / INT ratio. Meanwhile, Alec Pierce and Josh Downs should be better than Watkins and Reagor, players relegated to deep offensive options in their careers. And honestly, Pittman is not the dynamic downfield threat that Smith provides. That decrease in volume and increased target competition could prove lethal for Pittman.
Long term, the outlook may not be better. Pittman will turn 26 in Week 5 of the season and is in a contract year. Anything is in play, but a disappointing season with a rookie quarterback removes Pittman from being a young, up-and-coming primary option and shifts the narrative to a player stuck in a poor passing offense.
The Trade Value Chart
That group pushes in two opposite directions. Players like Chubb and Dobbins are win-now pieces, primed for the best seasons of their careers. Meanwhile, Johnston or Kincaid reset the clock, as players who landed between picks 1.07 and 1.10 in most rookie drafts this year.
Those types of trades indicate the crossroads Pittman sits at. He is departing his rookie contract, moving into the prime of his career, but in an uneasy offensive situation. If a team is a contender, better win-now pivots are likely available. Meanwhile, if a roster is closer to a rebuild, capitalizing on the current value and grabbing a player with a higher ceiling is the path.
Pittman’s value has stayed static in Hindery’s rankings over the past few months but has plummeted on Keeptradecut. In September 2022, Pittman peaked at WR6. He has dropped to WR27. That said, the market there can be hypersensitive, while many leagues and players are unlikely to react so volatilely.
This instance is where knowing your league becomes critical.
Dynasty League Football has an excellent completed trades tool.
An ELITE subscription is required to access content for Dynasty leagues. If this league is not a Dynasty league, you can edit your leagues here. "Footballguys is the best premium
Continue reading this content with a ELITE subscription.
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE
An ELITE subscription is required to access content for Dynasty leagues. If this league is not a Dynasty league, you can edit your leagues here.
"Footballguys is the best premium