Dynasty League Football

Michael Pittman Jr.

Dynasty Decision: Michael Pittman

Is Michael Pittman a dynasty buy at his current valuation?

Michael Pittman

We all know the pain of holding onto that stud player too long as their production evaporates and your once highly-priced asset is essentially worthless. There are also plenty of cases of players being sold expecting that decline only to go on defying the odds. This series will examine what you should do as players approach these decision points.

Michael Pittman, WR IND

Pittman has been a tease since he entered the league. A big-bodied outside receiver who thrives in contested catches and has been a high-volume target. However, he has never truly put it all together to break out as a fantasy star. He is in the final year of his contract with yet another new quarterback under center. What does this mean for his dynasty value?

Previous Performance

The young receiver entered the league as an early second-round pick of the Colts in the 2020 draft. He did not blow up in his rookie year, only commanding a 10% target share. That wasn’t hugely surprising as a rookie on a playoff team. He was behind TY Hilton, Nyheim Hines, and Zach Pascal in raw targets. However, during his second year, Pittman showed up. He led the Colts in targets by over 60 from the next on the list. He meshed well with Carson Wentz, seeing a 24.8% target share on his way to an overall WR18 finish. It wasn’t a genuinely elite breakout, but a top-24 finish in his second year placed Pittman on the path to future fantasy stardom, and heading into his third year, there was hope he would take another step forward.

In 2022 the Colts saw yet another quarterback change, with Matt Ryan replacing Wentz. Things were going well through the first six weeks of the season with Pittman, the WR9 in points per game, and two top 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the Colts’ season then went off the rails, and there were head coaching and multiple quarterback changes, and Pittman’s performance struggled. Through the remaining games, Pittman finished as the WR27 for an overall season finish of WR20.

From the chart below, Pittman averaged 15 points per game with Matt Ryan. That would have been good enough to finish as the WR13. He also averages only 0.2 TDs per game. You should expect that to regress to a higher number throughout the entire season.

Situation and Usage

Concerning the situation, Pittman is genuinely a double-edged sword. He is the clear number one target of the offense. He will see some target competition from the recently drafted Josh Downs. However, he shouldn’t eat into Pittmans Target share considerably, and the expectation would be for Pittman to see over 100 targets again and potentially up to 150. The other side of the sword is the Quarterback situation. Pittman has had a different quarterback every season of his career, and this season is again no different.

The Colts recently drafted Anthony Richardson with the fourth overall pick. He is expected to start immediately. Without wanting to get into too much detail about the impact of Richardson’s style as a quarterback, there is a precedent of Wide Receivers struggling with rookie quarterbacks in place. It may be that Pittman is not hugely efficient in 2023 but sees enough volume to counterbalance that.

Injuries and Contract

Pittman has been incredibly healthy throughout his three-year NFL career. HE missed a few games in his rookie season with a calf concern and a single game last year with a thigh strain. However, outside of that, he has had a clean bill of health and shouldn’t have any severe concerns moving forward.

Contractually, Pittman is in the final year of his rookie contract and is currently eligible for an extension. The Colts are now projected to have north of $50m in cap space next season and only have a few candidates for a big payday. So I expect them to lock up Pittman long-term before the end of the season and for him to be a long-term target for the newly drafted Richardson.

ADP and Trade Value

He is currently the WR20 in April ADP, and the trade analyzer has him worth the equivalent of the 1.04 in the 2023 draft or two random future firsts. Recent trades are below; as you can see, the value is similar to what the trade analyzer suggests. The majority of trades, however, have involved swapping another young receiver.


Pittman is such a fascinating case study at the moment. I genuinely believe in the player and the talent and expect him to see significant enough target volume that he will be a solid fantasy asset. However, I expect him to break out in 2024 when Richardson has a season of NFL play under his belt. For that reason, I love him as a sneaky under-the-radar asset to acquire if you’re in a rebuild or not targeting competing in 2023. He is unlikely to see a drop in his value because even if he has a bad year, it will be put down to Richardsons’ rookie struggles rather than Pittman’s. If you’re targeting 2023 as the season to compete, you may be better off targeting a player of similar value but in a more secure 2023 situation.

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Dynasty Decision: Michael Pittman
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Edwin Sheppard
24 days ago

This is a great read! I just got a trade offer for Pittman. I’m a contender (10 team/SF/PPR/Start 9) and have no clue what to do. I was offered breece and waddle for Pittman, DJM and 2 24 firsts (likely in the 3-6 range) Pittman and djm are both on my bench, and breece would pair with bijan for the next forever. Is that too much to pay for breece and waddle? It does seem like fair market value. Thanks!

Ed Geis
Reply to  Edwin Sheppard
23 days ago

Should send this question to the Forum rooms, but “yes please” for a competing squad.

Edwin Sheppard
Reply to  Ed Geis
23 days ago

Thanks Ed! I’ve had my finger over the accept button about 20 times today, just need to pull the trigger on it.

Edwin Sheppard
Reply to  Richard Cooling
19 days ago

Thanks! I’m rolling out AJB, Dk, Godwin, Deebo and also grabbed Johnson, Addison and flowers in the rookie draft, so I’m in a pretty solid spot I think.

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