Out of the top 10 reception leaders among WRs in 2022, nine players tallied over 1,000 yards receiving and averaged just under 8 receiving TDs each between them. The lone receiver to not eclipse 1,000 yards despite finishing inside the top 10 in total receptions? Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.
The scarce production on such a high target volume suggests that there’s something more at play that’s responsible for Pittman’s modest output in 2022, and that’s because there was. The rest of the top-10 reception leaders each had solid QB play at the minimum in 2022, while Pittman was left to fend for himself while he waited out the storm of Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, and Nick Foles at QB.
Pittman Jr.’s 139 targets tied for 7th among all NFL receivers last year, and he missed being part of the 100-catch club by just one reception, finishing with 99 on the season. The Colts' offense was downright anemic in 2022, but there is room for a slight uptick in offensive production with the greatest QB combine athlete under center and Jonathan Taylor returning to full health.
Ultimately, Pittman Jr. is stuck in a classic situation where he’s a great receiver on a bad team, but it’s encouraging and important to note that the underlying metrics he’s putting up are consistent with that of an elite alpha WR. As we know, alpha WRs eat first, so Pittman’s dynasty stock remains high despite a short-term drop in value for redraft leagues.