Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has acknowledged that using the franchise tag on impending free-agent wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. this offseason is an option. Pittman has been the team's leading receiver the past three seasons and will be one of the league's top free agents if he reaches the open market. The Colts have been more reluctant than most teams to use the tag -- they haven't used the tag on a player since tagging former punter Pat McAfee in 2013. Tagging Pittman in 2024 would cost around $20.7 million. The 26-year-old has accumulated 336 catches, 3,662 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first four seasons, which would put him in line to cash in considerably on the open market. No matter where Pittman lands in 2024 if he hits the free-agent market, he should profile as a WR1 in fantasy.
Feb 22, 2024 10:03 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who is coming off the best season of his career with 109 catches, 1,152 yards and four touchdowns, is set to enter free agency for the first time in his career in March. His 109 receptions are tied with Marvin Harrison for the fourth-most in franchise history, and they were also the fifth-most in the NFL in 2023. While Pittman said he's loved his time in Indianapolis, he's intent on testing the open market for the first time in his career. When asked about the possibility of the Colts putting the franchise tag on him to limit his free-agent options, Pittman said, "The franchise tag, I don't think anybody would be displeased with $23 million. The franchise tag is almost like a tag of respect because you get paid like the top five of your position." Regardless of where the 26-year-old ends up in 2024, he's going to be highly coveted in fantasy drafts this fall.
Jan 9, 2024 12:20 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. caught five of his six targets for 44 yards in the team's 23-19 loss to the Houston Texans. Indy struggled to move the ball through the air in the first half, relying heavily on running back Jonathan Taylor to help them move the chains. Pittman finishes off a phenomenal 2023 season with career highs in receptions (109) and yards (1,152). With their Week 18 loss, the Colts are now eliminated from playoff contention.
Jan 7, 2024 1:40 AM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is looking to close out a great regular season on a high note when the Colts face the Houston Texans on Saturday night. Pittman Jr. cooled off from a five-game stretch of 75+ yard outings when he caught five of his seven targets for 46 yards in Week 17. Houston has made for a decent matchup for wide receivers as of late, allowing the 11th most fantasy points to the position in their last four matchups. The former USC Trojan should be set up for success given the matchup and his ten targets per game average this season. Fantasy managers can rely on Pittman one last time as a potential WR1 option in Indy's win-and-in season finale.
Jan 5, 2024 8:54 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. caught five of his seven targets for 46 yards in the team's 23-20 win against the Las Vegas Raiders. A rather pedestrian outing for Pittman, who hasn't been held to less than 50 yards since Week 8. Quarterback Gardner Minshew found success throwing to both wide receivers Alec Pierce and Josh Downs, which took away some volume from the team's usual No. 1 option. With that, he still led the team in targets, having four more than the next closest pass-catcher. The former USC Trojan will look to get back on track in Week 18 against the Houston Texans, and fantasy managers can rely on him as a solid WR2 option in that contest.
Jan 1, 2024 12:07 AM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) is officially inactive on Sunday to face the visiting Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17. Pittman suffered a concussion in Week 15 and did not play in last week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. But he returned to a full participant in practice on Thursday and cleared the league's concussion protocol, paving the way for him to return this weekend. It really wasn't much of a secret that the 26-year-old was going to return in Week 17, so fantasy managers should have returned him to their starting lineups several days ago. Pittman is the team's clear No. 1 receiver and has turned in 99 receptions for 1,062 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games this year. He's a must-start in championship matchups against the Raiders.
Dec 31, 2023 12:04 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) is expected to suit up for Sunday's game versus the Raiders. Pittman didn't play in Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons, allowing Josh Downs, Kylen Granson, and Alec Pierce to combine for 23 targets from Gardner Minshew. All three players should continue to be involved on Sunday. However, Pittman has the best chance to lead the way on the receiving end, with everyone else fighting for the remaining scraps.
Dec 31, 2023 12:49 AM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) has been cleared from the league's concussion protocol and practiced in full on Thursday and Friday, but he still wasn't able to escape a questionable tag for the Week 17 game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Pittman missed the Week 16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons but is feeling much better and should be fully expected to play this Sunday despite the questionable tag. Fantasy managers should have already moved him back into their starting lineups as a strong WR2 play as Indianapolis' clear No. 1 target when healthy. Pittman has been the WR15 in half-PPR scoring this year, even though he missed last weekend's game with a concussion. He's one reception shy of reaching the 100-catch mark for the first time in his career after finishing the 2022 campaign with exactly 99 receptions.
Dec 29, 2023 5:18 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol and is on track to return and play in Week 17 this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. The writing was on the wall for Pittman to return this weekend following a one-game absence after he was cleared for contact and was a full-go in Thursday's practice session. The 26-year-old now needs to be reinserted into all starting fantasy lineups with championship trophies on the line in most leagues this week. Pittman ranks 17th among wideouts with 12.8 half-PPR fantasy points per game in 2023 and has a total of 99 receptions for 1,062 yards and four touchdowns this season in 14 games played. He's quarterback Gardner Minshew's top target and should be busy in Week 17 in his return to action.
Dec 29, 2023 1:18 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) practiced again on Thursday, this time in a regular blue jersey, meaning he's been cleared for full contact. However, that doesn't mean that Pittman has cleared the league's concussion protocol and is a lock to play in Week 17 against the Las Vegas Raiders. The 26-year-old suffered a concussion in Week 15 and sat out of the Week 16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Still, the fact he's practicing in full before Friday is a good sign that he'll eventually gain clearance to play this weekend. Pittman is Indy's clear top target when healthy and has 99 receptions for 1,062 yards and four touchdowns on 143 targets so far this year. If he's officially active in Week 17, he needs to be put back into all starting fantasy lineups with championship titles on the line.
Dec 28, 2023 3:33 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. Head coach Shane Steichen said that Pittman remains in the league's concussion protocol, but he's clearly making progress and has a shot to be cleared later this week to play in Week 17 against the Las Vegas Raiders after being forced to sit out of Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The 26-year-old belongs in all starting fantasy lineups for a championship matchup this weekend if he's eventually given the green light to suit up. If Pittman misses a second straight game, the Colts will once again roll with rookie Josh Downs and Alec Pierce as their primary receivers, with tight ends Kylen Granson and rookie Will Mallory also seeing bigger roles in the passing attack.
Dec 27, 2023 4:05 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen confirmed on Wednesday that wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) is still in the league's concussion protocol "but he's progressing well." Pittman, who is also dealing with a shoulder injury, was forced to sit out of Sunday's Week 16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons after symptoms of his concussion from a week prior resurfaced. It's good news that the 26-year-old pass-catcher is progressing, but if he's unable to get back on the practice field in the next three days, he might be forced to miss a second straight game this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. When healthy, Pittman is a must-start in all fantasy lineups.
Dec 27, 2023 12:00 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) has been ruled out ahead of the Week 16 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. As expected, Pittman will sit this game out after suffering a concussion last week. The Colts aren't going to push anything especially with Pittman dealing with multiple injuries. It's going to be tough for the Colts to fill the void left behind from Pittman. The expectation is that Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, and D.J. Montgomery will see more action in the receiving game. Between the three, Downs has the most fantasy value heading into this matchup.
Dec 23, 2023 7:12 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (head) cleared concussion protocol and has been removed from the injury report. He will play against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16. It was a quick recovery for the 26-year-old after he took a vicious hit during last Saturday's game and was subsequently ruled out. Pittman has 99 catches, 1,062 yards, and four touchdowns this season, putting him in the high-end WR2 tier for this weekend's clash with Atlanta.
Dec 22, 2023 1:12 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion, shoulder) was able to put in a full practice on Thursday following a limited session he had on Wednesday. Pittman is in the league's concussion protocol after taking a hard hit in last Saturday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it looks like he's on his way to being cleared to play this Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons. He's not out of the woods yet, but he should have a pretty good chance of being active in Week 16 if he's able to practice in full again on Friday. Pittman is the WR12 in half-PPR scoring in 2023 and needs to be left in all starting fantasy lineups for semifinal matchups if he gains clearance to play on Sunday. If he doesn't gain clearance, which seems unlikely at this point, rookie Josh Downs and Alec Pierce would have bigger roles in the passing game.
Dec 21, 2023 5:13 PM EST
The Indianapolis Colts listed wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) as limited on their estimated practice report on Wednesday. It's a good start to the week for Pittman after he suffered a concussion in Saturday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he's not out of the woods yet and must continue to improve in order to get the green light to play in Week 16 on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The 26-year-old pass-catcher is a must-start in fantasy lineups when he's active, as he currently ranks as the WR12 in half-PPR scoring thanks to 99 receptions for 1,062 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games played. If Pittman isn't cleared in time for Sunday's contest, it will be a big blow to Indy's offense as they attempt to stay in the AFC playoff picture. Rookie receiver Josh Downs and Alec Pierce would find themselves being targeted much more.
Dec 20, 2023 4:40 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) was forced to exit early during Saturday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittman took a hard hit during the second quarter, which resulted in the ejection of Steelers safety Damontae Kazee. The Colts have now confirmed that Pittman suffered a concussion from that hit. He will be subject to protocols, which means he could miss their next game against the Atlanta Falcons. The absence of Pittman would probably mean a higher usage for Josh Downs and Alec Pierce in the receiving game.
Dec 16, 2023 9:53 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion) won't return to Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittman was taken off the field after taking a scary hit to the head during the second quarter. He was able to get off the field under his own power, but won't return to this game. This is a shame considering how well Pittman was playing before the injury. He hauled in four of his five targets for 78 yards before exiting. Fantasy managers will have to wait and see if he'll be able to suit up for next week's game.
Dec 16, 2023 6:16 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is coming off another impressive fantasy outing in the team's Week 14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittman caught eight of his 11 targets for 95 total yards on the day, his third straight game where he's had double-digit targets and over 90 yards. Now he gets ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15, a defense that has been above average defending the pass this season. Despite the slightly tougher matchup, Pittman can be trusted as a start this week due to his rapport with quarterback Gardner Minshew. With Minshew, Pittman has become the league's second-most targeted receiver this season. Fantasy managers can look to include the fifth-year pass-catcher in all formats this week.
Dec 15, 2023 6:11 PM EST
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. reeled in eight of his 11 targets for 95 yards in the team's 34-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittman led all Colts pass-catchers in targets, and this now marks the fourth game in a row he's gone for over 80 yards. The former USC Trojan's target share and rapport with quarterback Gardner Minshew have made him a weekly starter in most formats. Fantasy managers should look to include Pittman as a WR1/2 in the team's Week 15 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dec 10, 2023 11:48 PM EST