As exciting as the start of the NFL season is for fantasy football managers, it can also be a stressful time. Injury reports can be misleading or at least lack clarity on whether your star playmaker will be available to play or not. We’re diving into Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.’s injury update to see if he’s worth starting on your fantasy roster.
Michael Pittman Jr. injury update
Coming off a brilliant performance in his first game with Matt Ryan in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, Pittman was poised to continue his quest to be an established WR1. He caught nine passes on 13 targets for 121 yards and one touchdown. His immediate chemistry with Ryan was startling, and a promising sign for fantasy managers who nabbed Pittman to lead their roster.
The injury bug hit the league hard this week, and Pittman was an unexpected visitor on the injury report with a quad injury. Pittman was limited in practice on Wednesday, then did not practice on Thursday. It’s possible he rested today. Nonetheless, it’s becoming increasingly worrisome that Pittman won’t play at all against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.
Being a non-participant could be cautionary, of course, but the ripple effect for both the Colts and fantasy managers would be huge. The Colts are notoriously thin at receiver, with Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce as the next men up. The Jaguars have one of the least talented secondaries in the NFL. So while the Colts may be fine, having Pittman play twice against the Jaguars was a big perk of rostering him.
Pittman may be WR2 on fantasy rosters that opted for a higher-caliber receiver earlier in drafts, but he has real WR1 potential every single week. Losing him this week could cost a fantasy team their matchup. Pittman’s fantasy value is immense if Week 1 was any indication of what’s to come.
What is Parris Campbell’s fantasy value?
If the Colts rule out Pittman and your fantasy roster doesn’t have a quality WR2 ready to step into your lineup (or you’re now lacking at the flex spot), consider picking up Campbell as a replacement. Campbell is rostered in less than five percent on every site, but he’s in an ideal position to earn a larger workload without Pittman.
Campbell caught 3-of-4 targets for 37 yards in Week 1. More importantly, he played on 77% of available snaps. He was clearly ahead of Pierce in the rotation as the No. 2 wide receiver.
If Pittman is out, I’d expect the Colts to be more run-heavy this week and ride Jonathan Taylor as they did in 2021. But there will be opportunities for this receiving corps. Ryan showed off his excellent precision and advanced passing prowess in Week 1, even if the team settled for a disappointing tie against a bad Houston team.
Campbell would certainly be a non-traditional play, and you likely have someone better on your roster. It’s even fair to look to see if Nyheim Hines is available for your flex opening since he caught all six of his targets for 50 yards last week. Either player could pay off nicely with more volume and touchdown potential than they usually possess.