Jonathan Taylor Has Top 5 Fantasy RB Potential, Michael Pittman Jr. High-End WR3 With T.Y. Hilton Ruled Out

Jonathan Taylor Has Top 5 Fantasy RB Potential, Michael Pittman Jr. High-End WR3 With T.Y. Hilton Ruled Out article feature image
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Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Colts WR Michael Pittman, RB Jonathan Taylor

What should fantasy football managers expect from Michael Pittman and other Colts wide receivers with T.Y. Hilton ruled out of their Sunday Night Football matchup against the 49ers?

Our experts agree that it would elevate Pittman to high-end WR3 territory, at minimum.


Jonathan Taylor & Michael Pittman Fantasy Outlooks

Chris Raybon: Pittman is a WR2/3 and Zach Pascal is a WR4 with Hilton out while some combination of Ashton Dulin, Keke Coutee and Mike Strachan will take the remaining WR snaps.  The Colts may also go with heavier personnel with more Jack Doyle, Mo-Alie Cox and Kyle Granson in two- and three-TE sets, but you weren’t starting them anyway.

More than anything, this cements Jonathan Taylor as top-five RB1 and could mean an extra target or two for Nyheim Hines in the wet, windy conditions in Santa Clara.

Sean Koerner: Michael Pittman moves up to a high-end WR3, while Zach Pascal is a TD dependant WR5 in deeper leagues. We are close enough to kickoff to be confident that inclement weather will impact this game. Due to the heavy rain, this should be a low-scoring, run heavy type of game. I wouldn’t trust any pass catchers outside of Pittman.


The following was written on Saturday.


The Indianapolis Colts’ T.Y. Hilton will miss Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers after suffering a quadriceps injury in his season debut last week.

Hilton did not practice all week after being injured in the fourth quarter of the Colts’ 31-3 win over the Houston Texans last week. The 31-year-old wide receiver had missed the first five weeks of the season with a neck problem.

He had four catches with 80 yards including a long of 52 yards prior to his injury.

Colts receiver Parris Campbell was also recently placed on the injured reserved list with a foot injury, meaning Indy will be without their two fastest receivers for at least one week.

Michael Pittman Jr. is now considered a high-end WR3 in fantasy football this week, according to our Director of Predictive Analytic, Sean Koerner.

“I wouldn’t trust any pass catchers outside of Pittman,” Koerner said.

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Keep in mind that weather will play a large part in this game.

By the start of the first quarter, there is expected to be roughly 18 mile per hour winds and a 95% chance of rain. Gusts could reach a high of 36 mph.

Based on The Action Network’s modeling, NFL games with at least 10 mph winds have hit the under for a return on investment of about 8.3% since 2004.

That means that if you had bet $100 on the under every time a game had at least 10 mph winds since 2004, you’d be up $8,000.

Expect an incredibly run-centric game for this cold, rainy, windy affair. Not ideal, of course, for wide receivers.

The total for this game opened at 44.5 and has only dropped to 43 as of Saturday night despite a wind advisory sent out by the U.S. National Weather Service.

The Action Network’s fantasy football experts had Pittman Jr. listed as the 24th-best receiver this week before the announcement that Hilton would miss Sunday Night Football.

Expect his projected point value of 7.7 points to increase ahead of kickoff, though with the inclement weather, it’s unclear right now how much that projection will balloon.

Still, Pittman Jr. will now be the WR1 for this Colts offense for a pivotal primetime game.

Check out the link below for up-to-the-minute, week-to-week fantasy football rankings from our experts.

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Colts receiver Zach Pascal is expected to see some sort of increase in targets, though Koerner said he’s a touchdown dependent WR5 — and only in deeper leagues. Don’t trust him unless you’re desperate.

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