Michael Pittman Rookie Profile and Fantasy Football Outlook

by Alex Johnson ·

If Michael Pittman‘s name sounds familiar, it’s because his father played running back for the Cardinals, Buccaneers, and Broncos over an 11 year NFL career. Pittman Jr. was a dominant receiver at Oaks Christian High School in California, where he earned USA Today All-California Offensive Player of the Year after posting an incredible senior season. He capped off the year with a 16-catch, 354-yard, five-touchdown performance in his final game. In his freshman year at USC, he played in all 13 games as a reserve, accumulating six receptions for 82 yards with four kickoff returns and several special teams tackles. He battled an ankle sprain early in his sophomore season, but still earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors for his accomplishments on special teams. He also started six games on offense, totaling 404 yards and two touchdowns on 23 receptions.

Michael Pittman Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile w/ College Stats

Pittman’s ascension up the depth chart continued in 2018 when he caught 41-of-77 targets for 758 yards (18.5 YPR) and six touchdowns. He was named honorable mention all-conference in what was technically his breakout season while recording a 29.35-percent Dominator Rating. After the season, he underwent shoulder surgery for an injury that forced him to miss two games. In what felt like more of a true breakout campaign in 2019, Pittman was among the nation’s leaders with 101 receptions for 1,275 yards (12.6 YPR) and 11 touchdowns in 13 starts. He finished the year with a 31.43-percent share of his team’s passing touchdowns, averaging 2.48 yards per team pass attempt and 2.32 yards per route. He was named a Biletnikoff Award finalist, second-team Associated Press All-American, and first-team All-Pac-12. His 32.8-percent (60th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Dominator Rating is more than acceptable.

Check out Michael Pittman on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Rookie Rankings:

Pittman was quietly one of the biggest winners at the NFL Combine. After weighing in at 6-4, 223-pounds, he ran a 4.52 (59th-percentile) 40-yard-dash, translating to a 111.2 (93rd-percentile) Speed Score. He performed well in the agility and explosion drills, registering an 11.10 (66th-percentile) Agility Score and a 122.6 (58th-percentile) Burst Score. He’s among the only receivers to have tested in enough drills to register a complete athletic profile. This will make him easier to evaluate for fantasy purposes. His Best Comparable Player is Dwayne Bowe, in a good way, and players who look like this tend to become valuable fantasy assets.

Pittman is in position to be an immediate plug-and-play WR2/WR3 on an NFL depth chart. He has the full route tree in his arsenal and can play both X-receiver or as a big slot. He’s a quarterback-friendly, big-bodied possession receiver with solid contested catch ability and a massive 10.25 (89th-percentile) Catch Radius. He proved he was a dynamic player, with a 26.0-yard career punt return average and one touchdown. There are some big red flags in his production profile, though. His late breakout and lack of a meaningful role in the USC offense until his junior and senior seasons is concerning, as is his lack of production after the catch. He averaged just 4.8 yards post-reception with 20 broken tackles on 171 career receptions. With that said, he’s still a top-10 WR in this class and a solid second-round selection in dynasty rookie drafts.