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Fantasy Football Bold Predictions: Michael Pittman, Antonio Gibson (2022)

by Chris Orlando | @DraftStonksFF | Featured Writer
May 19, 2022


 
Here are two bold predictions for the 2022 NFL Fantasy Football season.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND) finishes as a top 10 WR

Pittman Jr. has established himself as one of the better receivers in the NFL since entering the league as a rookie in 2020. Last season, the former USC Trojan finished with 1000 yards on 6 TDs. He also garnered 88 receptions on top of 129 targets with a target share of 25.7%, ranking 14th amongst all receivers. Besides recently drafted 2nd round pick WR Alec Pierce from Cincinnati and 3rd round pick Jelani Woods from Virginia, there is not much competition for Pittman Jr. amongst the rest of the receiving options in Indianapolis for target opportunities.

Additionally, the Colts brought in former MVP quarterback Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan is known for providing a heavy target share to the best receiver in his offense, helping the likes of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts become elite fantasy receivers as a result. While the Colts have established and identified their identity as a run-heavy team behind their RB1 in Jonathon Taylor following the 2021 season, Taylor has the possibility of regression, which could ultimately open up more opportunities for Pittman Jr. to excel in the passing game.

If Ryan can continue his trend of producing elite fantasy receivers, Pittman Jr. has the potential to have a large impact on the Colts’ offense and have a WR1 season in his 3rd year in the league.

Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS) finishes outside the top 24 RBS (Half-PPR)

There is no doubt that Antonio Gibson has the skillset to be one of the best fantasy RBs in the league. The former Memphis Tiger finished with 1037 rushing yards and 294 receiving yards on 10 total touchdowns in 2021, finishing as the RB17 in Half-PPR with 14.3 points per game. However, Gibson’s situation in the Washington Commanders backfield prevents him from reaching his true ceiling.

The main reason for this is fellow RB J.D. McKissic‘s involvement in the offense, specifically on 3rd downs and in passing situations. In the 11 games that he played before missing the rest of the regular season with an injury, McKissic had 43 receptions on 53 targets and 48 rushes. Gibson averaged 4.8 targets per game in the games that McKissic missed with injury compared to 2.3 targets per game when McKissic played. The Commanders want to have McKIssic involved in the offense, especially after signing him to a new 2-year contract this offseason.

While Gibson can be an effective receiver out of the backfield, given that he played receiver in college and has proven his versatility in the NFL, the Commanders are more comfortable with having multiple options in their backfield. The team also picked Alabama RB Brian Robinson in the third round of this year’s draft, who is a bruising running back that has the potential to steal touches from Gibson around the goal line, where he was so effective last year for Washington with 6 touchdowns in 49 rushes in the red zone.

Given the crowded backfield and lack of utilization by the coaching staff, Gibson’s odds of being a top RB in 2022 are low despite being one of the more skilled backs in the league.

CTAs


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