Both passing attacks from the Indianapolis Colts and the Atlanta Falcons have proven to be average at this stage of the NFL season. The volume of their offensive production flows through their two primary receivers, Michael Pittman Jr. and Drake London. With so many teams on a bye, fantasy football managers must make the best possible decision for their starting rosters.
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Michael Pittman Jr.’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
Pittman is arguably one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL. He’s the top receiver on his team, yet he appears to be consistently overlooked week after week in fantasy. In the last two full games started by Gardner Minshew II, Pittman has averaged nine receptions for 93 yards.
MORE: 2023 WR Fantasy Football Rankings
There is some concern about Pittman having to rely on Minshew for consistent production again, but a stronger concern awaits. The Colts will be matched up against the No. 1 defense in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns, who currently lead the league in passing yards allowed per game and total yards allowed per game.
Drake London’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
London and the Falcons have been slowly transitioning to a more balanced offense, leaning more toward the pass. After attempting only 18 passes in Week 1, Desmond Ridder has averaged 37 pass attempts per game over the last five games.
London currently leads the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards this season. The Falcons face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rank 26th in passing yards allowed per game this season, making them a matchup you want your fantasy players to go up against.
Which of the Wide Receivers Should You Start?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that Pittman is the player to start. His projected 13.3 points include a projection of six receptions for 56 yards. This slightly outproduces the projection for London, who is projected to finish with four receptions for 52 yards.
However, when you isolate my rankings, I see London outperforming Pittman due to the matchup and quarterback play. I mentioned it earlier, but Pittman faces off against the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL. Plus, everyone saw last week that Minshew still has some rust to shake off after throwing three interceptions.
London gets to face off against the Buccaneers secondary, which has allowed more than 250 passing yards per game this season. Ridder isn’t elite by any stretch of the imagination, but with a lack of other proven pass catchers and the Bucs keying in on containing Bijan Robinson and the explosive run game, I expect London to outscore Pittman by a close margin this Sunday.
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