I went back and forth between Michael Pittman and Tee Higgins for the fourth and fifth spots but settled on Pittman at number four. The biggest reason for putting him here is the talent, or lack of it, around him. Pittman came into the league the same year as Higgins and has played with a different starting quarterback every year.
Pittman recorded 99 receptions a season ago, the most of his career so far, which ranked him tenth in the NFL but only 925 yards receiving. He’s had only one 1,000-yard receiving season so far but again, has never had the opportunity to play with an elite quarterback in their prime.
It’s impossible to try to determine what kind of numbers Pittman could have if he had better quarterbacks but still, for his career, he has 227 receptions, 2,510 yards, and 11 touchdowns. The touchdowns are the biggest difference. The Texans saw Pittman twice and despite only having four touchdowns on the season, two of those came against the Texans.
Last year, Pittman put up nine receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown, on 13 targets in the first game. In game two against the Texans, he had three receptions on five targets, for 30 yards and another touchdown. In each of these games, Pittman had a different starting quarterback, going from an old Matt Ryan in Week One to Sam Ehlinger in Week 18. In 2023, the Houston Texans will face Pittman and the Colts in Week Two and again in Week 18.