2014 Team Outlook: Indianapolis Colts
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND - Solid/Safe Pick
T.Y. Hilton is not receiving nearly as much love as he should. Hilton evolved into a complete receiver in his second year. It helps that he has been able to work with Andrew Luck since Day 1, but Hilton displayed incredible maturity taking on the lead receiving role after Reggie Wayne went down with a season-ending injury last year. Even prior to that injury, Hilton wasn't too far behind Wayne in targets, meaning the natural transition to Hilton becoming the No. 1 sooner than later was already in motion. Hilton and Luck worked to improve their chemistry, most notably seen in big games during epic comebacks. Hilton recorded 612 yards receiving on 41 catches (58 targets) over his last five games (including an incredible 18-224-2 performance in the AFC Wild Card win over the Chiefs.) The knock on Hilton is that he has to share the ball with Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and Dwayne Allen. Hilton is currently the 23rd receiver coming off the board. Look for the chemistry between Luck and Hilton to continually improve and for last year's target to reception ratio of 138:82 (60-percent catch rate) to rise. The Colts will march the ball up and down the field at will this year, meaning there will be plenty of stats to go around to all, with Hilton being the greatest beneficiary.
Editor's note: In five games last year, Hilton accounted for 670 yards. In two of those five games, he scored five TDs. In his other 11 games? He went for 413 yards and zero touchdowns. That is an average of about 38 yards per game. Many receivers struggle with huge swings in production, consistency and workload; however, Hilton is one of the more extreme cases in the NFL. Bench him the wrong week and you might miss 25-percent of his fantasy points for the season. This is something to keep in mind considering Luck's ability to spread the ball around to multiple playmakers.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
WR Donte Moncrief, --- - Dynasty Only
DYNASTY HOLD AND WAIT: Donte Moncrief is certainly a player to consider for dynasty leagues, but will not be consistent enough or on the field regularly for redraft owners. Moncrief has terrific size and outstanding acceleration off the line. Look for the Colts to put in a few packages for Moncrief to run deep (similar to how TY Hilton was used in 2012).
WR LaVon Brazill, --- - Not Draft Worthy
LaVon Brazill started to fill up the stat line down the stretch in 2013. He recorded two multi-touchdown games: one in the regular season and one in the AFC Divisional playoff game vs. the New England Patriots. Andrew Luck targeted Brazill 13 times in two playoff games. While that would normally be enough to label Brazill a sleeper coming into this year, the Colts are set at receiver. Short of a long-term injury to someone ahead of him on the depth chart, Brazill will not be targeted enough to be fantasy relevant.
WR Hakeem Nicks, --- - Bye Week Fill-in
TAKE A CHANCE: Perhaps a change of scenery is just what Hakeem Nicks needed. His last two years with the New York Giants were filled with disappointment and injuries. Once hailed for having the potential to become one of the game's top receivers because of his size and route running skills, Nicks only scored three touchdowns in his last 28 games with the Giants. Many questioned Nicks' effort in 2013, after the Giants decided to reward Victor Cruz with a contract extension rather than Nicks. Whatever the case may be, Nicks failed to get in sync with Eli Manning all year. Now Nicks finds himself in a far better offense with talent surrounding him. Look for Nicks to work hard with Luck and carve himself a nice role. His ability to outperform his 106.74 ADP (nearly identical as Wayne) will be directly related to Wayne's ACL recovery. As your team's WR4, there is little to no risk taking a shot that Nicks gets back to his productivity from three years ago.
WR Da'Rick Rogers, --- - Dynasty Only
Da'Rick Rogers had one highlight reel game in 2013 when T.Y. Hilton was slowed with an injury. He was otherwise unimpressive, despite being on the field quite a bit late in the year. Rogers is fighting for a roster spot and will struggle to see the field much, if he even makes the team.
WR Reggie Wayne, --- - Over the Hill (decreased production)
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: Reggie Wayne has been a poster child for consistency throughout his Hall of Fame-bound, 13 year career. In fact, his brutal ACL injury in Week 7 led to him missing games for the first time since 2001. At age 35, it's quite the challenge for Wayne to work his way back, but with his incredible work ethic and desire to succeed, how can you doubt him? Also working in his favor is the fact that the Colts' receiving group is incredibly deep, meaning Wayne no longer has to be the man. Wayne is currently the 42nd receiver coming off the board, with a 107.27 ADP (interestingly enough, approximately the same spot as his new teammate Hakeem Nicks is landing). Andrew Luck and Wayne's strong chemistry has been apparent from Day 1, meaning that even if Wayne is 75-percent of his old self, he can outperform that ADP. With that said, temper your expectations early in the season as Wayne shakes off the rust. Look for his stat line in the second half of the year to outpace his early season production.