Dissecting Indianapolis’ Wide Receivers: Should We Buy Donte Moncrief & Ignore Hakeem Nicks?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Last week it looked like Hakeem Nicks would finally get an opportunity to turn things around, with Reggie Wayne missing the game.  He certainly didn’t lack for playing time:

Of course, you then look at the target breakdown from the game:

  • Donte Moncrief – 12
  • T.Y. Hilton – 10
  • Hakeem Nicks – 6
  • Griff Whalen – 3

The surprise is that Moncrief was the most targeted receiver, though the fact that he received more opportunities than Nicks isn’t really shocking. While Nicks was on the field a lot, don’t be mistaken. His time as a relevant fantasy option is gone.

On the season Nicks has turned 39 targets into just 18 receptions (46.2% completion rate). His season high is 5 catches, coming back in Week 1. In yards he hasn’t eclipsed 50, which he reached in Week 3.

In fact, he has been even worse over the past five games. On 26 targets he’s managed 8 receptions (30.8%) going for a total of 86 yards and 0 TD.

Clearly the writing is on the wall…

The real question facing fantasy owners is if Moncreif can remain a viable option once Reggie Wayne is healthy. That’s a bit of an unknown and makes it tough to recommend investing heavily in him.

We know Wayne is going to remain a part of the offense…

TY Hilton is emerging as a Top 10-15 wide receiver in the league…

The team has a two-headed tight end monster in Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener…

Not to mention Ahmad Bradshaw, who is proving to be a viable FLEX, and Trent Richardson, who they want to force feed the football.

There are only so many touches to go around and expecting Moncrief to match that type of an impact would be foolish. What Sunday may have done was simply give us a glimpse towards life without Wayne in Indianapolis. That potential, in dynasty formats, makes Moncrief a must add. In all other leagues he’s only a target if you have a deep bench or if someone gets hurt for a significant amount of time. Otherwise, he simply won’t be able to be trusted.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings:

Moving Targets Week 9: Who Saw A Big Increase In Targets Last Week & More
Buy 'Em or Deny 'Em: Is Vincent Jackson Worth Targeting?


  1. Joel Goerdt says:

    Non PPR I have Baldwin do I stick with him or should I grab Moncrief and start him this week over Baldwin?

  2. Zach says:

    Would you play Moncreif over Torrey Smith even if Wayne is back? Only other real option for me is A Holmes w Watkins out.

  3. sahel kazemi says:


    In a 12 team .5 ppr league that starts 3 wrs, I have the unfortunate task of toggling between moncrief or m.bryant to hold down my wr3 spot. The epitome of the ole flip of a coin. With that which of the two do you favour?

  4. Zach – Probably not, though I could buy it. I’d say go with your gut, though I’d lean Smith if Wayne is playing

    sahel kazemi – I like Bryant’s matchup a bit better, so I guess I’d lean that way

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